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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Zucchini Bread

So, it's the middle of summer and you have SO much zucchini coming out of the garden you can't even give it away anymore! What do you do!? Well, you can make zucchini bread. There are dozens of recipes for zucchini bread and not a single one of them is the "right" one. You really just have to give it a try and find one that makes your taste buds happy. That's what we did. We found this recipe in "The Martha Stewart Cookbook: Collected Recipes For Every Day" on page 111. This recipe makes A LOT, 4 large loaves or 8 small to be exact. But the great thing about zucchini bread is that it freezes well. This particular version has a very rich flavor that won't make you feel guilty while eating it!

Here's the ingredient list:

6 eggs (fresh from the chicken coop)
3 1/2 cups sugar (on hand)
1 3/4 cups light vegetable oil (I used canola, on hand)
5 cups unpeeled grated zucchini (freshly picked from the garden)
5 teaspoons of vanilla extract (on hand)
6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (on hand)
2 teaspoons baking soda (on hand)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (on hand)
6 teaspoons cinnamon (on hand)
2 cups chopped walnuts (I happened to have these on hand)
1/4 cup walnut oil ($5.99 on sale a Kroger [you can find it where the olive oils are])

Now the recipe...

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray with vegetable oil your pans. I used 2 large loaf pans (9 X 5 X 3 inches) and 4 small loaf pans (6 X 3 X 1.5 inches) because that's what I had on available.

Beat the eggs until light. Add the sugar, mixing well.

Add the oil, vegetable oil, zucchini, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.

Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the dry mixture to the egg mixture a cupful at a time.

Stir until well blended.

Add the nuts and walnut oil.
 Spoon into the pans (the larger loafs took about 3 cups worth and the smaller ones about 1 1/2 cups) and bake for approximately 1 hour.

Cool on racks.
The total prep time was about 45 minutes. That included grating the zucchini and making everything look nice for pictures and actually taking the pictures. The total baking time for this recipe was about an hour and 10 minutes. I rotated the pans in the oven at about 30 minutes and took the smaller loaves out at 1 hour. I wasn't able to use my stand mixer for this recipe because there is so much batter. I ended up using a large bowl and stirring by hand instead (which isn't a big deal, I just love my KitchenAid). The bread turned out very full of flavor but not as sweet as a "southern style" recipe would end up being. As Jason would put it "It's got a northerner flavor to it" and as my friend Linda says "It tastes very healthy, but in a good way". I personally think its very good and would definitely make it again. I would give this recipe a rating of a 1 out of 10. It's a very straight forward, easy recipe with BIG results. I love to give handmade gifts and breads like this make excellent gifts, besides, who doesn't love a gift made from the heart?

The total cost of this recipe is only about $5.99. It would have been nothing, but we needed walnut oil. Now we have it on hand.

There are few things that I did different than the original recipe. For instance, in addition to the zucchini I used yellow and white squash. I didn't have enough zucchini yet but had the other squash handy. It didn't effect the taste one bit, if anything it made it prettier by adding color! I used cooking spray when I needed to grease my pans and I also don't have a sifter (I don't know of anyone that does...). So what I do when it calls for use of a sifter is to combine all the dry ingredients together and whisk it them with a whisk. I find that it mixes the dry ingredients together while breaking up any flour clumps.

I hope this recipe break down helps and you try this one out for yourself  :)

Best of luck!

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