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RECIPE: Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread started to appear in the 1960s, as hippies looked for healthier foods. But the concept dates back to the Middle Ages, when European chefs began to develop sweet vegetable puddings. Carrot pudding was first; sweet potato pudding and pie followed in the Renaissance. The different types of squash offered still more options. Carrot pudding, a side dish, evolved into the carrot cake dessert in the 20th century.

Zucchini became popular in American home gardens during and after World War II. If you’ve grown zucchini, you know that you can’t find enough ways to use it up. But zucchini lasagna and zucchini bread are two of the happy outcomes.

Zucchini bread was catapulted to prominence by James Beard, who published a recipe for it in 1973. Homemakers found it easy to make, healthier than cake, easily portable for snacks and travel, and freezer friendly. The water content of zucchini also added natural moisture to the cake.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CAKE AND BREAD

The difference between a recipe called “cake” and one called “bread” is that a bread is:

 

Zucchini bread with a light glaze. Photo courtesy Betty Crocker.

  • Less sweet
  • Slightly drier (less butter or other fat)
  • Baked in a loaf pan
  • Not frosted, although a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar or a drizzle of glaze cana be used
  •  
    CARL GOH’S ZUCCHINI BREAD

    Carl Goh was a food writer and friend of James Beard. This recipe appeared in Beard On Bread*. It has less sugar than some contemporary recipes, and for an even healthier bread, you can substitute 1 cup of whole-wheat flour for one of the cups of white flour.

    Ingredients For 2 Loaves

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups grated†, peeled, raw zucchini
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped filberts or walnuts
  • Optional: 1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit or drained crushed pineapple; reduce nuts to 1/2 cup
  •  

    Plain zucchini bread. Photo courtesy Betty
    Crocker.

     

    1. BEAT the eggs until light and foamy. Add the sugar, oil, zucchini, and vanilla and mix lightly but well.

    2. COMBINE the flour, salt, soda, baking powder and cinnamon and add to the egg-zucchini mixture. Stir until well blended; add nuts.

    3. POUR into two 9 X 5 X 3-inch loaf pans. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 1 hour. Cool on a rack.

     
    *Beard on Bread, James Beard, Alfred A. Knopf:New York 1973, p. 169.

    †You can leave on the nutritious skin; it will create green flecks in the bread.

     

    FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE CAKE RECIPES.

      




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