Garden Mint and Courgette Batards

Mint and Courgette bread
I baked this bread for a barbecue. My father-in-law was ambitiously spit-roasting joints of lamb over a fire and I wanted to create something that would compliment the meat. Hence the mint.

I added courgette to give more colour and moisture to the dough. The mint flavour comes through nicely. It's definitely there, but not over-powering.

I wanted to call this "Fresh Mint and Courgette" but that reminded me of toothpaste, so I opted for "Garden Mint" instead - I did pick the mint from my own garden.

fresh garden mint

You can bake this dough in any shape you like. I was already baking cob loaves and tomato and chorizo curls, so I make the mint and courgette dough into batards for some variety.

And here's the recipe:

Garden Mint and Courgette Batards

400g/13 oz/2⅔ cups wholemeal flour
100g/3 oz/⅔ cup strong white flour
1½ tsp yeast  (I put a bit extra yeast because I thought the courgette might make the dough heavy)
2 tsp salt
150g/5 oz/1 cup grated courgette
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
300g/10 fl oz/1¼ cups water

freshly chopped garden mint

grated courgette

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together to form a rough dough.

Knead the mixture on a clean surface for 10 minutes or so, until you have a smooth dough. Leave the dough to ferment for about 45 minutes until it doubles in size.

homemade courgette and mint bread dough

When you return to the dough, shape it into whatever shape you want to bake it in. You could make one loaf, in a 2lb loaf tin, about eight bread rolls or, as I did, two free form loaves.

The batard shape, that I made, involves two shaping stages.

Firstly, divide the dough into two pieces and flatten each one out, then roll it back up like a Swiss-roll. Leave this pre-shape to rest for about 15 minutes before continuing with the second stage.

Fold your pre-shaped log of dough into three, lengthways, carefully pressing the joints to seal them.

Using your palms, roll the dough across the bench top to elongate it at either end. A traditional batard is pointy at the tips and fat in the middle.

Place the batards on a baking tray to prove.

courgette batards

mint and courgette bread proving

I like to spray (or brush) mine with water, then sprinkle on some flour for a finishing touch.

batards proving

When the batards have had chance to prove for about 45 minutes, pre-heat the oven to a very high temperature (240oC/450F in my case).

At this stage, you can make some artistic slashes in the top of the batard, with a serrated knife.

batards scored

As you pop the bread into the oven, turn it down a little bit, to be less fierce. Mine works well at 180oC/360F.

Bake the loaves for 20 minutes, until they are golden brown, come off the tray easily and sound hollow when you knock on their bottoms.

mint and courgette batards

mint and courgette batards

mint and courgette batards

mint and courgette batards

mint and courgette batards

And there you have it. We served ours with the usual lashings of butter, of course, but this would go well with pate or humus too.

In other news...

I'm wondering: Are you having trouble commenting on this site?

I know that some people are confused about the various ID options that you need to sign into the comments section. For that reason, I have decided to reinstate the option to comment anonymously.

I'd removed that option because I was getting a lot of spam comments, from passing robots, I guess, but let's see how we get on with the anonymous option for now. I'd hate to think people were put off from commenting because the openID sign-in was a step too far!

Bake Beautiful Bread Tutorials - Coming Soon

Behind the scenes, I'm filming some tutorials about how to shape your bread so that it looks artistically pleasing. I'll include some tips about finishing touches, glazing and scoring too. I'm not sure when this course will launch, yet, but watch this space, I'm working on it!


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  1. Definitely one to try as there's a glut of courgettes at the moment. Thanks for this.

  2. I made this last night and it's so gorgeous I have blogged about it this morning with a link to over here. I found there was a bit too much water and will try less next time but apart from that it was great and the taste is wonderful.

    Thank you very much! I did enjoy!

    1. Thanks Joy! I loved reading your post! Good advice about the water - I suspect some courgettes are wetter than others. I love your blog! I popped a link on my Facebook page so others can find you too. Thanks!

  3. I also suspect it is something to do with how much they get chopped. My Thermomix does a very good fine chop. Maybe, when it's grated, some water just runs out and is discarded.
    Thank you very much for your comment and for posting the link, that's really kind of you.
    J x

    1. My chunky gratings were quite dry, maybe the Thermomix has a quite different effect. Interesting!

  4. This was wonderful - made last night and it didn't last long. I used all the water in the recipe and it was quite tacky and sticky but not too wet. Here is ours:

    1. Brilliant Hayley, yours look great! I'm absolutely delighted that you've had success with this recipe and it's really great of you to blog about it too. Thanks!


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