Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Courgette Bread

We've missed the last few Fresh from the Oven challenges due to travelling here and there, but we couldn't miss this one, since it's our friend Sally from My Custard Pie hosting. Sally's blog is one of my favourite to read. This woman has the ability to always catch my attention. I love the way she writes. Reading her posts one never knows what she would start and end up with. Sally could make an ordinary life story attain such a deep spiritual meaning and at the end completely keeping pace with the story she would offer you something delicious bursting out of warm cosiness. She's always extremely positive and cheerful, and like a real English lady, she has a lovely sense of humour.

Sally challenged us to make courgette cluster bread which was a good reason for us to bake with vegetables again. We've made pumpkin bread before, which was very good, but somehow we are always too lazy to try it again. Plus we had a lot of vegetables from Ivan's parents.

We've twisted a little bit the original recipe according to which the salted grated courgettes must be drained form the water(which is supposed to be discarded), then washed and dried. Instead this we went with draining the courgettes but keeping their water as a liquid part for the dough. If I am to lie I would say thus the bread would have a more prominent courgette taste. But the truth is we found it easier to skip the washing an drying process by simply using the drained liquid. Also, this way it was easier to figure out the amount of salt needed.

There was parmesan used in the recipe that would give a cheesy tinge of this bread, but we had non of it in the fridge, if you do have any, add some in the dough.

And the last change – we added dill weed since it's like a habit to me – when there are courgettes, there is dill weed.

The bread was super delicious, even to be eaten plain, on its own. We even ruined the rule “first shoot, then eat” since I was too eager to try it.

Go visit My Custard Pie for the original recipe and do cast a glance at what the other FFO members have come up with.

Courgette Bread Recipe:

  • 450 gr courgettes, grated coarsely;
  • 10 gr salt;
  • 675 gr strong white bread flour;
  • 20 gr fresh yeast (or 2 sachets of easy-blend/fast-action yeast, or 14g instant dried yeast);
  • 1Tbsp sugar;
  • 80 ml tepid whole milk;
  • 25 ml olive oil;
  • 1 heaping tablespoon dried dill weed;
  • milk, to glaze;
  • sesame seeds, poppy seeds, to sprinkle.

Mix grated courgettes with salt, place them in a colander and leave them for an hour in order to drain away the liquid. Do not discard the drained liquid, collect it as it will be used later.
Combine milk and fresh yeast, set aside.
In a large bowl sift together flour, dill weed and sugar. Make a well in the center, then pour in the milk-yeast mixture, olive oil, the liquid drained from the courgettes and the courgettes themselves. Mix with hand mixer equipped with dough hooks to form dough. Knead on low speed for 10-15 minutes. (The dough could be kneaded by hand but since it's a little bit sticky, it's easier to use hand or stand mixer equipped with dough hook.) Cover the dough and leave it to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Transfer the dough to a floured counter top and shape it the way you like. Here we've used two thirds of the dough to make small buns and the other third has been used for the flower cluster bread. Place on a lined with paper baking pan and leave to prove, covered with a linen tea towel for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180. Provide some sort of steam source – we are placing a small pot with hot water in the oven. Glaze with milk, sprinkle some seeds on top. Bake with steam for the first 10 minutes then continue without the steam source, until nicely golden. Remove from the oven and cover with a clean linen towel to keep the buns soft.


  1. Hi Silvia, thanks so much for visiting my blog - great to find yours and interesting to read of your courgette bread experiments. Great idea to reuse the liquid! Being able to buy 20-kilo bags of flour has changed my life (but luckily my husband carries them up the 50 stairs from the car!)

  2. Ha, can I borrow your husband ;)

  3. Ah, I think using the courgette liquid is clever. Adding even more steps to bread making turns me off, so I think your adaption would suit me. I imagine that adding dill was a perfect fit. Beautiful!

  4. Is dill weed the same as dill? I like the fact that you were honest about using the leftover liquid drained from the courgettes. I have to admit the photograph first eat second bit can be the worst part of being a food blogger, especial when your kitchen if filled with the smell of freshly baked bread.

  5. By dill weed I mean that I'm using the grassy part of the plant, not the seeds, since they would add different kind of flavour.
    Indeed, first shoot then eat is the most difficult part of the food blogging, especially when it comes to bread. I have no such problems with cookies or cakes but bread could be so seducing, and eating it while still warm is the most delicious thing.
    I have to admit that there are bread recipes that we've made more than once in order to save something for a photo.

  6. As my Dad was Polish I totally understand your obsession with dill Silvia! Your rolls look so fluffy and beautifully flecked with green and crunchy with the combination of seeds on the outside - divine.
    I am completely knocked out by the lovely things you've said about me and my blog. As you know I'm a huge fan of Mushitza too. Thank you my dear.



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