Sunday, July 8, 2012

the search for the best zucchini bread (the winner is surprising!)

This past weekend, the market was full of bright, colorful summer squash. I picked up a few baskets of yellow squash and zucchini and was inspired to make zucchini bread. I had so much zucchini on hand, I didn't want to make just one big loaf... so the experimentation began.

I used two recipes in mini loaf pans, one highly rated one from Fine Cooking, and one healthier one from Simple Bites. Then came the taste test -- and there was a clear cut winner (my mom, my dad, and I all favored one bread over the other). I assumed everyone would love the Fine Cooking version, because of the stick of butter, the coffee essence, and the eggs... however, the healthy version won.
Yes, my entire family including me favored the healthy version over the regular, buttery version in the taste test. The winner was made with Greek yogurt and whole wheat flour, and was the much more flavorful and delicious than the buttery Fine Cooking version. Talk about a win-win situation! This loaf is super moist, fluffy, with a flavorful cinnamon aroma. The Fine Cooking loaf was slightly dull and gummy. :(

Today I learned that the healthy version can actually be the tastier version. I also learned that my mom is not a fan of chocolate chips (go figure?). So next time, I will use some pecans instead.
Zucchini bread makes the perfect cloudy day treat. I like to toast slices of this fragrant quick bread and spread with a little bit of cream cheese.
I have seen variations such as banana zucchini bread and lemon zucchini bread -- have any of you tried those?
With love, 
Erica

Winning Zucchini Bread
ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (or peanut)
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used 2%, but full fat would be ideal)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (or regular milk with a splash of vinegar)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (for those of you who like chocolate)
  • OR 2/3 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts)
  • OR you could do 1/3 cup chocolate chips, 1/3 cup nuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a 9×4 inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Line a 6-cup muffin tin with papers OR oil a mini loaf pan. In a bowl, sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy; beat in yogurt, buttermilk, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Combine well. Stir in grated zucchini and chopped chocolate.
  • Fold flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Spoon batter into 6 muffin cups (or mini loaf pan) and pour the rest into the 9×4 loaf pan. Bake for approximately 50 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in the pan. Loosen the sides and remove from pan. Cool loaf completely before cutting.
From Simple Bites

3 comments:

  1. zucchini, chocolate, bread... get in my belly!!
    xo
    http://allykayler.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mmm...zucchini bread is on my list to make soon! Maybe I'll try the healthy recipe you posted here :) I modified my favorite banana bread recipe a while back and found that it tasted just the same as the unhealthy version! I love when that happens :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! I would love to have the recipe for your healtified banana bread if you don't mind sharing :)

      Delete