Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tracy's Zucchini Bread



When you come home from vacation to not only find a plethora of cucumbers growing in the garden but also two (yes, count them TWO) six pound zucchinis your mind quickly goes to the kitchen! With the cucumbers resting peacefully for two weeks in their jars, properly pickled, my mind moved on to the 12 pounds of zucchini I had in my refrigerator. I decided I would use one of them to make a huge batch of zucchini bread. Recently my friend, Tracy, brought me a loaf of her zucchini bread and I knew immediately I had probably tasted the best version of this classic yet! I have made and tasted some really great zucchini breads in the past, but this beat them all!!! As gracious as always, Tracy quickly brought me the recipe and that is what I used for this enormous batch of bread. Fifteen loaves later (and that didn't even use up all the zucchini I had) my kitchen was a disaster and I was exhausted, defeated by the enormous squash with the spoils of war safely tucked in my freezer....I was off to bed!
   
After taking almost an hour to get the zucchini properly seeded (which I don't typically do when making zucchini bread but these seeds were the size of pumpkin seeds) and shredded the game was on! The kitchen was covered in flour, loaf pans were everywhere, the dogs were watching me in disbelief and pandora was playing loudly on my computer....it was perfect!

Tracy's Zucchini Bread

2-3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking power
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (can use ½ oil, ½ apple sauce)
2 ¼ cups sugar (can reduce to 2 cups and split 1 cup white, 1 cup brown)
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 ½ cups grated zucchini (can use as much as 3-4 cups, just increase flour a little)
1 cup nuts, optional

Grease and flour 2 8x4 pans (or divide among mini loaf pans - fill halfway). I always like to coat the pan in butter and them cover that in a very thin layer of flour but you can certainly use cooking spray as well!

Sift flour & salt, baking powder, baking soda, & cinnamon together in bowl. 

Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, & sugar together in another bowl. 

Add sifted ingredients to creamed mixture and beat well. 
Stir in zucchini and nuts until combined. 

Pour in pans. 
  
Bakes at 325 degrees 40-60 minutes (20-25 minutes if using mini loaf pans).  

Note: This totally depends on the oven because I baked the large loaves at 400 degrees for 1 hour and the small loaves for 3o minutes and it was perfect so this can be adjusted depending on your oven.  If you are unsure just keep an eye on them.  If you pull them out of the oven and they begin to sink in the middle they are NOT done!  Put them back in until they are done.

Cool 20 minutes & remove from pan completely cool. Enjoy!

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