Friday, September 11, 2015

Moroccan Zucchini Bread

This bread has the flavors of Morocco.  Smoky cumin, roasted pistachios, red bell pepper, garlic, parsley, red chili pepper flakes...  We really enjoyed it.  I liked mine for breakfast with a little butter and tomatoes on the side.

Zucchini Bread with Moroccan Flavors
Adapted from this recipe at My Recipes.

3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
Biga (recipe below), at room temperature
1 cup grated zucchini (about 4 oz.)
About 4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
3 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted roasted pistachios
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
1 1/2 teaspoons hot chili flakes
About 1/4 cup cornmeal

Make biga the night before you make this bread.  Combine 1 1/2 cups bread flour and yeast with about a cup of water.  Add more water until you get a soft dough. Let sit for 12 to 24 hours.

The next day...
Add 3/4 cup cold water to the biga along with the zucchini, 3 cups bread flour, whole-wheat flour, and salt. Beat with paddle attachment on low speed, or stir with a heavy spoon, until well blended. Gradually beat or stir in 1 1/2 more cups bread flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until mixture forms a soft dough.

Switch to a dough hook and beat on medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic and pulls cleanly from sides of bowl but is still slightly sticky, 6 to 8 minutes; or scrape dough onto a lightly floured board and knead by hand until smooth and elastic but still slightly sticky, 7 to 10 minutes.

Knead in parsley, bell pepper, pistachios, cumin, and chili flakes and beat in with dough hook or knead in by hand just until incorporated (after mixing in by hand, place dough in a bowl).

Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let dough rise at room temperature away from any drafts, until doubled, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Gently fold dough over a few times to expel the gas.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rise again until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Or for a slow rise, chill at least 8 and up to 12 hours; let come to room temperature, about 3 hours.

Scrape dough onto a oiled board or counter,  knead briefly to expel air. Divide in half. With lightly oiled hands, gather each half into a ball, then stretch and tuck edges under to shape into a smooth oval with slightly tapered ends (about 8 in. long and 4 in. wide in the center). Place loaves on a well-oiled surface, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until they're slightly puffy and hold the imprint of a finger when lightly pressed, about 1 1/2 hours.

Place loaves on greased sheets and place on oven rack in lower third of a 450° regular or convection oven.

Spray 3 to 4 squirts of water on floor or sides of oven, taking care not to spray near heating element or light bulb, then quickly close door.

Bake bread, spraying twice more at 5-minute intervals during the first 10 minutes of baking, until crust is well browned, 35 to 45 minutes total.
10. Transfer loaves to a rack to cool for at least 1 hour.

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