The Best Zucchini Bread I’ve ever made…or tasted!

We are always looking for new snack ideas in our house, and also new ways to use the plethora of our abundant and yummy CSA share from Harmony Valley Farm. We received this recipe via the newsletter that we get every week when we pick up our share. When I saw that it made two loaves, I figured we’d freeze one for later, but Emalyn and I had a chance to make it last night and the first loaf is already almost all eaten up! This is definitely a winner, and I don’t think we will ever need to make “normal” zucchini bread again. Ryan even suggested we use it for Emalyn’s birthday cake this year!

Enjoy! And if you are looking for another good recipe to use with your CSA goods, be sure to check out the Carrot Top Soup recipe!

This recipe was created by Heidi Swanson, creator of 101cookbooks.com. She calls it:

My Special Zucchini Bread Recipe

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, plus a few to sprinkle on top
1/3 cup poppy seeds
zest of two lemons
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped (optional)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fine grain natural cane sugar or brown sugar, lightly packed
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium), skins on, squeeze some of the moisture out and then fluff it up again before using

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon curry powder

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter two loaf pans, dust them with a bit of flour and set aside. Alternately, you can line the pans with a sheet of parchment. If you leave a couple of inches hanging over the pan, it makes for easy removal after baking. Just grab the parchment “handles” and lift the zucchini bread right out.

In a small bowl combine the walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest, and ginger. Set aside.

In a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until mixture comes together and is no longer crumbly. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and then the zucchini (low speed if you are using a mixer).

In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and curry powder. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition.

By hand, fold in the walnut, poppy seed, lemon zest, and crystalized ginger mixture. Save a bit of this to sprinkle on the tops of the zucchini loaves before baking for a bit of texture. Avoid over mixing the batter, it should be thick and moist, not unlike a butter cream frosting.

Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans. Make sure it is level in the pans, by running a spatula over the top of each loaf. Bake for about 40-45 minutes on a middle oven rack or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool the zucchini bread in pan for about ten minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling – if you leave them in their pans, they will get sweaty and moist (not in a good way) as they cool.

Makes 2 loaves.

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