Dark Zucchini Bread

My wonderful cousin Jen gave us three massive zucchinis – you know, the behemoths that lurk in the back corners of your garden, the ones that you’ve mistakenly overlooked a day or two ago, the ones that are longer then your forearm and almost twice as thick, the ones you close your car windows to avoid (This statement might need some further explanation – Vermonters keep their car windows closed during the summer months to avoid being visited by the benevolent zucchini fairy.  What can I say, we’re a State full of bountiful zucchini love.), and the only thing you can really do with these monstrosities is make a sh*t ton of zucchini bread.  This latest bounty has been converted into 6 loaves of zucchini bread, and I still have enough zucchini leftover to bake another 2 loaves.  Maybe I should start dropping loaves of zucchini bread into open car windows.

Every year I test out a new zucchini bread recipe.  I have yet to find the one, the recipe that embodies my darkest zucchini bread fantasies – the tall, dark, and handsome of the zucchini bread world.  This year’s recipe, which I dug out of the back of my Mom’s recipe box, and judging by the hand writing, once belonged to my Grandmother Lila, ticked all of the boxes for tall and ruggedly handsome, but fell a short on the deep, velvety, darkness one desires from this molasses spiked bread.  Here we face the quandary of adding more molasses, and therefore more moisture, to our already wet zucchini? or letting the flavor take the backseat to a sturdy well balanced bread?

Jen brought up this very question, not so much in the context of molasses, but wanting to squeeze as much zucchini as possible into a single loaf of bread.  So how does one remove moisture from zucchini without fully drying it out?  Honestly, I haven’t got a clue, but I did experiment with air drying my grated zucchini in refrigerator for, at least, 24 hours before baking it.  This seems to have removed some of the moisture, and I was able to add two extra cups of zucchini to the original recipe without causing too much damage.  You can see where the moisture burst out of the top of my bread, but the bread itself held it’s shape and texture when removed form the pan.  Next time we’ll see how it goes with adding more molasses and less sugar, the time after that we’ll add some more zucchini, and so it goes until some year I might actually obtain the temptingly dark zucchini bread of my dreams.

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Recipe makes two loaves of Bread.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups grated Zucchini
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Oil
  • 1 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Molasses
  • 4 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped Nuts

Directions:

  1. Grate the zucchini.  You can do this with a box grater or food processor.
  2. Place your zucchini in a wide open container, such as a large colander or baking sheet, so that as much of it’s surface area is exposed to the open air as possible.
  3. Set the container in the refrigerator for about 24 hours, and no more then two days.  If you do not want to mess with air drying your zucchini remove two cups of zucchini from the recipe, and then proceed.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F (~176 C).
  5. Grease two bread loaf pans.
  6. In a large bowl beat the eggs.
  7. Beat in the oil and brown sugar.
  8. Add in the vanilla, zucchini, and molasses.
  9. Mix in the dry ingredients, leaving the nuts for last.
  10. Stir in the nuts.
  11. Split the batter evenly between both loaf pans, and bake for about an hour – 80 minutes.  Toothpick test your bread to insure that it is baked through.  I had to bake mine well past the hour mark, another quirk of adding too much moisture to the bread.  I’ll be able to pin point a more accurate amount of baking time with future bakes, but until then, just make sure to keep an eye on it past the hour mark.

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