City Gay and Country Gay

Monday, August 27, 2007

Zucchini bread -- or -- WTF is wrong with me?

Yes, it's zucchini time already and a friend who grows it in her backyard was kind enough to lend me some for my SECOND attempt at this Paula Deen (God bless her) recipe.

The first time I tried to make this bread was last fall. The recipe makes two loaves and BOTH of them collapsed in the middle. It was a scarring experience and I didn't try again until this last week.

After a lot of reading and a lot of soul-searching, I discovered my original problem was that I had used a zucchini that was way too big. The problem with giant zucchini is it contains a lot of moisture, making the foundation of the bread somewhat fragile and, as a result, causes collapsing.

So this time, after grating the zucchini, I squeezed it with my hands before putting it in the mixing bowl to eliminate the excess moisture. Problem is, I wasn't using a very big zucchini and eliminated TOO MUCH moisture, resulting in dry bread. I also ran out of sugar, which left me a quarter cup shy of what I needed, so the cinnamon/nutmeg combo was a little stronger than it should have been.

Despite all of my problems, I will say, this recipe is DELICIOUS when all the right measurements of ingredients are present, so I refuse to give up.

I will make this bread again (before next year even) and I WILL PREVAIL, GOD DAMNIT!


Clay said...

I've recently (within the past year) decided that I kinda like zucchini, but I haven't been brave enough to attempt zucchini bread yet. Is there anything you can compare it to as far as taste goes?

CityGay said...

Well, texture wise, it's very much like banana bread or a bran muffin. Taste wise, it's not much different than either of those two.

In fact, I hardly even notice the zucchini taste in it because it takes relatively little zucchini to make two loaves (2 cups shredded, which is about two-thirds of a medium-sized zucchini).

I always eliminate the walnuts from the recipe, FYI. I find them distracting.

But your question actually makes me wonder why people started making bread out of zucchini in the first place since it's contribution to the overall flavor is somewhat insignificant. What IS it's contribution/purpose? I have no idea. I am now in search of answers!

CityGay said...

I think I found the most accurate answer to why zucchini found its way into bread:

"Zucchini plants are prolific producers, so that every way it might be used was most likely explored early on."

Ask anybody who grows the stuff and they'll probably say they have more than they know what to do with. And then they'll send you on your way with a bushel of zucchini to lower their stock.

As another FYI, zucchini bread freezes well and still tastes good after it's been thawed. And it's super delicious warmed up and served with butter.

Clay said...

Thank you so much for that helpful information! Maybe I'll make a loaf next week... I'll also have to make the right ice cream pairing with my NEW ICE CREAM MAKER THAT ARRIVED TODAY!!! :)

Carollani said...

Sigh. Come and get another zucchini. This time I better at least get a piece of it.

CityGay said...

I'm not giving you one bit of it until it's perfect! PERFECT!

slambo said...

I should make something. Instead, I just ate a bunch of chips and dip. How gourmet.