Monday, September 26, 2011

A Lighter Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread is always a popular way to deal with the extra zucchini we sometimes have at this time of year.  Or maybe there's that zucchini that we failed to harvest on time and is now approaching the size of a toy (or real!) football...

Zucchini pickles and zucchini bread always come to the rescue.  But in the past, I've found that my z. bread came out a bit soggy.  Now, thanks to the wisdom of my friend Erica on Northwest Edible, I've been able to create a really light zucchini bread!

The answer lies in the preparation of our prodigious squash by draining it in a colander for 30 minutes before baking into a bread.  The trick I learned from Erica is to sprinkle lightly with sugar to draw out the moisture.  I did this over a bowl in order to see how much moisture would come out, and I was amazed.

                                                                The recipe I followed calls for walnuts and raisins, two ingredients I use often and therefore buy in bulk and store in glass jars in the pantry.
     I have a wonderful nut chopping set: a wooden bowl with a chopping blade that fits perfectly into it.  This was my Mom's, and I've been using it a good many years.
    If you are starting out collecting kitchen utensils, I'd recommend shopping your local antiques emporium.  Not only will you be supporting a local business, you will see that kitchen tools, like garden tools, were at one time built to last.  The materials and craftsmanship will be far superior to what you might find in even a high end kitchen store.

So here we go:

One half hour before preparing the batter, grate 3 cups of zuccini into a large colander and sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons of organic sugar. Mix thoroughly and allow to drain.

When the half hour is up, preheat oven to 350' and grease two loaf pans.

In a medium bowl, mix together:
   3 cups flour
   1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
   1 teaspoon baking soda
   1 teaspoon salt
   1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
   1/2 teaspoon ginger

Combine in a large bowl:
   3 cups drained zucchini
   7/8 cup canola oil
   1 1/2 cups sugar
   3 large eggs, well beaten
   1 teaspoon vanilla

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

Stir in:
   1 cup chopped walnuts
   1 cup raisins

Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans and bake for one hour.

The breads are done when the edges pull away from the sides of the pan. The standard test for done-ness is to poke the bread with a wooden toothpick.  If it comes out clean, your bread is done.  If some batter is sticking to it, it needs more baking time.
(OMG is that an aluminum pan??  Where did that come from? Rather, how did it get back into the kitchen? I thought it was holding crayons or colored pencils!!)

Allow to cool before slicing.  This is excellent with cream cheese, but it is also killer all by itself!

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