During the height of gardening season I do a fair bit of scheming to use up the many veggies that fill my counters. The other day I added grated zucchini to my favorite french bread recipe, and was delighted with the results: beautifully-rising, great-tasting loaves with flecks of lovely color.

Garden French Bread

Makes 2 loaves

  • 6+ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 T. yeast
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 cups very warm tap water (115-120 degrees)
  • 1 cup grated zucchini

Combine yeast, sugar and water in the bowl of a Kitchen Aid mixer (or other large bowl) and let sit 5 minutes. Add salt, zucchini, and 3 cups of the flour to the mixer. Beat with the dough hook attachment at medium speed for 3-5 minutes. Add more flour gradually until dough is smooth and elastic. Continue to knead (with the dough hook or by hand) for another 5 minutes. Leave dough in bowl and let rise til doubled, 30-60 minutes.

Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into two pieces and form into loaves. Place into greased bread pans. If desired, lightly brush bread with a mixture of 1 egg white and 1 T. water. Cover lightly, and let rise in a warm place for 40-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake bread for 40-45 minutes, or until lightly brown and hollow-sounding when thumped.