Sunday, August 8, 2010

Broccoli four leaf clover scratch that... Zucchini, onion, rosemary & garlic bread

I am diverting from my usual format for the HBin5 Bread braid which was scheduled for August 1st.  So since I am posting this on August 8th...yes, I am late.  My inspiration for swerving from my usual format for our bread braids is primarily time and free thinking writing.  I finally had the time this morning to make read the other blogs from our HBin5 group and the time to compare what I had seen on tv recently.  Hope you enjoy taking the trip with me. 

I love baking bread, as anyone who reads this blog knows, and particularly love making no-knead breads from Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a Day by Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg.  But theirs is not the only no-knead bread recipes or cookbooks out there. 

Yesterday I was watching Chuck's Day Off on the new Cooking channel.  Chuck is actually Chuck Hughes multitalented owner and chef of Montreal hot spot Garde Manger. 

Chuck's Day off on the Cooking channel
Chuck Hughes bio

He featured a no-knead bread recipe that used a bit of a different technique that intrigued me enough to give it a go.  The ingredients were pretty much the same though.  He plopped the first rise dough ( he only gave it 50 minutes!) into bread pans gently so as to not deflate the dough and baked it at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  Usually I put the first rise dough (about 2 hours) into the frig for at least a day, and sometimes wait up to five days to use it based on my time constraints.  Additionally when I bake the dough according to instructions in ABin5 or HBin5 I bake it at 450 for 30 minutes and add water to a pan in the oven at the beginning of the baking to steam the bread and give it a very crunchy crust.. 

So I decided this morning to incorporate several different things.  As stated earlier I had missed the assignment date of August 1st for the latest HBin5 bread braid, due to time constraints.  The assignment was four leaf clover broccoli and cheddar buns found on page 174.  But Danielle, who did get the assignment done, pondered using zucchini in the dough instead.  She had also used all purpose flour instead of whole wheat and all purpose flour.  See Danielle's blog here

I decided to make the assignment in the following manner:
  1. still used the HBin5 recipe on page 174 but used all purpose flour only and substituted zucchini instead of broccoli. 
  2. the substitution of zuchhini for the broccoli required an increase of 1 cup of flour.  According to Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator cookbook, zuchhini is 94% water while broccoli is only 89% water.  That 5% makes a difference to the recipe I found.
  3. also added onions, garlic and a sprig of fresh rosemary (leaves only no stem)
  4. added 1 tsp of dried minced garlic to the flour mixture
  5. instead of putting the dough in the frig after the first rise, I put it into 2 bread pans and baked it for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.
  6. opted for baking the bread in loaf pans instead of forming into dough balls for the buns.  This was primarily because this dough is very loose and wet if it hasn't been refrigerated.  That would not be a bad thing if making a pizza by the way, but I wanted loaves of bread from this dough, not buns.
  7. did not use a waterbath in the oven
  8. used eggwash on the dough after sprinkling white and black sesame seeds on the top
  9. instead of cutting the dough with a serrated knife, used scissors to cut into the dough after putting seeds and eggwash on top
  10. did not use steam in the oven
The recipe calls for cooking the broccoli for only about 4 minutes. I found I needed to cook the mixture of zucchini, onions and rosemary about twice that amount of time.

Once I had it cooked I let it cool a bit, then pureed it and then let it cool again before adding to the flour, salt and yeast mixture. This was due to knowing the mixture was still too hot and would have killed the yeast. Even though I had added the 2 3/4 c of cool water to the veggie mixture it was still too hot and definitely needed to be cooled more to room temp. I was still worried about it being too hot so once I had everything mixed together (remember this is no knead) I left the plastic wrap off the top to let the heat dissapate from the dough more.
My one mistake was letting the dough rise for two hours the way we usually do in the recipes from AB and HBin5.  By letting it rise 2 hours it had risen much higher and had alot of spring in it.  That's usually a good thing...but was difficult to move the dough to the two breadpans! 

As I tried to cut the dough in half to remove it easily I realized my mistake.  I then used a spatula to try to lift the dough out of the bowl in one fell swoop..HA!  I came out with a glob of very stretchy dough with so much stretch that I had to put it back in the bowl and try smaller portions!  It was funny!  It took me 4 "scoops" to get the dough into the first bread pan. 

The rest of the dough went into the second pan a bit easier because I was able to pour it in.  But since I had lost some of the spring in these maneuvers, I decided to let the bread rise again in the pans for about 30 min.  I will say that at this stage the dough smelled wonderful already!

The dough rose beautifully in the pans as you can see in the pic below!

To make sure my bread gets baked thoroughly, I use an ACU*RITE (tm) meat thermometer.  I put the probe in towards the end of the bake.  ACU*Rite has an alarm that I set to 204 degrees and that lets me know when the bread has reached the temp I've set it to. 

I noticed with these breads I had to let them bake for over an hour.  That may be because I'm using bread pans that are larger.  I used the entire 4#s of dough in just two bread pans.  While the bread did not brown as much on the top as I expected, I took it out when internal temp reached the forementioned 204 degrees. 

We needed to get to the gym for swimming so it had to cool longer than I usually let it...come on...who can resist cutting into bread fresh out of the oven.  Sigh, in this case I had to. 

The crumb was excellent and the vegtables' flavor was subtle but definitely there!

This picture does not do justice to the color of the crumb

When we returned I sliced off a nice bit and spread "Lemon Bag Cheese" that I made based on the recipe I found on our HBin5 leader's website.  It's a great recipe and extremely versatile.  In this case I had added fresh basil, rehydrated minced garlic, and sea salt.  For Michelle's recipe click here: homemade lemon bag cheese

Excellent lunch with a bottle of my homemade Hopdevil IPA!  What a life eh? 

To see what others did with their versions of this assignment click here:


  1. Nice rise and gorgeous crumb! Actually zucchini sounds better then the broccoli and I love the idea of adding sweet red onions and rosemary! Sounds so good!

    Your variations on the Lemon Bag Cheese sound wonderful. You sure have fun cooking!

  2. What a great post! It seems that there are many techniques out there that work. We can choose and combine the ones that fit us best. Your bread looked great and with the zucchini, onions and rosemary I bet it tasted great too.

  3. Testing the ability to post a comment.

  4. It all seems very forgiving - the crumb looks great.

  5. Really great! I admire your creativity and courage to experiment. It all looks great.

    Love the cheese, too!

  6. YOur bread does look good. Like the flavours in it.
    I still have to find time to get back to baking bread with you all.