"Sponge" Bread

HH and I went garage saling Saturday morning, looking for “things we can’t live without.” As we stopped and looked at one yard sale, we noticed a bunch of squash sitting, available. I asked the seller, “how much for the zucchini?” “They’re free, please take them. We can’t use any more and our neighbors don’t want any more.”

Very pleased, since our squash got buried by the over-enthusiast tomato plants early on, I swooped up two large zucchini. Finally, I thought, I’ll be able to make zucchini bread this season from home-grown zucchini – even if it’s not from our garden.

I brought the zucchini back to the Diner; after we found a few things we couldn’t live without, and prepared for zucchini bread. The first obstacle, no cinnamon. Lots of ginger and nutmeg but no cinnamon. How is that possible? So across the street I went with my tsp in hand to Patty’s, her roommate Donna found some cinnamon thankfully.

Next came the lemon zest, no fresh lemons on hand. Although, the recipe calls for vegetable oil but I have a wonderful citrus olive oil from Temecula Olive Oil that I bought during the San Diego Co. Fair, hopefully this will due.

I had everything out; measured the dry ingredients, set out the wet ingredients and started to grate the zucchini. After a few passes on the grater, the zucchini was just too big to hold as one piece so I cut it in half. As I looked at the center of the fresh cut zucchini, it occurred to me something was not quite right. The center core of the zucchini was much more fibrous and the seeds were much firmer (not edible) like a zucchini should be.

I thought back to the morning, the guy I got the zucchini from said that the zucchini were hybrids of some sort. They were volunteers from last year, and they had zucchini, patty pan squash and a few other things in the area, but this year’s crop tasted fine and looked fine. I remember when I first picked up the zucchini that it was a little light for its size. Hmm, curious.

As I looked at the core of this zucchini I had just cut, I realized it might be a luffa gourd hybrid. Luffa gourds are in the squash family and look a lot like zucchini when they grow, but you let them cure on the vine to dry; harvest them and dry them more, finally peeling away the hard exterior when they feel like they weigh nothing to reveal a natural sponge.

Now I wonder, is this going to work? I know you can eat luffas like zucchini if you treat them like zucchini when they are growing and simply slice them up. Although I’ve grown luffas for a sponge, I have never harvested them to eat – looks like I’m going to this time.

Well, with everything measured and prepped, it looks like I’m committed to this bread. Whatever it is.

So I shred – look how the core fibers continue to stay in the center of the squash and turn back inside, I kept having to cut and clean out the fibers as I went.

And mix. And pour.

And bake. And cool.

And slice.

And butter.

And eat.
Tastes just like it’s supposed to. And the texture is fine too. Who knew “sponge” bread could be so good!


  1. That's amazing. I've never heard of anything like this.