Friday, February 28, 2020

Zucchini Bread

It seemed like I should have posted something like this already, but apparently I haven’t. It’s right up my alley, since I have so many banana breads, root vegetable or squash/pumpkin breads, zucchini muffins... Basically, delicious things that sounds healthful and often taste even better the next day. So here is Smitten Kitchen’s ultimate zucchini bread. It’s one of those beauties that are sprinkled in sugar and have a shatteringly crisp crust on top, along with a moist, flavorful crumb. In order to keep the crumb tender and the top crisp, Deb Perelman recommends storing the bread right in the pan, with some foil covering the cut end, leaving the top exposed. This zucchini bread was absolutely delicious!

For me, there are two things that stand out in this recipe: it calls for a weight of zucchini (which is brilliant, because individual zucchinis can vary so much in size that results are bound to be uneven otherwise), and the zucchini isn’t wrung out over the sink, so it actually keeps its moisture. The recipe specified that it should be grated on the large holes of a box grater, but I used my food processor for faster prep. I added the extra step of whisking the dry ingredients together, because it seems to me like that’s a better way of ensuring their even distribution.

If you have any leftover zucchini (as I did), let me suggest this savory vegetable pancake recipe to use it up. You don’t even have to clean the food processor first!

2 cups (260 g.) all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. fine sea or table salt
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
2 cups (13 oz. or 370 g.) grated, packed zucchini, not wrung out
2 large eggs
2/3 cup of a neutral oil (I use safflower), olive oil, or melted lactose-free butter
½ cup (95 g.) packed dark brown sugar
½ cup (100 g.) granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. (25 g.) raw or turbinado sugar

Heat oven to 350 °F. Lightly coat a 6-cup or 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

Place grated zucchini in a large bowl and add oil, eggs, sugars, and vanilla. Use a fork to mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the raw or turbinado sugar — don’t skimp. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick or tester inserted into the middle cake but also into the top of the cake, closer to the dome, comes out batter-free.

Let cool completely in the pan. Leave in pan, unwrapped, overnight or 24 hours, until removing (carefully, so as not to ruin flaky lid) and serving in slices. Zucchini bread keeps for 4 to 5 days at room temperature (see note above).

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