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Zucchini Bread

August 2, 2011

With the plethora of zucchini and summer squash we’re receiving in our CSA box each week, many of the recipes I will be posting over the next couple weeks will feature these tasty vegetables! Because zucchini always makes its appearance in the garden/farm suddenly and abundantly, one common baked good seen this time of year is zucchini bread, which can be approached a couple of different ways. Some recipes load zucchini bread full of chocolate chips and other items so that looking at a slice, you can barely see the zucchini! I prefer the lighter-handed approach with a few spices (and of course nuts, because I love nuts). This recipe from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book takes the second approach, and I love the way it turned out! The bread was moist enough that it could be eaten without any toppings (although I love cream cheese on zucchini bread). The nuts added a nice toasted flavor, and you could actually still see the green zucchini flecks inside the loaf. It was a big hit with my coworkers too – everything but two end pieces was gone by the end of the day!

Zucchini is so moist that it’s imperative that it be squeezed out as much as possible to avoid making the bread soggy. Because this recipe calls for a fairly large amount of zucchini, the easiest way I found to extract most of the water was to roll it up and wring it out over the sink (almost to the point of the paper towel breaking), rather than pressing it between paper towels on the counter. If you choose to add the nuts, the easiest way to toast the small amount called for is to place them in a small skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant. Be sure not to over-toast to the point of becoming dark brown, or they will add a burnt flavor to the bread.

Zucchini bread

Makes one 8.5″ loaf

Ingredients

  • 2  small zucchini (1 pound), ends trimmed
  • 2  cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2  cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
  • 6  tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/4  cup plain yogurt
  • 1  tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2  cup (2 ounces) pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)

Directions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8.5-by-4.5-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Shred the zucchini using the large holes of a box grater. Squeeze the shredded zucchini between several layers of paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, melted butter, eggs, yogurt, and lemon juice together until smooth. Gently fold the shredded zucchini and the egg mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined (do not overmix). Gently fold in the pecans.
  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with jut a few crumbs attached, about 1 hour, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
  4. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour before serving.

One comment

  1. […] to mention still having a ton of zucchini and yellow squash in the fridge (though the 2 loaves of zucchini bread that my friend and I made over the weekend helped put a big dent in […]



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