As much as I love winter with it’s snow and ice and woolly hats and numb toes, I have never got into winter sports. D, with the patience of a saint, has tried to teach me to snowboard three times now. Each time on Cairngorm mountain I thoroughly enjoy the morning of sliding and falling and sliding and falling and falling and falling and OH MY GOODNESS, I’M TURNING! and falling. By lunch time, however, my swollen, blueberry bruised knees make it impossible to fall anymore and I inevitably slink off to the Ptarmigan Restaurant to read my book over a steaming hot chocolate whilst D hits the slopes again.
It’s his passion. He loves it. And he’s out in New Zealand indulging in this passion right now (that’s him in the photo), tearing up Treble Cone and every other ski resort in the country with enough snow to satisfy him.
Cooking is my passion. When D called yesterday morning from Wanaka he raved about the lines he has boarded in the last week. In turn, I babbled about my ricotta success, the veg in my garden and my bread making adventures. The latter of these may not sound as bold a mission as ski-ing down an off-piste gully in a raging blizzard but, for me, it was the culinary equivalent.
As previously mentioned I am not a baker. Despite this, when Deb suggested using my courgettes to make zucchini bread (I use the American term as this is something that is not typically made in the UK) I was interested. I imagined a deeply savoury loaf to toast and top with strong cheese or a thick slathering of butter. But zucchini bread, I discovered, is sweet. It’s a courgette carrot-cake and, as lovely as this sounds, I wanted something savoury.
The following recipe is adapted from an Austalian site called Taste. It was my second attempt at making bread (the first was a year ago and I don’t want to talk about it!) and it turned out pretty damned well! Delicious toasted and topped with cheddar.
Courgette and Pumpkin Seed Bread
350g wholemeal flour
175g plain flour
2 sachets dried yeast
1 tblspn salt
2 medium courgettes, grated
75g pumpkin seeds
375ml warm water
40g butter, melted
Plenty of plain flour, to dust
- In a colander, salt the grated courgette and leave to drain for an hour. Squeeze out excess moisture using a clean tea towel.
- Sieve flours, yeast and salt into a large bowl. Add the courgette and pumpkin seeds.
- Make a hole in the dried ingredients and add the water and melted butter.
- Mix well until mixture turns into a dough.
- Knead dough on a well floured surface for 15 minutes.
- Split dough into two, shape into balls and place each in a bowl covered with a damp towel. Leave for an hour.
- Knead risen dough until it reduces to its original size. Shape into a ball, split into smaller balls or place in loaf tin (depending on kind of loaf or rolls you want). Set aside for another 25 mins.
- Bake at 200oC for 40 mins or until golden brown.