October 13, 2014

Not-So-Bad Zucchini Bread

Not-So-Bad Zucchini Bread
Actually, despite the title, this is one of my prouder kitchen accomplishments. This last week I think I've spent four days in the kitchen working on a couple of long-term food projects, one of which has taken 18 months to be ready.....

I've been in there long enough to realize I wish my counters were about an inch, maybe an inch and half taller than they were, but that isn't a quick or inexpensive fix.

Also happening last week was the end of a contest for my Toastmasters club and I was on the losing non-winning side of the club. As 1st runner up in a contest with only two teams, my group was unceremoniously re-named "Steve's Snack Squad" and we were tasked with bringing food for this week's meeting.

Now I've been experimenting with  Zucchini Bread off-and-on over the years and I finally think I've got my preferred recipe dialed-in now. I've gotten tons of good feedback on this recipe and figured I'd share it with the world instead of hording it myself.....

.....but before I do that I'd like to make a suggestion (or two) when it comes to Zucchini that seems rather simple, but isn't something that a lot of people think about. Now I haven't planted Zucchini in years because I simply don't know enough people to offload the fruit onto. Last year I found a large bag of zukes affixed to my doorknob where some "Zucchini Robin Hood" decided to take from the rich and give to the poor. Actually it was my neighbor who found out through my wife I'd take excess, but I didn't learn that until later in the day. Anyway, my mother plants this overly prolific fruit and when she decides to make Zucchini Bread she makes anywhere from four to 24 loaves at a time!

When I found out I asked the common-sense question of why? Why do you heat up your house in the middle of summer to make more bread than even your grand-kids could eat?

She just responded in a matter-of-fact fashion along the lines of, "I just bake until I run out of Zucchini!"

When I found out I mentioned to her that you could eat the flowers in a salad, reducing the sheer quantity of fruits and Zucchini freezes well. The flowers were a new one for her, but evidently she had been freezing the zukes.....she just thaws out a gallon (or larger) size amount at a time.

Now my "big" suggestion, the thing aside from the recipe I'd like to see folks take away from this is: Freeze your shredded Zucchini is recipe-sized quantities. In my case I freeze three cups to a freezer bag. If this idea is new to you....you're welcome.

Anyway...onto the recipe! I went ahead and made a little "recipe card" graphic that is 4x6. What you see here is a low-res version, but you can download the hi-res version here. Print it out at home and cut it up, or take it to the photo-printer at the store and get a purty card for your recipe box for about a quarter.

Low-Res Recipe Card

"Secret" to a nice nut-bread crustHmmm.....I took a bunch of pictures and edited them before I decided to make the recipe card....well I guess I can use one for another suggestion. Now normally just greasing up the bread pans is sufficient, but I like to take the extra step and flour it with powdered sugar. It doesn't really add any sweetness, but it "crisps up" the crust and actually helps keep the bread together when you take it out of the pan.





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