Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Zucchini Chronicles Part 1: Zucchini Bread

OK... so perhaps four zucchini plants was a bit ambitious for the Happy Husband and I. I have been giving zucchini away like nobody's business and still they are getting out of control. It could be because there are actually two stalks per plant which means I really have more like eight zucchini plants for two people. So far, I have made two 2 loaf batches of zucchini bread but I'm thinking I'll have anywhere from 8 to 12 loaves in the freezer before the growing season is through. Traditional zucchini bread recipes call for some type of nut to provide a bit of extra texture and flavor. I have a mild pecan/walnut allergy so on the first batch I used sunflower kernels instead. The flavor was nice but the HH said he NEEDED chocolate in batch number two. Off I went to pick up some semi-sweet morsels and that's where this batch for the post comes in.

I am not one to use pre-written recipes often. However, baking is a different story. You will get very frustrated, very quickly if you attempt new things with out proper measurements. I used the Better Homes and Gardens recipe (click to see recipe) and substituted the nuts for the same measurement of chocolate chips. The first order of business is to grate the zucchini. I prefer using a box grater for this because it is very stable and contain the shavings until you are ready to use them. You will want to be careful to leave a stub of zucchini so that you don't grate fingernails or fingertips into your bread. While it would be a nice added protein, I don't think your Happy Partner's or other zucchini bread recipients would be too thrilled to find a fingernail in their pastry.

Next, follow the recipe by mixing the wet together in one bowl and the dry ingredients together in another bowl. The chocolate chips come in later so don't include them in either bowl just yet. Now you need to combine the wet and dry together. Make a well (a hole in the center) in the bowl of the dry ingredients. Dump the entire bowl of the wet into the dry. Mix with a spatula or fork until it is just combined, lumps are OK. The final step before loading the batter into your greased pan is to fold in the semi-sweet morsels. Take care not to over mix the batter as it can cause your bread to be tough.

Load your batter into your greased pan/pans (I did a double batch here) and pop them into your pre-heated oven. Follow the recipe directions on cooking time. About 5 minutes before the bread is supposed to be done you need to check it. Stick a toothpick into the center of your loaf. The recipe will tell you that if it doesn't come out clean you need to leave it in longer. I like to take it out when its slightly under cooked (the toothpick will be kind of gooey but not runny). This yields a more moist bread and I think it helps if you are going to freeze it after cooling.

Be sure to allow the loaves to fully cool before wrapping tightly with plastic wrap for storage. As you can see in the far loaf in the picture the crispy edges are pretty darn amazing when hot and I just couldn't help myself. My favorite way to enjoy the bread is for breakfast. I slice it, toast it and top it with whipped cream cheese. Its a convenient little to go package for my commute during the week. The Happy Husband has another preferred method of consumption. He likes it sliced and then slathered with cupcake icing. To each is own I suppose... Stay tuned for more zucchini recipes :)

No comments:

Post a Comment