Zucchini Bread

This is an American staple, not appreciated – yet! – in Britain. ‘Yuck, veg in bread?’ I hear you cry; but c’mon, you love carrot cake, right? This is a ‘quick bread’ (sweet & non-yeasted) just like banana bread – the variation is in the footnote.

Kudos to my 1980s vintage Good Housekeeping Cookbook for the inspiration, although this is my personal version. It’s not GF, but it is dairy-free.

Makes: One loaf

Ingredients

  • 190g self-raising flour
  • 50g soft dark brown sugar
    (for a richer taste, incorporate some dark muscavado or molasses sugar; no more than half, though)
  • 100g soft light brown sugar (golden granulated/caster will do)
  • 50g chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, a few seconds’ worth
  • 375g courgettes [zucchini] – scrubbed (but don’t peel); and topped/tailed before weighing
  • 2 large eggs (they should total 130g – 140g when weighed in their shells)
  • 80ml (75g if weighing) vegetable oil, plus additional for greasing tin
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, grated zest only

Kit

  • A 2lb loaf tin
  • Baking/parchment paper, cut to fit the bottom of the tin
  • 3 mixing bowls
  • Kitchen paper
  • Cooling rack
  • Palette knife, to loosen loaf if necessary

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted). Very lightly oil the bottom and sides of your tin, and line the bottom with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugars, nuts, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a fork. Break up any clumps of sugar as you go.
  3. Grate the courgettes into a bowl lined with kitchen paper. Squeeze out the excess liquid and discard the paper.
  4. In another bowl beat the eggs manually, then stir in the oil, grated courgettes, and lemon zest until well combined.
  5. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry JUST until fully moistened. Over-working will create a tough, close-textured loaf, so be gentle. Scrape the batter into your prepared tin and smooth the top.
  6. Bake for up to 1 hour, turning the tin halfway through for even baking, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave the tin to cool on a cooling rack for 5 – 10 minutes before turning out (use a palette knife if necessary to loosen the loaf from the tin).
  7. Serve hot, warm, or cold, spreading a bit of olive oil-based margarine on each slice – you’ll definitely be a convert to using courgettes in baking.

Banana Bread
This is the same recipe I use for non-GF banana bread – simply substitute the same weight of peeled bananas for the courgettes (the riper the better – you want really, really brown skins before you peel), about 3, and mashed well. I also add more ground cinnamon and nutmeg, and a touch of ground ginger, when making this recipe with bananas.

If you need gluten-free banana bread or muffins, check out my other recipe.

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