I enjoy baking and try to do it as often as I can, usually once a week and I have found that scaling down a baked goodie recipe is a lot more challenging than a savory dinner recipe. Why is this? Well baking is a science that requires the ingredients to be a lot more exact so that the chemicals react together in the appropriate way in the oven. It really is like magic and I am amazed each time my muffins and cake rise! My solution since I can’t just cut ingredients out all willy nilly is to either freeze a portion of the final product or give it away; today I decided to do both!
I think I have mentioned this before, but quick breads are great when you are short on time and are a staple in a baker’s repertoire. No rest time waiting for the bread to rise, no kneading to activate the gluten, just a quick mix and bake and you are on your way to a tasty morning treat! I usually settle on a recipe depending on whatever fruit I have left in the fridge from the week, usually banana, blueberry or apple. This week I found I had a whole zucchini left over and the decision had been made. Who says you can’t throw veggies into your quick bread! Even if you are not a huge lover of this tasty green member of the squash family, you should still give this recipe a shot. The zucchini flavor is subtle and the bread is still sweet and makes a great accompaniment to your morning coffee. Best of all, this recipe has no butter so no wasting time waiting for the butter to soften. This recipe can be prepped in under ten minutes and does not require the electric mixer. Less prep time and less dishes to clean up means you get to enjoy your “hard-earned” baked treat quicker!
While I am sure I could eat a whole 8×4 loaf of this bread on my own, a little voice called reason convinces me I should not. To prevent the loaf from spoiling, I decided to bake this recipe in three small loaf pans. I kept one for myself, gave one away, and popped one into the freezer. This way I have something to look forward to when I do not have all of the ingredients on hand and the craving strikes. Of course you can freeze two of the three loaves, but I find part of the joy in baking is sharing what I have made 🙂
Throw on the apron and get to baking!
- 1.5 cups of flour
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- sprinkle of ground nutmeg
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup unpeeled, shredded zucchini (about half 1 large zucchini)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mixing Up the Quick Bread
- Preheat oven to 350
- Grease three 5×3 mini loaf pans with shortening or baking spray, set aside
- Recipe will also yield one 8×4 loaf
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg until ingredients are evenly distributed
- In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, shredded zucchini, oil, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined
- Make a large well in the middle of the dry ingredient mixture and add the wet mixture
- Using a wooden spoon, fold in the wet mixture until just combined; it is okay if there are a few dry clumps remaining as it is important not to over mix or the bread may become dense
- Evenly distribute the batter among the three prepared loaf pans
- Bake all three loaves at the same time in the middle rack of the oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
- As all ovens are slightly different, I suggest starting at 30 minutes and checking it just in case your oven works a little faster than mine, don’t want to dry the bread out!
- Cool the bread on a wire rack in the loaf pan for 10 minutes
- Carefully run a knife along the edge of the loaf to loosen it from the pan and invert the pan to release the bread into your hand and place back on the rack to continue cooling
- To freeze the bread, make sure it has completely cooled, wrap each loaf separately in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag
- When you are ready to enjoy it, it can defrost at room temperature on the counter
- Enjoy as is or with a little slab of butter!
*Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 15th Edition