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Zucchini Bread

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I am in search of a great zucchini bread recipe. A few I've tried in the past have been very light and or on the dry side. In my memories of my grandmother's bread it was dense and very moist and chock full of walnuts. And for that matter I cannot seem to replicate her bran muffin recipe made with buttermilk, they were dark and dense and delicious. I've tried zillions and cannot get it right however how much of it was distorted childhood taste memories?

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  1. My mother's longtime zucchini bread recipe might fit the bill for you. It has an old-school Betty Crocker sensibility and doesn't skimp on oil or sugar, which I think more modern recipes tend to do. It's incredibly moist and more dense than cakey. I don't make it really since quick breads aren't my thing, so I can't critique the recipe or method, but it always tastes very good when mom makes it (w/ walnuts but w/o raisins).

    The method below is pretty bare bones, so you can add little nuances like sifting if you want. You might be able to cut back on the oil or sugar, but if you give this a try, I say make it the old-school way first and see if memories of grandma's bread are evoked.

    CL's mom's zucchini bread
    Makes 2 9" loafs

    3 eggs
    1 c. oil, vegetable
    2 c. sugar
    1.5 lbs. zucchini, about 3 c. peeled and grated
    3 tsp. vanilla
    3 c. flour
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. baking powder
    3 tsp. cinnamon
    1 c. walnuts (optional)
    1 c. raisins (optional)

    Beat eggs well, then add oil and vanilla. In another bowl, mix sugar and zucchini. Add to egg mixture. Add dry ingredients. Divide into two greased 9x5x2 loaf pans. Bake at 325F for about one hour or until done.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Carb Lover

      Thank you, I need to get my hands on the multitudes of zucchinis that everyone seems to have right about now!!

      1. re: Carb Lover

        I just made this yesterday, using just one very large zucchini that "got away from me" in the garden, and it is delicious. Definately worth making a few loaves and throwing them in the freezer. I also used nuts, but no raisins.

        1. re: DGresh

          Hey, thanks for reporting back on this and reviving this thread now that zucchini is in season. I don't like raisins either. Yes, the loaves do freeze well and make great gifts. While I've never tried it before, I think it would taste good as a layer cake w/ cream cheese frosting a la carrot cake.

        2. re: Carb Lover

          thanks for posting this CL! i made this this evening and it is sooooo easy to make and tastes great. i used walnuts but no raisins. i didn't have any cinnamon so i'll have to try it next time with the cinnamon and raisins. i have two more zucchinis to use up so will prob make another two loaves this week.

          thanks so much!

          1. re: Carb Lover

            I made this recipe today, not so successfully.

            The result was edible, but tasted like cinnamon bread instead of zucchini bread. 3tsp. is way too much. Also, it looked very, very lumpy and the dough was more like mortar than a homogeneous batter.

            1. re: Carb Lover

              I made this recipe this afternoon and it is delicious! It was very moist and flavorful. I used 3/4c oil and added nutmeg. i think next time I will try 2/3c oil....

            2. I have never tried them, but The Silver Palate Cookbook and Maida Heatter's New Book of Great Desserts both have rich, dense looking recipes.

              1. Paula Deen's recipe on foodtv.com was really tasty, but you should cut back on the sugar a little (3 cups is an awful lot!). I also substituted brown sugar for 1/2 of the regular. Enjoy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: karin

                  Paula Deens Zucchini Bread from Kitchen Classics page 103

                  3 1/4 c ap flour
                  1 1/2 t salt
                  1 t g nutmeg
                  2 t baking soda
                  1 t g cinnamon
                  3 c sugar
                  1 c oil
                  4 beaten eggs
                  2/3 c water
                  2 c grated zukes
                  1 t lemon juice
                  1 c chopped walnuts or pecans

                  Mix dry except nuts. Mix wet in other bowl and fold into dry, add nuts, bake in 2 loaf pans 1 hour approx.

                  This is paraphrased in case anyone is reading it out of her cookbook like I am.
                  No need to put all the words, you'll get the idea
                  I'll post one more because I'm a fast typer
                  Zucchini Carrot Bread
                  Nitty Gritty Productions
                  Page 78
                  2 c ap flour
                  1/2 c [each] white and brown sugar, packed
                  1 T baking powder
                  1/2 t salt
                  1 t cinnamon
                  1 c [each] grated zukes, grated carrots, EITHER walnuts or pecans
                  1 egg beaten
                  1/3 c oil
                  1/2 c milk
                  350° 70 minutes or until done
                  one greased and floured loaf pan

                2. Hi - I really like the one in the more modern Betty Crocker cookbook. Very good. They also have options for cranberry bread, etc. on that same recipe. I think I add allspice, which I really love, even more than cinnamon. Years ago I had a DELICIOUS recipe for zucchini bread that also had crushed pineapple in it, but, dang it if I can find the thing! Best wishes!

                  1. I came up with this a few summers ago:

                    Fruited Zucchini Bread

                    Served warm with soft cream cheese, these loaves make an eminently satisfying teatime snack, but the bread also goes surprisingly well served at any number of meals. Warmed, it makes a succulent bed for a scoop of sour cream ice cream.

                    3 extra-large eggs
                    1 1/2 cups sugar
                    1 cup peanut oil
                    2 1/2 cups grated, peeled, raw zucchini (about 2 medium-large zucchini)
                    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
                    3 cups all-purpose flour
                    1 teaspoon salt
                    1 teaspoon baking soda
                    1 teaspoon baking powder
                    3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
                    1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
                    1/2 cup dried cranberries
                    1/2 cup dried currants
                    1 cup golden raisins

                    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

                    In a large bowl, with a hand-blender, beat the eggs until foamy. Stir in sugar, oil, zucchini, and vanilla and mix well.

                    In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to the egg mixture. Stir in the fruit and pumpkin seeds, blending well. Pour into two 9 x 5 x 3’’ (roughly) loaf pans and bake for 50 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean. Remove loaves from pans and cool them on a rack.

                    Yield: 2 loaves

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Tom Steele

                      I love the looks of this, now wish I'd have grown my own zukies

                    2. Wilson's Farm cookbook has 2 great zucchini recipes, one for a chocolate fudge cake and a wonderful, moist, spicey bread. I'll be happy to share if you don't have the book which is a bargain for $5 at the stand. I've never been disappointed with any of Lynn Wilson's recipes.

                      Last year's zucchini crop from our garden nearly sent me over the edge. I googled a bunch of recipes, tried several and kept several from the All Recipes site: www.allrecipes.com. Especially good are the blueberry zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini bread 1 and chocolate chip orange zucchini bread. Good luck!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: tweetie

                        Don't know how I missed this reply. Wilson Farms Country Cookbook is one of my favorites!. I have never been disappointed by her recipes, either. The "Recipe" page of their Web site http://www.wilsonfarm.com/recipes.html says it is still available at their farm store. If you call them at 781-862-3900 they will mail you a copy for $10.00. ($5 for the book and $5 for s&h)

                        1. re: tweetie

                          Do you have Lynn Wilson's recipe for Chocolate Zucchini cake??. It is a favorite. I re-found the recipe within the last year and have made it twice but it has disappeared!. I'd be most grateful. Susan Sullivan

                        2. "Vegan Planet" by Robin Robertson has a great zucchini tahini bread recipe which is quite moist.

                          1. A delicious variation:

                            Chocolate Zucchini Bread

                            3 large eggs
                            2 Cups sugar
                            1 Cup vegetable oil
                            1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
                            2 Tb. butter
                            6 Tb. Natural cocoa powder
                            2 Cups zucchini, grated
                            2 Cups flour
                            1 tsp. baking soda
                            1 tsp. salt
                            1½ tsp. cinnamon
                            ⅔ Cup semi sweet chocolate chips
                            2 tsp. flour
                            1 Cup chopped nuts (optional)

                            Heat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until well blended.

                            In a small saucepan, melt 2 TB. butter, add 6 TB. Cocoa powder and blend together until smooth. Set aside to cool.

                            Peel and grate the zucchini. Add zucchini and cooled cocoa mixture to the large mixing bowl and blend well.

                            In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to the batter. Stir only enough to blend in all the dry ingredients.

                            In another small bowl, coat the chocolate chips with cocoa powder. This helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan. Add the cocoa-coated chocolate chips to the batter.

                            Grease two 9x5x3 loaf pans and "flour" with cocoa powder. Spoon the batter into pans and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes. Remove from pans and continue to cool on a wire rack.

                            Prep. time: 15 minutes
                            Baking time: 60-70 minutes
                            Yield: 2 loaves

                            1. new to the site & love it! Once again oodles of zucchini from the garden sitting on my island and I ponder. So I thought I would look for other recipes for zucchini bread. Seems as though most are fairly similar although I have tried but I have never made chocolate zucchini bread, think I'm going to do that today! I though I would pass along that I use 2 bananas in any zucchini bread recipe to add moistness. Everybody loves it, or so they tell me :)

                              1. Today I made the one from CI Best Recipes - the one with lemon juice and yogurt and without cinnamon, vanilla, or pretty much anything else you can imagine - and thought it was kind of bland (although the texture was nice). I made it without nuts, and using them might have made it more interesting, but there's only so much a walnut can do. Anyone else tried this recipe with better results? Could have been me or my ingredients. The zuke was homegrown by a friend, one of those huge mutated ones that was the size of my leg - the recipe called for a pound, and I only used about two-thirds of it for the recipe. Maybe enormozucchinis aren't as flavorful as the less inflated versions?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: darklyglimmer

                                  You know, darkly, I have decent luck with CI cooking recipes, but the baking recipes, not so much. I am more often than not disappointed, enough so that I don't use their recipes for baked goods anymore unless someone's tried it and raves about it. My go-to baking recipe site is King Arthur Flour. I've had good luck with baked goods at Wm Sonoma's site, but the site isn't dedicated to baking like KAF. I don't know why, but baking at CI seems a little after-thoughtish.

                                  1. re: runwestierun

                                    That's funny, because the whole reason that I tried that particular recipe was that I read a comment on this board from someone (can't remember who, and alas, too plagued with laziness this morning to look) who used CI's baking recipes, but not their cooking recipes. Their reasoning was that since baking is so exact, the exhaustive testing process is more useful than in cooking. It made sense to me, so I gave it a try. Don't know why I didn't think of KAF - thanks for the suggestion!

                                    1. re: darklyglimmer

                                      Yeah, you'd think, but experience has taught me otherwise. Their croissants, Lord what a disaster! And if I'd looked at the photograph closely I could have seen that they were going to suck. My bad. Many things are OK, but nothing's really great.

                                      Except for the vodka pie crust recipe. That's genius, but I don't know if they thought that up or not.

                                2. I would like to know if someone has a good zucchini bread recipe that is really moist using wheat flour. Anyone have a good recipe?

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                    Do you have James Beard bread book? If so his zucchini bread is very good. He uses 3 cups white flour and says you can sub one for whole wheat which I have done with success. Not sure if you could do more or if that's enough of what you are looking for.

                                    1. re: geminigirl

                                      Unfortunately no, I don't have that book. I may have to go look for it though. Thanks!

                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                        If you still want James Beard's recipe, you can find it online here:

                                        1. re: toveggiegirl

                                          Oh thanks, I must have missed this one...:). Sometimes keeping up with CH posts is like zucchini in summertime....

                                      2. re: geminigirl

                                        I have something James Beard, cookbook I mean. I'll look and see if it's the right one.

                                    2. I came up with a recipe many years ago. After reading and making a zuke bread from a favorite really old cookbook called Epicurian Evolution. I can't even find it this second but altho I liked the zuke bread, I hoped I could better it.

                                      Good news was I did, bad news was I subbed out some of the zukes for carrots ans changed the typical spice ingredients up. The result is depending on time of year I make it, I either call it Easter Bread or Harvest Bread or Confetti Bread. But you have to like carrots along with zuchinni in the recipe, I do.

                                      1. I find that there is a huge difference in the finished product when it comes to breads or muffins depending on how I mixed it. These should not be mixed the same as a cake batter, they should be mixed just until the ingredients are blended. It is so important to mix the wet and dry ingredients separately and thoroughly then put them together and mix preferably by hand until they are just blended. It took me a long time to figure that one out, since then I have much, much better result.

                                        1. Don't know if this is of interest but I just made a really good zucchini cornbread...It is tasty and moist. I did not top it with the zucchini as other posters didn't give such good feedback. I will make this one again!