My garden got off to a slow start this year. The dogs ate all the broccoli and cauliflower before I could harvest any of it and we accidentally overwatered our pumpkin vines to death in an attempt to keep the new grass nearby alive.
The potatoes and tomatoes seem to be a go and finally the zucchini plant, which you would think would be impossible to kill, is finally ramping up to production. I picked the first two vegetables off the plant this week and this morning made the first batch of zucchini bread of the season.
This is my favorite bread recipe. It makes a GIANT loaf and it can be deceiving because the crust gets very dark and you think it will burn or get too dry but it somehow doesn’t. The crust is a little bit crispy and the inside is sweet and moist and delicious. I sometimes throw in a handful of semisweet chocolate chips or a cup of walnuts but plain is just fine too.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bread pan with parchment paper or coat it in cooking spray. Beat eggs and oil for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add sugar and mix well. Add zucchini and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Slowly combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients. Do NOT over mix! Add in chopped walnuts. Pour batter into bread pan and bake for an hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick stuck into the center of the bread comes out clean.
A couple of quick notes:
Bake the bread in ONE large bread pan. I don’t know why, but this makes a difference. The top of the bread forms a slightly crispy crust. For some reason, when the dough is divided, it doesn’t do this.
I typically add an extra 1/2 cup of zucchini. It takes the bread a few extra minutes to cook, but I feel like the bread stays moist an extra day.
If the bread is getting too dark on top but it’s not finished cooking, fold a piece of tin foil in half and create a little ‘tent’ to cover the bread. It will continue cooking but the top won’t get overly brown.
Add 1 cup each chocolate chips, blueberries or other kinds of nuts.