everyone says they have the best zucchini bread recipe. most baked goods go that way. everyone has a secret ingredient, or a “better way” of making it… my claim to making the best zucchini recipe is unfounded. i don’t know what makes it the best, i just know that to me, it tastes like the best. i love it. unfortunately, i can’t eat it because it is grain based. but i can make it and give it out to friends and loved ones! which is what i have been doing lately. baking vicariously for my grain eating buddies. sounds like they’ve been enjoying my grainy foods lately, so i thought i’d post a recipe that is simply delicious and really flexible. i sent this recipe to my friend jamie, though i’m not sure if she’s made it yet. i thought i’d give her a few weeks to try it out exclusively before i made the recipe public!
i really love walnuts in quick breads, so i never skimp on them. you could also throw in raisins if you desire. i use a cream cheese based glaze, which gives it a little “tang” that i really like. i like to sprinkle chopped candied ginger on top of the glaze for some spice.
i guess the “secret” ingredient is possibly what makes it the best, but if you do not feel like going out and buying the rye flour, you can simply use more whole wheat pastry flour. it will still be great, delicious, and wonderful. -but it will not be “best”, because the savory flavor that the rye lends the loaf of this sweet, moist bread is a really tasty surprise in this recipe. so, i strongly recommend taking the time to buy some rye flour, which is inexpensive and versatile in many recipes. i use bob’s red mill brand, which can be found at most grocery stores in the baking and flours section or in the “specialty foods” area.
the other “secret” that may make it especially tasty is the combination of brown and regular sugars. brown sugar always gives baked goods a moist molasses flavor that i really crave in the fall!
in this recipe, i use 1/2 rye flour, 1/2 white whole wheat. you could use all white whole wheat, or sub in all-purpose flour if you don’t feel like using these “special” flours.
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
small sprinkling of ginger if you wish
heaping tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 tbsp vanilla extract or scraping from a vanilla bean if you have one
squeeze from a lemon
3 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups chopped walnuts
preheat oven to 350f. place racks in the center of the oven. grease up 2 regular sized loaf pans and dust them with flour. set aside.
mix together first 4 (and ginger if you want) ingredients in a big bowl and set aside.
cream together butter and sugar (both brown and regular) with electric mixer. be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to reincorporate butter that will stick to the bottom of the bowl. do this a few times.
beat in the eggs one at a time, following with the vanilla, zucchini, then the lemon squeeze. scrape down sides of the bowl, and continue to mix well.
dump half of the flour into wet mixture, and run mixer for a few seconds, then dump in the other half. mix until it is just combined. -no over mixing! be sure to scrape bowl once more to ensure all ingredients are mixed in.
by hand, fold in walnuts.
divide batter into loaf pans, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes clean. edges should be brown and slightly pulled away from the sides.
let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so., then run a knife around edges and invert to release loaf from pan. let it cool completely on wire rack. wait until it’s cool to glaze.
1/2 block cream cheese, room temp
1 cup powdered sugar or more
1/2 cup or more milk (i use coconut or soy, but you can use regular if you want)
lemon zest from half a lemon
whip cream cheese until it is creamy and “manageable”. stop mixer and dump in sugar and zest. slowly start mixer, gradually turning power up, and mix sugar into cream cheese. whip until light and fluffy. at this point, you have cream cheese frosting. now slowly add in milk until desired consistency. let it mix for a few minutes so sugar dissolves a little. you’re done when you decide!!! if it is super runny, use a spoon to drizzle it on. i actually like to use a pastry brush and paint it over the top. if it is thick, use a knife to frost.