It’s that time of year again – zucchini season. The time of year when even the smallest zucchini patch seems to be bursting at the seams with fruit of all sizes. The time of year that leads to a frantic recipe search hoping to find some new way of using the giant zucchini lurking under the leaves.
Some industrious person figured out long ago that overgrown zucchini could be put to good use in bread. But zucchini bread has basically remained firmly a homemade product. I don’t think I have ever seen zucchini bread for sale in the grocery store, even though other quick breads – in the guise of cake – make an appearance there. That’s ok. We home cooks are a creative bunch and are quite happy to experiment with our own recipes, unhindered by commercial expectations.
Last year my zucchini patch threatened to take over the neighborhood. I made lots of bread, but concentrated on using zucchini in non-traditional yeast breads like Zucchini Olive Yeast Bread, Zucchini Ricotta Chive Bread, and Golden Semolina Zucchini-Tomato Bread.
This year has been challenging for gardeners in the Mid-Columbia region; too much heat and too little water greatly reduced the harvest. But I still have enough large zucchini to turn into bread. I thought the following combination would be a nice treat for the kids’ lunchbox as they headed back to school. It seems they agreed. They remain vague as to whether or not the bread lasted till lunch!
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 cup safflower oil
• 1/2 cup plain yogurt
• Juice from 1 large orange
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• Grated zest from 1 large orange
• 3-1/2 cups grated zucchini
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• Dash salt
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1 cup rolled oats
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Grease two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pans.
3. Add eggs, oil, yogurt, orange juice, sugars, orange zest, and zucchini to a large bowl. Stir well to combine.
4. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and rolled oats. Add to bowl.
5. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Divide mixture between the two loaf pans.
6. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until done. Test by inserting a toothpick in the center of the bread. When it comes out clean the bread is done.
7. Let bread cool in pans for 15 minutes. Gently turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely before cutting.
Bread may be frozen for up to 3 months.
Renee Pottle is an author and Family and Consumer Scientist. She writes about canning, baking, and real food at Seed to Pantry.
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