I searched for a zucchini bread recipe for years that would satisfy a childhood memory. I found it.
Growing up near the ocean, and near fields, my childhood was spent exploring nature, blowing bubbles, hiking in nearby nature sanctuaries. I now realize how lucky I was. I spent many days walking across the field from my house to my best friend's house. One of those days we went for a walk with her Mom, and her Mom brought Zucchini Bread spread with cream cheese for our snack.
I have THAT particular zucchini bread in my brain as the best ever. I've made quite a few recipes trying to replicate it, but was always left with something less than the dream.
Five years ago, I ripped out a page in Cook's Country Magazine that claimed to be the recipe that "Rescued Zucchini Bread"...they were right.
I've been holding on to this recipe for 5 years, shuffling it back and forth, forgetting I have it until I'm looking for some other recipe, then saying, "oh I have to remember to try that" only to forget it again. Well, I found a big bunch of zucchini on sale, and I finally remembered. It's a fantastic recipe. It came out SO well, and I am thrilled to share it with you.
The fun 'trick' of the recipe is to wring out the zucchini, once shredded, in a towel!
Holy fun. Green zucchini juice!
This recipe also doesn't call for the usual crushed pineapple found in many recipes, which was a little unnerving, but I didn't miss it at all. The yogurt really lends the exact amount of moistness that is needed.
I also tried out my new Vietnamese cinnamon from Penzey's Spices. It is the best cinnamon I've ever had. The cinnamon didn't overpower the bread, it lent a fully developed, rounded flavor that really brought the entirety of the bread to a whole other level. Regular cinnamon of course can be used, but it was the first time I've really noticed what a difference a phenomenal spice can make in a baked good.
Adapted from Cook's Country Magazine August/September 2005
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees and move rack to middle position
1 pound zucchini (approximately 4 small zucchini or 3 medium or 2 large...you get the idea)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs
1 Tbs lemon juice
6 Tbsp unsalted butter melted AND cooled.
Prepare zucchini: Using a box grater, shred zucchini and place on a clean tea towel or dish towel. Make sure it isn't one of your good towels! Using the towel as a sieve, squeeze as much water as possible out of the shredded zucchini. Set aside.
Prepare Pan: Liberally spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray (this recipe makes a perfect loaf in this size pan)
Mix Flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and butter until just combined.
Gently fold yogurt mixture and zucchini into flour mixture until combined.
Pour batter into pan.
Bake 45-55 minutes until top is nice, golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack for 1 hour.
Once cool, bread can be kept in plastic wrap for 3 or more days.
Have you ever tried to replicate a recipe from your childhood? Did it meet your expectations?