I had an abundance of courgettes in the house a few days ago and thinking about courgette tea loaves made me want to incorportate courgette (or zucchini for those in America) into a yeasted bread. I floated between wanting to make a sweet courgette tear bread with cinnamon spices or a savoury one with cheddar cheese and garlic, but in the end I couldn’t decide so I made both. The same dough is used for both breads, only the filling is different. The courgette is kneaded into the dough – which works well both aesthetically and flavour-wise. The courgette keeps the bread moist and imparts a delicate note, and the tiny green flecks of the courgette skin are visible when you tear into it.
Courgette, cheddar & garlic savoury tear bread:
Sweet courgette tear bread with autumnal spices:
I adapted this recipe from a previous marmite and cheddar tear bread post by altering the quantities of water, as courgettes are about 95% water.
Ingredients for dough: (enough to make two loaves – halve to make one)
- 420g strong white flour
- 200g plain white flour
- 275g grated courgette (approximately 3 courgettes) – leave the skin on.
- 130ml water
- 9g fast action yeast
- 3 tbsp white sugar
- 1.5tsp salt
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
Ingredients for savoury filling:
- 40g butter, melted
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 110g cheddar cheese, grated
Ingredients for sweet filling:
- 40g butter, melted
- 80g white granulated sugar
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1/2tsp ginger
- 1/2tsp nutmeg
1) First, make the dough. Mix together the two flours, yeast, salt and sugar. Ensure the salt does not directly touch the yeast.
2) Squeeze out as much water as possible from the grated courgettes. I managed to squeeze out 50ml. Set this aside to be mixed in to the dough.
3) Add the water, melted butter and courgette juice to the dry mixture. Mix, then add the grated courgette. Mix together into a rough ball, then turn out onto a floured surface and begin kneading. The dough will take a little while to come together, but refrain from adding more water as the more you knead, the more the water from the courgettes starts to combine with the flour. The dough should be somewhat sticky but not difficult to knead. If too sticky – add a little flour. The dough is ready for its first rise when it is soft and stretchy, and it should pass the windowpane test.
4) Place in a large bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm room for approximately an hour. Meanwhile, prepare the fillings. For the savoury filling, keep all the ingredients (melted butter, garlic, cheddar) in separate bowls. For the sweet filling, mix the sugar and all the spices into one bowl, and keep the melted butter separate.
5) Tip out on to a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into two equal portions if making enough for two loaves. Roll one portion into a comfortably thin (but not too thin) rectangle. For the sweet dough – brush with melted butter then sprinkle with spiced sugar mix. Ensure there is some butter and sugar leftover to brush/sprinkle on top. For the savoury dough – brush with melted butter (reserve a small amount to brush on top), then sprinkle on cheese and chopped garlic.
6) With the longer side facing you, slice the rectangle into 6 strips (cross-wise). Stack these strips on top of each other, so that the filling is always facing upwards. You should now have a tower of six strips. Cut this tower into 6 pieces. You should now have 6 smaller towers – each made up of 6 layers of dough.
7) Arrange these in a lightly greased loaf tin. Stack the squares on their sides into the loaf tin. They should all be lined up, touching but not tightly pressed together as you need to leave room for them to rise a little.
8) Cover, and let rise for about 40 mins. Brush remaining butter on top (same for both the sweet and savoury breads), and sprinkle remaining sugar on top of the sweet loaf. Place on the middle shelf of an oven preheated to 180C (fan assisted). Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Tent with foil if bread browns too much. The sweet loaf will brown quicker, because of the sugar on top. The savoury loaf should have a light, golden brown colour, whilst the sweet loaf should have a deeper brown colour.
Then, tear and share with friends and family!
Punny joke: What did the cucumber say when he saw the aeroplane? Courgette! (Cor, Jet!)