Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Zucchini Wheat Bread

Seriously? You’ve been away from this blog for almost two weeks and you come back with zucchini? Isn’t it time for apples? Aren’t the winter squash coming soon? The fashion police are about to cuff us up for wearing white and you’re still talking about summer squash?

Well, I suppose the answer to everything is a guarded affirmative, but have you seen the zucchini and yellow squashes lately? There’re lots of them. We need to do something with them. (You can find all The Messy Apron summer squash recipes here.) And so I made bread, but not just quick breads, like this one and this one. I found a whole wheat, yeast-leavened sandwich bread in Better Homes and Gardens: The Complete Guide to Bread Machine Baking that helps get us through some of that late-season summer squash flood.

Once again, I took a bread machine recipe and adapted it for a pan-and-oven application. I didn’t knead this one by hand, however, opting for the heavy-duty mixer with a dough hook. The dough is pretty sticky, thanks to the increased moisture from the zucchini, and I found that a lot less mess could be made by using the mixer.

You won’t really taste any zucchini in this loaf. (Do you ever really taste zucchini anyway?) You will, however, taste the little bit of lemon zest that brightens up the stodgy whole wheat. I liked its influence in savory applications like tomato sandwiches and toasted cheese, but I think it would be equally enjoyable in something like peanut butter and jelly. You could always leave out the lemon zest if you’re uncertain about that flavor. I’d say it’s better to adapt in favor of cramming all that extra zucchini in somewhere. There’s probably more coming.

Zucchini Wheat Bread
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens: The Complete Guide to Bread Machine Baking

I think you could use yellow summer squash in place of the zucchini in this recipe.

1 cup warm milk (about 100-110 F)
2-2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (about 1 envelope-style package)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
1 cup bread flour
2 tablespoons gluten flour
1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt

1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, mix together the milk yeast and brown sugar. Let stand about 5 minutes or until the yeast appears foamy.

2. Add the oil, 1 cup whole wheat flour, bread flour, gluten, zucchini and lemon zest to the yeast mixture. Stir together to make a batter-like dough (I used the paddle attachment for the heavy-duty mixer). Cover with a towel and let stand 15-30 minutes.

3. Stir in the salt and enough of the remaining whole wheat flour to make a stiff dough. (I used the dough hook here.) Continue kneading with the dough hook, or turn out on a floured surface to knead the dough, adding the remaining whole wheat flour a little at a time. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until a smooth and stretchy, but still fairly sticky dough forms. If the dough is already stiff and you have more than about ¼ cup bread flour left, add a small amount of water to the dough, 1 teaspoon at a time, and continue kneading in the remaining flour.

4. Shape the kneaded dough into a ball. Spray a medium-size bowl with cooking spray or brush it with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and spray or brush the top of the dough. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough. Cover with a towel and let rise about 1 hour or until roughly double in size.

5. Spray an 8 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or brush it with oil. Gently deflate the risen dough and let stand for a few minutes. Shape the dough into a loaf and place in the prepared pan. Cover with a towel and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until about double in size and a gentle press with the finger leaves an indentation without springing back.

6. Preheat oven to 375 F. Remove the towel from the risen loaf and bake at 375 F for 30-35 minutes, or until the bread is done. (It should sound hollow when tapped, or have reached an internal temperature of about 200 F.) Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Makes a 1 ½ pound loaf.

Other recipes like this one: Wheat Sandwich Bread, Whole Wheat Cornmeal Bread with Basil

One year ago: Basic Pie Crust Dough, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, and Roasted Tomato and Olive Galette

Two years ago: Broccoli and Chickpea Salad with Mustard-Pepper Dressing and Mustard Greens and Green Bean Stir Fry with Peanuts


  1. AML - was that break to move - God I wish you lived closer to us - we would eat like kings as Harry does !!! Miss you guys. Trish N

  2. Yes, we're in the process of moving...there was also a lot of paperwork and freaking out that caused some blogging delays! :