I happened upon this recipe, which I modified slightly from Paula Deen, when I had an overabundance of zucchinis to consume from last year's farm share (more about farm shares in another post). It is a simple and tasty quickbread recipe that will yield 2-9x5" loaves, plenty to eat and share!
Start by grating some fresh zucchini. Then begin by combining ingredients. First, premix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, spices, baking soda and sugar) together.
Then, in a separate bowl, combine the wet (oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice).
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix (can do by hand) until well combined and moistened throughout. Then, fold in the nuts, if you are using them (I used pecans because that's what I had on hand -- yum).
Bake in 2-9x5x3" loaf pans (otherwise known as "standard loaf pans" -- the 8x4" loaf pans are 1 lb pans) for about 60 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
A note about the sugar: I've made this bread using a variety of sugar amounts, from 1 cup to 3 cups. It depends on what taste you are going for. 1 cup of sugar is hardly sweet at all, and would pair well with a glaze or icing. 2 cups is moderately sweet, and 3 (what the original recipe called for) is very sweet, like a zucchini pound cake. I personally like 2 cups the best, half brown and half white, but that is my tastebuds. My husband prefers the 1 cup version. Don't be afraid to experiment.
I like this recipe for several reasons: 1) It's tasty; 2) It's easy; 3) it keeps well; 4) It yields 2 loaves, which means it is plenty to feed a crowd; 5) It's different, I've found that people still are surprised when you tell them that you've baked zucchini into a sweet bread. It is also a fantastic way to use up excess zucchini, especially if you have a lot of it (it is always plentiful in the summer, especially if you have a garden or participate in a farm share). I'm fairly certain you could bake the same exact bread with the yellow variety of summer squash, as its texture and taste are roughly equivalent, but I've never personally tried it.
Having said that, I do have to be honest and say that I'm not sure if I would go out of my way to make this bread if I didn't have excess zucchini on hand…but this bread also makes a great base for other types of quickbread (I added apples instead of zucchinis in a previous post, and it was a yummy autumn treat). So if you have excess zucchini, or if you just want to try your hand at zucchini bread, this is a great recipe. And if you want to use it as a base for another type of quickbread, have fun experimenting and be sure to tell me how it turns out!
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar.
- In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice.
- Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in.
- Bake in 2 standard loaf pans (9x5x3"), sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean.
- Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.