Sunday, August 28, 2011

Whole Wheat Courgette (Zucchini) Buns

If this blog had a different title, it would probably be: For the Love of Veg. I do love everything about vegetables. They are so versatile and tasty. I try to fit vegetables into everything. This month's Fresh from the Oven challenge was perfect for me: bread with vegetables. I made these hole wheat courgette rolls and I want to make them many more times in the future.

However, I had a major mishap along the way; shall we say it was an extreme case of "user error"? It was my own fault. My buns were much too big for the pan I had prepared, and as a result they didn't bake as quickly as expected. But I was too intent on following the recipe directions and I took them out of the oven only half baked. Sadly, I didn't notice this until an hour later, when they were cool. What was I to do at that stage?

I decided to reheat the oven and try baking the buns some more. In they went, and out they came, still not fully baked through. In they went again, and out they came, now mostly baked. The tops were getting so brown but the insides were still stringy--eww. I realised it was a hopeless case by this point. The way to fix this problem, I think is to start again, but use a bigger pan so the buns could be smaller and would have more room for air to circulate.

I still wanted to know what they tasted like! So I cut the tops off and ate those. I like the slight savoury taste from the parmesan cheese and pepper. The grated courgette made nice green flecks throughout the buns. I want to make these again--but this time avoid the doughy problem!

Thanks to Sally from My Custard Pie for choosing this recipe for Fresh from the Oven. I am keen to see how the other bakers worked some vegetables into their bread. Please visit the group's blog to see what they tried, and to get recipes.
Whole Wheat Courgette Buns
makes 8 massive rolls or 12 medium rolls
adapted from a recipe in House and Garden magazine by Roz Denny

Whole wheat flour needs more liquid than plain flour. Don't be afraid to make a sticky, moist dough. Admit it, your hands are going to be gooey after kneading this.

3 c (450 g) grated courgette (zucchini)
3 t active dry yeast
4 c (480 g) whole wheat bread flour
1 1/3 c (170 g) plain bread flour
3 T (35 g) grated parmesan cheese
1 t pepper (or more)
1/2 t salt
2 T olive oil
milk, for brushing
sesame seeds, for garnish

Place the grated courgette in a sieve and sprinkle with salt. Allow to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse well and dry by rolling in a clean tea towel.
Measure 1/2 c (125 ml) lukewarm water (95 F - 110 F or 35 C - 45 C) and stir in the yeast. Leave for 5 - 10 minutes, until frothy.

In a large bowl, mix together the flours, cheese, pepper, and salt.
Add the yeast, courgettes, and olive oil. Stir well with a wooden spoon or clean hands. Add 1/2 - 1 c (125 - 250 ml) more water until a sticky dough is formed.
Turn out onto a lightly floured or oiled surface. Knead for 5 minutes.
Oil a large bowl, place the dough inside, and turn so the dough is coated in oil. Cover and let rise for 1 hour, until the dough is doubled in bulk.

Punch the dough, then divide it into 8 or 12 pieces. Form into rolls and place in an oiled pan.
Brush the tops of the buns with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake at 395 F (200 C) for 25 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.


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