It is finally fall in New England. The air is crisp and cool, the leaves are starting to change and that means one thing…baking! I wake up very early each morning with the pups so I often have time to throw together a quick bread or some scones before the rest of the house wakes up. This zucchini bread from Renee Erickson’s wonderful book A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus is my absolute favorite. The addition of olive oil, lemon zest and ground ginger take the edge off of the sweetness of most quick breads. I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe (mostly my own baking wisdom in the instructions) but this recipe was pretty much perfect to begin with. Give this recipe a chance this weekend and let me know how it goes!
Zucchini Bread from A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus
3 cups grated zucchini (from about 1 pound of zucchini)
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Zest of 2 lemons
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup olive oil
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Use a baking spray to coat a 9 x 5 loaf pan (or if you want to be old school use butter and flour).
Grate the zucchini on the largest holes on a box grater.
Toss the zucchini with 1/4 cup of the sugar (when I say sugar I mean just regular old Domino sugar sugar). Place the sugared zucchini in a colander in the sink. Every few minutes, while you make the rest of recipe, press down on the zucchini to squeeze out the moisture from the zucchini.
In a medium bowl (the one you put popcorn in, you know the size), combine the flour, salt, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda. Some recipes will tell you to sift the ingredients together. That’s just one more thing to clean that is kind of annoying to wash. Instead, just take your handy dandy whisk and whisk the ingredients together. It will fluff up the flour and combine all of the ingredients thoroughly.
In another bowl (shown here is our lovely Yelloware bowl) combine the remaining 1 3/4 cups sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. I like to use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the ingredients.
With your hand mixer mixing at low speed, add the olive oil in a thin steady stream. Make sure the olive oil is well-combined as you go.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Don’t over mix. Just makes sure all of the dry ingredients has been mixed in.
Squeeze, smoosh and press the zucchini one last time and then fold into the batter.
Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for 75 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. This takes longer than I think it will just about every time. Every once and awhile my zucchini bread has overflowed and the resulting clean up was a pain in the ass. Just in case I throw a half sheet pan on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any spills.
Cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes or so before taking the loaf out of the pan.