Friday, September 12, 2008

Is four loaves in a month a bit obsessive?

And that's not even including the 48 "muffin loaves."


I've been waiting all summer for zucchini at the market, and when it finally showed up, I'd found the perfect recipe to try. Heidi's Special Zucchini Bread looked a bit different, and, I guess to use it's name, special.

So I gave it a try, almost following the recipe exactly the first time, just omitting the lemon zest because I had no lemons (and could only find the ones with the neon green letter emblazoned on them) and crystallized ginger because, though I had it, am not a big fan of it. I bought what looked like a promising "east meets west" curry powder, and set out to try the recipe. And I augmented the few walnuts I had on hand with brazil nuts.

And it was tasty. At the first bite, I was unsure about the curry powder flavor, but by the second muffin I was sold. I had the two of them for lunch, and froze the rest. They really do freeze quite well.

The next time I made them, I omitted the poppy seeds, and once again used half walnuts and half brazil nuts, and made it with 2 ounces of butter and 2 ounces (in weight) of canola oil, and added some raisins. It was also good this time.

With it looking promising with the oil, I made it once again after my first Friday of school, but this time, used only oil. I beat the sugar with the eggs, and then added the oil. But the batter seemed oily. Before I stirred in the nuts (and after adding all the raisins I had in the house, about half a cup), I split the batter. Into one half, the half that ended up in the loaf pan, I put about 4 ounces of blue cheese that I had a wedge of sitting in the fridge that I feared would go bad. It turned out quite nicely. Different, but not at all unpleasant.
I did the usual thing with nuts in the other half, that became square muffin loaves.
But the all oil ones were a bit more dense. Maybe it was because of the splitting I over stirred them, or maybe it was the oil. Either way, when I made the bread for the fourth time this past Sunday, I started with two tablespoons of butter, beat that with the sugar, and then beat in 1/4 cup canola oil (I almost used walnut, which may have been an equally nice choice), and then continued with the recipe as Heidi had instructed, only sticking with my raisins and brazil nuts.

I think I've finally got it down. And I have a good 15 or so muffins in the freezer still.

Formerly Heidi's Zucchini Bread
makes one large loaf and twelve small square ones, or one normal loaf and twelve muffins

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
210 grams (about 1 cup) granulated sugar
105 grams (about 1/2 cup, packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil, or other neutral oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups grated zucchini (about 2 large), with some moisture squeezed out and fluffed back up

385 grams (about 3 cups) whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon curry powder

6 ounces (about 1 cup, 170g) brazil nuts, chopped
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup, 85g) walnuts, chopped
70 grams (about 1/2 cup) raisins

Preheat oven to 350ºF and place a rack in the middle. Line one loaf pan with parchment (overhanging over sides for easy removal) or greased and floured, and grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large bowl or bowl of a mixer, beat the butter about 15 seconds, until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again for about 30 seconds to a minute, or until the sugar starts to incorporate. Add the oil, and beat until it's incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping down sides between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and then the zucchini.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and curry powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition. Don't overmix the batter, since the nuts still have to be stirred in.

Fold in the raisins, and about 3/4 of the nuts. Save some of the nuts to sprinkle on top of the load.

Portion batter into each of the twelve muffin cups. Pour remaining batter into loaf pan and smooth top. Sprinkle loaf with reserved nuts.
Bake the muffins and loaf side by side, removing the muffins after 15-20 minutes or until the spring back when lightly touched, and the loaf after 40-45 minutes.
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Enjoy, or freeze for later enjoyment.

1 comment:

Foodiemom said...

The photo of the zucchini flower is lovely. Yum--curry powder--what a great idea!