Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A light non cakey version of zucchini bread.

              So I have never made zucchini bread before but I absolutely adore it. My friend Erika told me about a book by America's Test Kitchen called "The NEW Best Recipe". It has 1,000 recipes in it!! humongous book!! I have yet to make anything from it...until now.  Zucchini bread is one of my favorites. I remember going to my Aunts house in Virginia when I was 15 and when she told me she was making zucchini bread I think I gagged in my mouth. Nothing sounds yummy about bread with shredded squash! Boy was I was delightful. I make banana breads, pumpkin breads even strawberry breads, But I have yet to try a zucchini bread. I had 3 zucchini on hand so I figured what better time to bake it than any right?  I'm used to the sweet super dense zucchini breads and this one clearly states it's light, and not cakey and not very sweet to enhance the zucchini flavor so I gave it a try. It is very moist without being dense and it does indeed taste good without being too sweet. recipe as follows.

Zucchini Bread
Makes 1 loaf
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
1 pound zucchini, washed and dried, ends and stems removed, cut in half lengthwise and seeded, each half cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) granulated sugar
½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped coarse
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the zucchini and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until the zucchini is coarsely shredded, twelve to fifteen 1-second pulses. Transfer the mixture to a fine-mesh strainer set at least 2 inches over a bowl and allow to drain for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can shred the zucchini (don’t cut into 1-inch pieces) on the large holes of a box grater, toss with the 2 tablespoons of sugar, and drain.

3. Meanwhile, spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a cooling rack and cool completely. Transfer the nuts to a large bowl; add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and whisk until combined. Set aside.

4. Whisk together the remaining ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, and melted butter until combined. Set aside.

5. After the zucchini has drained, squeeze the zucchini with several layers of paper towels to absorb excess moisture. (I used a cheese cloth)

Stir the zucchini and the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture until just moistened. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula.

6. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted int he center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 1 hour before serving. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

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