Thursday, July 10, 2008

Zucchini Bread

Freshly baked zucchini bread with homemade Strawberry Jam!

*I finally made this again, so I've added some pictures!

So, along with a bunch of ripe apricots, I also keep finding unnaturally large zucchini in my back yard that I can't seem to keep up with. I'm not sure how they do it, but every time I check my plants there seems to be another gigantoid zucchini hiding under all the huge leaves. Big zucchini aren't really good for too much, but they do make a mean bread!

You obviously don't have to use oversized zucchini for this recipe, but if you do, be sure to cut out and discard the spongy, seedy center part and only use the firm, outer flesh.

This recipe is pretty loosely adapted from the King Arthur Flour Cookbook's Lemon Zucchini Muffins. I substituted half the white flour for whole wheat pastry flour, used flax seeds instead of eggs, and adapted a few other things to make it as a loaf instead of muffins. The last time I made it, I tried using an even larger ratio of whole wheat pastry flour and less sugar, but it tasted too much like wheat bread and not enough like zucchini bread. You can use all white flour if you want, but I like the combo.

Zucchini Bread
Makes 2 loaves.

2 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
3 T. Baking Powder
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 Cup Soy Milk
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
4 T. Finely Ground Flax Seeds mixed with 1/2 Cup Water
2 1/2 Cups Grated Zucchini, packed, excess water squeezed out
1 1/2 Cups Walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 Cup Raisins, optional

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease 2 bread pans with oil or margarine and dust lightly with flour.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (except the walnuts) in mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the soy milk, oil, and flax mixture (I grind whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder to make a powder) .

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients. With a wooden spoon, mix until well combined, but don't overmix.

Add the grated zucchini and fold in. Add 1 cup walnut and the raisins, reserving the rest of the walnuts for the tops of the loaves. Spoon the batter evenly into the 2 pans and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts.

Bake on the center rack for about 65 minutes, until the tops are a deep, golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow the bread to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. The cooler the bread, the less likely it will squash down and get dense when you cut it. I actually like the bread best the next day after it's cooled completely!


Chris said...

I will definitely use this recipe, but my zuchini plants are still only leaves. I'll wait it out, as it seems almost criminal to buy zuchini at this time of the year when all neighbors are trying to unload theirs. Do I need to grind the flax seed? or do I purchase it already prepared?

Ashley said...

I also am excited to try this when my zucchini grows! (Ok, if my zucchini grows.)

Did I tell you the two plants you gave me are my biggest and best? My other pumpkin seeds never sprouted.

Ashley C. said...

Mom-I think you can buy flax seed already ground. I have a bunch, though if you ever want some. You can keep it in the fridge or freezer.
Ashley- I'm so glad your plants are growing! I had a few more volunteer pumpkins sprout so I could probably dig one up and give it to you if you want.

Molly said...

I definitely want to make zuchini bread this week. I'm sure our house guests would appreciate it, too. I'll try your recipe!