How to Make Vegetable Bread

 Adding Fresh Vegetables to Your Bread

We have a vegetable bread mix called Garden Harvest. I love it.  It’s loaded with little bits of dried garden vegetables.  It tastes a lot like the garden vegetable crackers you get in the store, but in a yeast bread.

But you can do even better with fresh vegetables.

I have an old, battered and torn cookbook with vegetable bread recipes.  The author has fascinating recipes.  He grates vegetables, almost any vegetable—like grated beets or squash–and adds it to his bread dough.

The only problem is the water.  Some vegetables, like zucchini, are 80% to 90% water so you have to remove some that water before adding it to the dough.  You can do some of that with salt.  (But don’t use too much salt; yeast hates salt.)

Any time that you add vegetables to your bread, be prepared to adjust the amount of flour that you use. Vegetables will add moisture to your bread, and how they are grated or pureed (along with the type of vegetables) will determine the moisture added. The kneading process will also extract some water from the vegetables.

But it’s easy to add a little more flour.  It’s a little more difficult to dribble in a bit of water. Because it is easier to add flour than water, start your dough a bit on the wet side and add flour as needed.

Make sure the bread is completely baked.  Get it to 195 to 200 degrees with your insta-read thermometer.  If it’s not thoroughly baked, the water in the vegetables will make it soggy.

You’ll find that you can use many of the vegetables from the garden in your recipes—adding color, flavor, and nutrition to your baking.

Carrot and Zucchini Bread Recipe

This is an example of the vegetables you can add to your bread.  Zucchini has a ton of water, so salt is used to draw some of the moisture from the squash.

Unlike the quick bread recipes for zucchini squash, this is a yeasted recipe. It is a hearty bread with a good texture.  The carrots give it a surprising chewiness.

It’s got lots of moisture in it so make sure that you bake it thoroughly, at least to 190 degrees.

This is not a sweet bread recipe, so it makes wonderful sandwiches and toast. I love this with Harvest Peach jam.

Ingredients

3 cups coarsely grated zucchini squash
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups coarsely grated carrots
3 1/2 cups white bread flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 seven-gram packet of instant yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water, 110 degrees
2 cups fine ground whole wheat flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Grate the zucchini. Place the zucchini in colander over the sink and stir in the salt. The salt will draw water from the zucchini. Grate the carrots and set them aside.
  2. Place the white bread flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of your stand-type mixer. Add the warm water and beat with a dough hook until it is partially mixes. The purpose of this mix is to hydrate the yeast.
  3. Squeeze the water from the zucchini. Add the vegetables to the mixer bowl along with the whole wheat flour, the dough conditioner, the rest of the salt, the butter, and the cinnamon. Knead with the dough hook at medium speed for four minutes. You will likely need to adjust the moisture level either by adding flour or water. Start out a little on the dry side as the kneading tends to wring water from the zucchini. Set the dough in a greased bowl, turn once, and cover. Set the bowl in a warm place and allow it to double in size.
  4. Grease two large loaf pans. Form two loaves, cover them, and let them rise until doubled and puffy.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until done. The internal temperature should be at 190 to 200 degrees. If this bread is under baked, with all the vegetables, it will tend to be soggy. Remove the bread from the pans and let the loaves cool on a wire rack.

To get more like this . . .

We’re baking in our test kitchen every day. If you would like the best recipes and methods from our test kitchen, just tell us where to send them.

Enter your email address here. You’ll get tested recipes and proven methods to make the very best desserts and treats.