Monday, August 9, 2010

Zucchini Bread

If theres one thing I trust Paula Deen to make well, it's baked goods and boy oh boy, she did not let us down here! I'm really excited about this zucchini bread. Not because it was beautiful (it wasn't) but because it's the best one I've ever had! I mentioned it wasn't the prettiest bread I've ever made and that's the truth. It was downright ugly, actually. It rose dramatically in the oven and I was feeling pretty proud of myself, right up until I took it out when done, only to realize it fell again...dramatically. Cest la vie! Honestly, I knew it was coming. This recipe calls for 3 whole cups of sugar! Any baked good with that amount of sugar is going to fall at this altitude. Usually I don't put in more than two cups of the stuff for any one recipe, but I knew leaving out the whole additional cup of sugar would not be good, so I put it in. I'm glad I did because 3 cups of sugar or not, it was delicious and not sweet. Well, not very sweet anyway. It definitely needed all 3 cups. Don't be afraid to serve this to company. Once cut, you can hardly tell there is a narrow dent on top. Besides, when they try it, they won't care and neither will you. You'll both be in hog, zucchini bread, heaven. Eyes rolled back, willing yourself not to take another piece. Oh, but you will.

Now to be very clear, I need to disclose one tiny thing. I eat my zucchini bread warm (either fresh out of the oven or warmed in the microwave for a couple seconds) with a generous pat of salted butter that melts slowly into it. And sometimes, I even put a drizzle of honey on top of that. Soooooo, that might have had to do with why I think this particular zucchini bread is the best one ever. Just a suggestion...Just a suggestion.

I made this bread because my Mom dropped off some monster zucchini fresh from her garden. I couldn't possibly eat it all, so I thought, ah, zucchini bread would be perfect! Oh, yeah. It was.

Zucchini Bread
adapted from Paula Deen

preheat the oven to 350 degrees

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat and 2 1/4 cup all purpose)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/3 cup water
2 cups zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup walnuts

Mix oil, eggs, water, and lemon juice together in a bowl and set aside. Mix the flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, and sugar together in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Stir in the zucchini and walnuts to combine.

Spray two loaf pans with oil and divide mix evenly into both. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

I like zucchini bread anytime throughout the day. Breakfast. Snack. After lunch snack, dessert. It's the most versatile food, isn't it?
I thought everyone knew about zucchini bread since I grew up eating it but I'm finding that some people (mostly men) have no idea what it is and think it's gross that I made bread out of a vegetable. You only have to say 2 words to shut them up. Carrot cake.

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