Gluts make you think on your toes.
A bright, if not slightly insane idea popped into my head – I’d read about courgette bread and as I had a bowl of courgettes winking at me, plus the house was under siege with decorators and plasterers and I was house sitting, I needed a distraction. And this proved to be perfect.
Now I have a confession – I’ve never made my own bread. Call myself a foodie ! Ha! Well, there’s a first time for everyting. And courgette gluts have finally prompted me into giving it a whirl. I’ve read about this dish many many times, and thought it sounded great, although I never actually got round to feeling brave and making it. I picked up the recipe via Allotments 4 All, a fantastic home from home forum for growers, gardeners and foodies. The recipe originally comes from Roz Denny
It looks good enough to eat doesn’t it?!
Courgette Crown Bread
“Adding grated courgettes and cheese to a loaf mixture will keep it tasting fresher for longer.” Perfect for serving with soup, on a picnic, with cheeses and or with a spaghetti and tomato dish. Serves 8.
- 450g courgettes coarsely grated
- 500g plain flour
- 1 tsp fast-action yeast
- Ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 2tbsp olive oil
- Lukewarm water to mix
- Milk to glaze (I used soya milk)
- Sesame or poppy seeds to garnish
- Layer the grated courgettes in a colander and sprinkle them lightly with salt. Leave to drain for at least 30 minutes preferably 60 minutes. The aim is to get as much water out of the courgettes as possible, I whizzed them dry in the salad spinner then tipped them out onto a baking tray and patted them dry with some absorbent paper towels. By the end of this process I’d managed to get half a glass of juice out of the courgettes.
- Mix the flour, yeast and parmesan together and season with black pepper.
- Stir in the oil and courgettes and add enough water to give you a good firm dough. I added a tablespoon at a time. If you add too much, add a bit more flour to stiffen the dough up Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth, then return it to the mixing bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave it to rise in a warm place
- Grease and line a 23cm/9” round sandwich cake tin. Preheat the oven to 200.
- When the dough has doubled in size turn it out of the mixing bowl, punch it down and knead lightly. Break the dough into 8 balls, rolling each one and placing them into the tin.
- Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle the sesame /poppy seeds on top.
- Allow to rise again, then bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly in the tin, then turn out the bread to cool before serving. Although I found in my oven tit took more like 40 minutes, the mixture was so dense, it needed the extra cooking.
Delicious when eaten slightly warm.
So now I’m a baker, what’s next?!
Cooking & Gardening Notes ~
I used 2 yellow Jemmer courgettes to make this dish. And next year, when I have my annual courgette glut I think I will make the dough balls smaller, so instead of 8 I’ll break the dough into 10 or 12, I think it will help with the cooking times, and make them a bit more manageable.
Another photo – and all just because I’m chuffed to bits with my 1st attempt!