Olive Oil Zucchini Bread

Every other week I receive an organic vegetable delivery from local farms to my front door. I love the variety of fresh vegetables (and sometimes fruits) that I receive and I must admit, I’m always excited to see that brown box sitting at my door. This past week I received two large zucchini’s among the smorgasbord of other vegetables. I love zucchini. It is such a versatile vegetable that can be used in so many dishes and in so many ways. This time I decided that I was going to use one of them to make this Olive Oil Zucchini Bread. Zucchini bread is great because it’s always such a quick and easy way to use up your zucchini and it’s always so good with a cup of coffee or tea.

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This recipe comes from food writer and cook book author, Melissa Clark. I really like a lot of her recipes and I must admit, I’m totally bummed that I don’t get to travel to Rome next Spring to spend a week with her learning about the local markets and how to make some of her favorite Italian recipes. Sigh…but I digress….

This bread is moist though it isn’t as sweet as some zucchini breads you may come across, though I found that I really liked that. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sweet bread, but I really enjoyed how light this one came out. There’s a great mixture that includes lemon zest, brown sugar, and spices that set this bread off nicely. I didn’t add the walnuts to my bread because I didn’t have any on hand, but feel free to add them. I love walnuts in this bread.

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OLIVE OIL ZUCCHINI BREAD

  • YIELD: One 8-inch loaf
  • TIME: 1 1/2 hours

INGREDIENTS

  •  Butter, for the pan
  • 1 ½ cups/185 grams grated zucchini
  •  cup/140 grams light brown sugar
  •  cup/80 milliliters olive oil (or other oil such as safflower or canola)
  •  cup/80 milliliters plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups/190 grams all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon/3 grams salt
  • ½ teaspoon/3 grams baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon/2 grams baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons/4 grams ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon/1 gram ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon/2 grams finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup/55 grams chopped walnuts (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, use a rubber spatula to mix together the grated zucchini, sugar, olive oil, yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, lemon zest and spices in a separate bowl. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold in the walnuts if using.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40 to 55 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The bread will be done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and cool on a rack completely before cutting and serving.

Tips: Whenever making a recipe, always make sure that all liquids and eggs are at room temperature unless stated otherwise. Room temperature ingredients bond together easier. They also create a fluffier baked good by trapping air that expands to produce that fluffy texture.

When measuring flour, never pack the flour into your measuring cup or stick the cup in the flour to scoop it up. By doing this, you actually put more flour into your baked good than actually intended. Always make sure you stir your flour to fluff it up and loosely spoon it into your measuring cup before leveling it off with a butter knife or other straight edged utensil.

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