Got zucchini?

We do. At this point it’s coming out our ears.

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Oh yes, we’ve made the classic chocolate zucchini cake.

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And a great recipe for blueberry zucchini cake from I Am Baker that we turned into muffins.

We’ve done zucchini noodle phad thai from White on Rice Couple.

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But at a certain point you can only take so many zoodles and sweets. When you get to that point, there’s this recipe for Zucchini Bread With Moroccan Spices on My Recipes.

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If you’re intimidated by working with yeast, don’t be. It’s pretty forgiving and bread, overall, is easier to mix than other types of pastry. I mean, anything that you can make by throwing all of the ingredients into a machine and hitting a button can’t possibly be all that hard. The tricky thing about yeast is keeping it alive. The general rule of thumb is that it likes temperatures around 110°F to 120°F, which most recipes describe as being “lukewarm”. Apparently my body must run cold because those temperatures feel warm to hottish to me. If you end up using water that is too cold, it deactivates the yeast. Too hot and it kills the yeast. If you’re not using a thermometer to gauge the temperature (and really, who is going to do that in the middle of making bread?), you’ll need to figure out what 110-120°F feels like to you.

Now, I’m not going to lie, this recipe takes some time and effort. It’s kind of the opposite of the 5 ingredient jam, and if you make the “biga” starter, which will give the bread a nuttier flavor than if you skipped that step, it becomes a two day project. But if you’ve exhausted your other zucchini recipes, I think you’ll agree that this was worth it. I chopped and measured all of the ingredients the same day that I made the biga, which made mixing and baking the next day seem a lot easier. This recipe makes two loaves.

Ingredients

Biga: In a bowl, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast over 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add an additional 1/2 cup warm water, then with a wood spoon stir in 1 1/2 cups bread flour until mixture forms a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

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Biga after 24 hours

(Shortcut: To skip the biga step, increase yeast in the following recipe by 1 1/4 teaspoons, the bread flour by 1 1/2 cups, and the water by 3/4 cup.)

3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
Biga
1 cup grated zucchini (about 4 oz.)
About 4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted roasted pistachios
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons hot chili flakes
About 1/4 cup cornmeal

Directions

In the bowl of a standing mixer or another large bowl, sprinkle yeast over 1 cup warm water and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Add 3/4 cup water, biga, zucchini, 3 cups bread flour, whole wheat flour, and salt to yeast mixture.

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Beat with dough hook on low speed until blended. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups more bread flour, 1/4 cup at a time until mixture forms a soft dough. (At this point you might need to add more bread flour if the dough is still very sticky. It should be slightly sticky, but you should be able to handle it without a lot of it sticking to your hand.)

Beat on medium speed until dough is smooth and pulls cleanly from the bowl, about 6-8 minutes.

Add parsley, bell pepper, pistachios, cumin, and chili flakes and mix until incorporated. If this has significantly increased the stickiness of your dough, you might want to add a little flour at this point too.

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Place into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Punch down and re-cover dough and let rise again until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Scrape dough onto well floured surface and divide in half. With lightly floured hands, roll each half into a ball then stretch and tuck edges under to shape into a loaf with tapered ends. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper, and sprinkle liberally with corn meal. Place loaf in center of pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until slightly puffed, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 450°F. With a sharp knife, make three diagonal slashes 1 inch deep and 1 to 2 inches apart across loaf tops.

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Bake until crust is well browned, around 35-40 minutes.

Do you have a favorite zucchini recipe?

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