Courgette bread: a savoury loaf made with grated raw courgettes. It is good for slicing, buttering, and even turning into ham sandwiches.
What to do with courgettes?
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That is only a handful top searches for the unfortunate vegetable. I wonder: why do we flog ourselves with the damn courgette, zucchini or both if it’s such a chore to cook it into a palatable dish? Just quit buying or growing it I say.
Why is courgette so popular?
But who am I to criticise if I do the same? Somehow the blasted gourd (squash subspecies) makes its way into my garden every year and without fail produces tonnes of fruit (vegetable, but you know) (though it actually, technically IS fruit).
And I, together with thousands other courgette victims, search for novel ways to murder the thing, be it green, yellow, round or elongated. And once we’ve done dinners, gratins, sides and salads ad nauseam, we look to baking.
Courgette bread is not courgette cake
What a big part of the world calls zucchini bread (those are the folks who call the vegetable ‘zucchini’), really mean a loaf cake.
Nice, though you know – it's still courgette loaf cake and I guess carrot cake won’t lose any sleep over it. It’s sweet, it has raisins in it, oftentimes icing, chocolate glaze or both.
The confusion arises over when is bread bread, and when is it a cake. Banana bread for instance, is a cake, good and proper but still the world, and not only across the Atlantic, calls it banana bread.
In the instance of this recipe, we are not talking about sweet bakes, there is no glaze or raisins. It's BREAD bread.
Savoury courgette loaf aka courgette bread
Bread proper then – as in a loaf you slice, butter, and turn into ham sandwiches. I’ve baked an interesting one before with cooked courgettes, but this time I wanted to use it raw so the moisture courgettes carry with them (and there’s a hell of a lot of it, which is why you need to drain some by salting and squeezing the zucchini) may replace some of the water that bread making requires.
Generally speaking, adding vegetables to bread dough makes for a moist (how I hate that word) and nicely squidgy crumb. See also beetroot bread, onion bread and apple bread.
Acknowledgement and tweak
The Community Farm recipe was my inspiration; I added lime zest to enhance the green flavour and broke the whiteness of the basic bread dough with a little rye flour.
Is it an easy bread?
This recipe is relatively easy and quick, as breads go. No sponge or ferment, the grated courgetted need to release moisture instead. Then all the ingredients are mixed together and kneaded until smooth and elastic - a standing mixer is indispensable, as usual in bread making.
The dough proves and rises over about an hour and a half, then the shaped loaf proves in the tin for the second time before baking in hot oven.
So what is courgette bread like?
And the outcome is really good: a thoroughly decent loaf with no overwhelming zucchini taste (maybe because it doesn't taste of anything, hehe) and a really lovely sliceable, toastable, and sandwichable texture.
Send some more courgettes my way!