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courgette sandwich loaf

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Zucchini sandwich loaf

This thing about vegetables belonging with your main course only is a load of rubbish. Whenever someone taunts me with that claim I chant: ‘carrot cake, carrot cake!’ and they quickly shut up.

In fact the older I get and the more I cook, I start to believe you can pretty much make everything out of everything - with possibly the exception of kale which is inedible. Oh, and things spiralised. But ordinary foodstuffs - go right ahead. The famous carrot cake aside, I’ve recently tried my hand at parsnip cake and it was a reasonable success. Rösti needn’t be made from potatoes only and broccoli cheese is as good a side as cauli cheese. Beetroot can be turned into a decent loaf, fennel works in a slaw as well as cabbage, and as I’m trying to demonstrate with the recipe below: courgettes and potatoes make very good bread.

This is a twist on Dan Lepard's onions-and-mash deli bread, a lovely loaf in itself albeit really quite oniony. I thought courgettes would provide similar sliminess (in a good way) and less pungency. And they did - the bread is tasty, very sliceable and excellent when toasted.

I just let the dough run riot whilst proving it in low oven and hence the handsome muffin top - it should only rise dome-like above the tin. But on the other hand, my loaf was airy like anything…

courgette sandwich loaf

Servings: one small loafTime: 4 hours plus overnight fermentation

INGREDIENTS

  • 15g fresh or 2 tsp fast action yeast
  • 200ml warm water
  • 325g strong white flour
  • 150g courgettes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 100g cooked mashed potato
  • 75g rye flour
  • about 2 tbsp. stoneground wholemeal flour
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley and sage leaves, chopped finely
Potatoes and courgette


METHOD

Cook the potatoes, mash and cool them. Cook the courgettes with a little of the olive oil on low heat until softened and translucent, but not mushy.

Making bread from courgettes and potatoes

In the meantime, mix the yeast with 50ml of the warm water and 2 tablespoons of the white flour, leave covered for 30 minutes.

Add the onions and the mash to the yeasty mixture; add the rest of the water and white flour, the rye flour, salt, sugar and caraway seeds and mix to combine.

Leave the dough standing for 10 minutes, then knead by hand or in a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment adding the rest of the oil. If the dough looks very sticky and doesn’t want to come together, add the wholemeal flour. Continue kneading until it’s smooth, stretchy and bounces off the sides of the bowl or stops sticking to your hands. Add the fresh chopped herbs and mix them in thoroughly.

Place the dough in a large bowl (it will rise quite a lot), cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.

The next day flatten the dough to a rectangle and roll it up tightly, to the width of a loaf tin. Drop it into a buttered and floured tin, cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to expand in volume by half – 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. Dust the top of the loaf with flour, slash with a sharp knife down the middle and bake for 35 minutes. Then lower the heat to 180C/350F/gas 4 and bake for further 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

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