I used to do a lot of baking. I remember baking as an enjoyable activity. Somewhere along the way I stopped baking. Oh, occasionally, I will bake cookies or brownies. I’ll use a packaged cookie or brownie mix that I have picked up at the grocery store. I bake muffins using a packaged mix too. When I need a cake for a birthday or another special occasion, I will pick up one at the grocery store. It has been a long time since I baked anything from scratch.
A week ago Bob brought home a zucchini that a coworker had given him. I’d eaten zucchini bread before (and liked it) but had never baked it myself. I decided to use the zucchini to bake zucchini bread.
I will preface my next statements by telling you that I have never baked or cooked any recipe that calls for zucchini. I found a recipe for zucchini bread on the Internet at a website called “Simply Recipes”. The recipe called for grated zucchini. How do I grate zucchini? Do I peel the skin? I found my answers on the Internet at the eHow website. I used a food processor to grate the zucchini. I haven’t used the food processor often, so I had to read the instructions first before using it. The zucchini was large. I had to cut the zucchini in half and quarter it before the food processor could grate it. The recipe called for 2/3 cup butter. The butter carton tells you how many tablespoons of butter equal 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup, etc. It doesn’t tell you how many tablespoons of butter equal 2/3 cup. The answer, which I found on the Internet, is 10 2/3 tablespoons. The recipe calls for UNSALTED butter. I had salted butter but not unsalted butter. The recipe calls for a pinch of salt. I used the salted butter but did not add the pinch of salt. Also the recipe has two optional ingredients — either 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts OR 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins. I added 1 cup of chopped walnuts.
I had a slice of zucchini bread at lunchtime. It was moist, tender and delicious. I wouldn’t change anything in the recipe except to use a pinch of salt if I happen to have unsalted, rather than salted, butter in the refrigerator.
Here’s a photograph of the two loaves of zucchini bread that I baked today, as well as the “Tried and Tested” recipe.
Zucchini Bread Recipe
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups grated fresh zucchini
2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (optional)
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour, a third at a time. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and nutmeg and mix. Fold in the nuts and dried cranberries or raisins if using.
2 Divide the batter equally between 2 buttered 5 by 9 inch loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour (check for doneness at 50 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.