Yummy Zucchini Bread (Or Muffins)
Our CSA has been rendering loads of zucchini, and in addition to enjoying it in the form of chocolate zucchini cake, kid-friendly zucchini fritters, and Jules's zucchini and ricotta stacks, we've also been making a lot of zucchini bread and muffins. We love this recipe from Baking Illustrated; in fact, I always double the recipe since it disappears so quickly. Doubling yields one tray of muffins (12) + two shallow loafs, and like this great banana bread recipe, the zucchini bread/muffins freeze well. Enjoy the below how-to with my typical annotations.
From Baking Illustrated
Makes one 9-inch loaf
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess. [I rubbed a light coating of butter onto nonstick pans and that was sufficient to keep the bread/muffins from sticking.]
2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the zucchini and 2 tablespoons of sugar until the zucchini is coarsely shredded, 12-15 one-second pulses. Transfer the mixture to a mesh straighter and allow to drain for 30 minutes (you could also do this step with a box grater if you don't have a food processor).
3. Spread nuts on a baking sheet and toast 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. [I skipped this step to save time; the results were still awesome.] Transfer nuts to a large bowl and add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and whisk until combined.
4. Whisk remaining sugar (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons), yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, and melted butter in a bowl. Set aside.
5. Squeeze the zucchini with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. [Admittedly, this is my least favorite step; which is why I advocate doubling the batch -- it's the same amount of work but doing it once instead of twice seems like less of a nuisance!] Stir zucchini into yogurt mixture. Then stir wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just moistened.
6. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth surface. Bake until loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Cool for a few minutes in pan then turn out onto rack. [Again, doubling the recipe works great because if you do one muffin tin + two loaf trays, the baking time gets cut down -- I bake the muffins for about 15-18 minutes and the loaves about 30 minutes.]
Image credit: Williams-Sonoma Silicups