Saturday, August 22, 2015

Zucchini Squash Bread

During the summer when squash is plentiful, I always make breakfast breads. The classic is of course zucchini bread, so today I'm reprising my sister's 2009 guest post with minor updates and new photos.

Julian's Zucchini Squash Bread Mini Loaves
Peel and Seed:  It seems our summer has created yet another banner crop of zucchini and yellow squash. Thanks to friends that have vegetable gardens, today's breads will be a combination of both summer vegetables. You'll note in the recipe it says to peel both types of squash before using, but actually for the zucchini I typically only partially peel them as shown in this photo. I like a little green color in the bread and I figure a little more fiber in the diet is always good. For the yellow squash, which has a more tough skin, I do fully peel it.  Also note that my zucchini are young and have few if any seeds. So I won't bother seeding those either. The large yellow squash on the other hand is very mature and is loaded with seeds, so those will be completely removed before I shred them.

Large yellow, peeled and seeding under way.
Small zucchini, half peeled not seeded.
Large Volumes:  Summer squash almost always comes in volume. And from the recipe below it's hard to know just how much squash you will yield from each piece. Today as you can see, I have two small zucchini and one large yellow squash. I recommend you prepare no more than 1-3 squash and then measure out the shredded version. My two small and one large squash yielded about 6 1/2 cups shredded, so I doubled the recipe. When doubling you have two choices; either mix two batches separately in the mixer as noted, or do the mixing by hand if you double the recipe. It will come out fine either way, but even the largest home kitchen mixer can't handle doubling this recipe. I did it by hand and if you do it this way, combine the dry ingredients in a very large bowl, then mix with a hand mixer the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Then stir them together with a large spoon. Add the squash, raisins/cranberries and optional nuts and combine with your hands.

Shredded zucchini and yellow squash.

Today I'm using small loaf pans as this bread freezes quite well and we don't like to have too much out at one time. You can simply wrap extra loaves in plastic wrap and then place them in a zippered plastic freezer bag and use them as you need. They only take a couple hours to thaw at room temperature.

The recipe below makes two standard loaves. Fill loaf pans about 2/3 full only.

Dry Ingredients
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar

Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup sour cream
3 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil

3 cups zucchini or yellow squash, shredded
1/2 cup raisins or 'craisins' (dried sweetened cranberries)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Peel and seed the zucchini or yellow squash.  Shred on a box grater or food processor, and set aside. Prepare two (2) standard sized loaf pans by spraying with food release or rubbing with soft butter. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Place dry ingredients in a mixer bowl with dough hook and mix on low speed until combined.  Add the wet ingredients and continue to mix, scraping bowl occasionally. The mixture will seem dry.  Add zucchini, raisins and walnuts (optional) and mix until thoroughly combined. (NOTE:  If doubling the batch and your mixer bowl is not large enough, stir the dry ingredients together by hand. Mix the wet ingredients with a hand mixer, and stir together with the dry mixture until well combined. The stir in the remaining ingredients.)

Scoop into prepared loaf pans and bake 45-60 minutes or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. If using smaller loaf pans (mini loaves) then check in 35 minutes as they will bake more quickly.

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