Monday, August 28, 2017

Zucchini Bread

I know what they're saying. Summer is almost over. Back to school is in full swing. I ate pumpkin spice Cheerios with pumpkin spice coffee for breakfast. I had a pumpkin beer yesterday.

But this recipe cannot wait until next summer. There's still plenty of zucchini at the farmers market and grocery store. Even if it isn't the prettiest zucchini, it will still make an AMAZING loaf of Zucchini Bread.

This bread is so simple to make, but it is certain to impress. Loaded with zucchini, cinnamon and sweet vanilla extract, it's everything you could want whether it's for breakfast, a snack, or dessert. In my mind, zucchini bread is banana bread's far superior cousin. The zucchini is not nearly as heavy as banana, both in texture and in flavor, and thanks to the extra water in the summer squash this bread stays fresh and moist for days and days!

I can promise you that wherever you take this bread, everyone will be begging for the recipe! Might I recommend it for your Labor Day barbecues or to bring as a thank you for your next overnight host?

After making this bread many, many times, I have a few tips for you to make this as delicious as possible!

- This bread requires quite a bit of zucchini, so I find a food processor with the grater blade is the fastest and most efficient way to grate it.
- I have used the small grate and the large grate, and although the flavor is just wonderful either way, I prefer the texture of the finer grate.
- I like to make this in one big 10 inch/1.5 pound loaf pan. This requires a little extra cook time depending on your oven. Another alternative would be to cook this up in 2 smaller (8.5 inch) loaf pans instead. Be sure to check the done-ness about 10 minutes sooner to ensure the edges don't get overcooked.
- To remove as much excess moisture as possible, sprinkle the grated zucchini with a pinch of salt and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Using 2 paper towels, press out as much water as possible and drain.

Here's what you need for Zucchini Bread* (Print Recipe!)

3 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups finely grated zucchini, strained of as much water as possible
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Here's what you do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 10-inch loaf pan generously with baking spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla until combined. Stir in zucchini.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until combined. Use a strong rubber spatula to be sure no dry bits remain in the batter. Transfer to the loaf pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I rotate the pan a few times to ensure even baking. The top may still be slightly wet but if the toothpick come out clean, the bread is done.

Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before removing from the pan. Run a sharp knife along the edges to ensure the bread comes out cleanly. Enjoy with a smear of butter and a drizzle of honey. Bread will keep, well wrapped, at room temperature for 3 days and in the fridge for 5 days.

*Recipe adapted just slightly from Yellow Bliss Road

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