Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Zucchini Bread...chock full of stuff

I came across this recipe on 101 Cookbooks and I thought that the recipe was so interesting that I had to try it (with minor changes). It's an involved recipe, so I asked CB if he would help me make it, his tasks were simple; chop the pecans, measure the sugar and crack the eggs. Three things. He bitched and moaned at first that he wanted to go watch sports center, wah wah wah, but I wore him down with a little guilt trip about having already spent half an hour in the kitchen over the hot stove (in 85 degree weather no less) stirring his risotto that he had for dinner and the least he could do was chop a handful of nuts for me. So we assembled the ingredients together, and he was indeed a big help.

Fast forward to the next morning when CB and I are eating breakfast. I try a little bit of the bread, and damn, it's really good. I look at CB and say "this bread is really good." Do you know what his reply was? His reply was "MY BREAD". My bread, like he made the whole thing by himself, found the recipe and did all the work, not his three tasks; chop pecans, measure sugar, crack eggs. My Bread, Ha!

I start laughing and he looks at me and says, "Yep, my bread, I couldn't have made it without you though, you were a big help, thanks."


And this morning I saw him with a piece of this bread as his breakfast #2, and I shit you not the piece was four inches think, it was more like a slab of bread, not a slice. So I guess it's pretty good.

Recipe: Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, plus a few to sprinkle on top (I used pecans)
1/3 cup poppy seeds (optional)
zest of two lemons (optional)
1/2 cup crystalized ginger, finely chopped (optional) (I used 1/4 C)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large (preferably organic) eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium), skins on, squeeze some of the moisture out and then fluff it up again before using

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or apf flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon curry powder (optional) (I did not use)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (this was not in the original recipe, I added)

Special equipment: two 1 pound loaf pans (5 x 9 inches)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter the two loaf pans, dust them with a bit of flour and set aside. Alternately, you can line the pans with a sheet of parchment. If you leave a couple inches hanging over the pan, it makes for easy removal after baking. Just grab the parchment "handles" and lift the zucchini bread right out.

In a small bowl combine the walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest, and ginger. Set aside.
In a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until mixture comes together and is no longer crumbly. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and then the zucchini (low speed if you are using a mixer).

In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and curry powder. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition.

By hand, fold in the walnut, poppy seed, lemon zest, and crystalized ginger mixture. Save a bit of this to sprinkle on the tops of the zucchini loaves before baking for a bit of texture. Avoid over mixing the batter, it should be thick and moist, not unlike a butter cream frosting.

Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans. Make sure it is level in the pans, by running a spatula over the top of each loaf. Bake for about 40-45 minutes on a middle oven rack. I like to under bake my zucchini bread ever so slightly to ensure it stays moist. Keep in mind it will continue to cook even after it is removed from the oven as it is cooling. Remove from the oven and cool the zucchini bread in pan for about ten minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling - if you leave them in their pans, they will get sweaty and moist (not in a good way) as they cool.

Makes 2 loaves.

Rating = So God Damn Good
(Although you must know this bread is better the day after it has been baked and the bread has had a chance to get moist.)


Patricia Scarpin said...

It looks wonderful, JB!
Men are funny creatures. Love to make them feel guilty, they do that to us all the time, after all.

wheresmymind said...

Lot's o' swearin' in this post!! You sure you aren't a sailor? ;)

Anonymous said...

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Thanks! I love your recipe rating system. ;)
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JB said...

I cannot tell you how happy it makes me that you enjoy reading my blog. You're comment put the biggest smile on my face. Thanks for commenting, sharing, and not being completely put off my my truck driver mouth. I hope your daughter is feeling better.