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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Zucchini Bread

I'm bitter that I am still without a garden. We're making progress and I should have my raised beds in place in time for a fall/winter garden. That's one nice thing about living in the deep south: you can garden year-round. Fortunately, I still have produce put up from when I was gardening a third of an acre.

Zucchini is one of those vegetables that everyone jokes about in the summer. Have you ever had so much that you were giving it away and then you gave it away so much that your friends had to ask you to stop leaving on their doorstep in the middle of the night? If so, I have an answer for you! Grate it and freeze it. I am still making delicious zucchini bread from zucchini I grew the year before last. It still works and tastes great!

The recipe I use for bread requires 2 cups of grated zucchini, so I put 2 cups of fresh grated zucchini in freezer bags, expelled all the air I could, and put them in the freezer. When I want to use some, I simply thaw it out and use it as is. What you'll see is that freezing has destroyed the cellular integrity of the squash, but for this application, it doesn't matter. See how it doesn't look like two cups anymore? Don't worry. Just pretend that it is still 2 cups and proceed. Just don't drain off the liquid that comes out when it's thawed or your bread will turn out on the dry side.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Then mix together the eggs and sugar and beat until it is nice and thick. Add the oil and vanilla and beat again until you have a nice thick batter that leaves a ribbon on itself.

Mix the dry ingredients in a separate, small bowl. I love the combination of the cinnamon and zucchini. Whoever originally thought of that combo deserves some recognition!

Add the dry ingredients to the batter along with the grated zucchini. Try not to mix more than is necessary to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Set the batter aside while you prepare the pans.

In my experience, even when using non-stick bakeware, this bread does not like to come out of the pans cleanly. To combat this problem, I spray the inside of the pans with cooking spray and then line the bottom and two sides with parchment. Loaves can be easily and cleanly lifted out of the pan every time!

Pour the batter into the pans. This recipe will fill either 2 - 8x4 inch loaf pans or 4 mini-loaf pans. I prefer using the mini-loaf pans because it allows me to pull out smaller amounts at a time from the freezer (I usually freeze three of the loaves for future use). But the bread turns out beautifully in either size. Regardless of the size you use, evenly distribute the batter between the pans.

Bake at 325 degrees F for about an hour for full loaves and about 45 minutes for minis. You'll want to start checking them early as there is nothing worse than over baked zucchini bread. My favorite part of this bread is the top crust. It is sweet and crunchy with a hint of spice.

Zucchini Bread
Yield: 2 - 8x4 loaves or 4 mini-loaves

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Beat the eggs and sugar together until they are thick. Add the oil and vanilla and continue beating until thick again and batter leaves a ribbon on itself.

In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and grated zucchini to the batter and mix thoroughly. Divide batter evenly into either 2 8x4 inch loaf pans or 4 mini-loaf pans that have been sprayed with cooking oil and then lined with a strip of parchment. Bake minis for about 45 minutes and full sized loaves for about an hour. Be sure to start checking loaves early for doneness and remove from the oven as soon as a tester comes out clean. Let cool for five minutes before removing from pans.

1 comment:

  1. I love the concept for your blog. I definitely agree that things are better from scratch: tastier and usually healthier as well. Thanks for the recipes and this bread looks great. I have some zuchinni fresh from the farm, so I might have to try it this week :)


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