Somehow I have not taken part for a few months, which is a shame, as I love the group and the challenges. This month I had to, as I had met Sally (who had been my sofa surfer for Food Blogger Connect) and I am currently allotment sitting for Katie, and so have a small mountain of courgettes.
It was an excellent month to return to the challenge. The bread was delicious, soft, fluffy and yeasty, a recipe that I shall be returning to, perhaps using different vegetables? We ate the rolls brimming with the pulled pork I made recently.
Apologies for the photos, as well as baking bread I had been tasting the new Magners specials (more on them later).
Recipe: Courgette Cluster Bread
adapted from a recipe in House and Garden magazine by Roz Denny
Makes 8 rolls or clusters
450g courgettes, grated coarsely
Salt (for degorging and for the dough)
675g strong white bread flour
2 sachets of easy-blend/fast-action yeast or 14g instant dried yeast
3 tablespoons parmesan, grated
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Tepid water – about 200ml
Milk, to glaze
Sesame seeds, to sprinkle
Place the courgettes in a colander, sprinkle lightly with salt. Allow the juices to drain for about half-an-hour, then rinse well in cold water and pat dry.
If using instant yeast whisk it into 90 ml of the tepid water until frothy and dissolved. Mix the flour, yeast, parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and some black pepper together in a bowl, then stir in the olive oil and courgettes. Add some more water until the mixture comes together as a firm, soft dough. I did this and the kneading in my KitchenAid with the dough hook.
If kneading by hand, turn the dough onto a lightly floured board or work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a bowl and put the dough into rise, covered with cling film or a cloth, for about one hour or until doubled in size.
Knock back the dough in the bowl (punch the air out of it) and then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead again briefly until smooth.
Divide the dough into eight equal pieces and roll to shape into even balls. Lightly grease and line the base of a 23 cm cake tin with baking parchment. Place one ball of dough in the middle and all the others around it.
Brush the tops of rolls with milk and sprinkle over some sesame seeds. Cover again with oiled cling film or a cloth and leave to prove until doubled in size and the balls touch each other – about 30 minutes.
Put into a preheated oven at 200 C for about 25 minutes until golden brown and cooked. Cool on a wire rack. Tear each roll off to eat as a bun.
I used a mix of white and malted grain flours. These freeze well, defrost then wrap in foil and reheat in the oven, or slice before freezing and toast.
Thanks to Sally for a fab challenge, and I am looking forward to see what August will bring.