Zucchini Bread

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We’re turning the corner into late summer (where did it go?!) and right about now is when gardens seem to be overflowing with an abundance of zucchini just begging to be used up. Perhaps you have your own garden, you were given fresh zucchini by a generous neighbor, or just couldn’t resist the mounds of beautiful squash at the grocery store or farmer’s market. However you managed to snag them, you have a stash of zucchini to use and you need a recipe. Zucchini bread is a classic and, amazingly, one that I have not made before. I never used to be a big fan of squash, but I started turning the corner with zucchini in the last couple of years and so I added zucchini bread to my ever-growing list of foods I want to tackle. The gorgeous green squash have been tempting me every time I go to the store, so I finally decided to whip up a zucchini bread.

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I love quick breads because there are so, well, quick. You typically do not need to bust out your stand mixer (or even a hand mixer) and can have your bread in the oven in the time it takes to watch your favorite re-run. Although this recipe requires you to drain the zucchini for 30 minutes, don’t be put off – it’s actually the perfect amount of time to  prepare the rest of the recipe so once the zucchini is done draining, you quickly stir everything together in a bowl, scrape it into a loaf pan, and into the oven it goes!

This recipe strikes has the perfect balance of zucchini and bread; the loaf isn’t so loaded with zucchini that it looks like a green squash in loaf form and the zucchini isn’t hidden so much that you would never know what the predominant ingredient is. You can taste zucchini in every bite, but it isn’t overpowering, and the walnuts add a great contrasting flavor and texture.

What’s your favorite zucchini recipe? My grandma used to make awesome zucchini fritters!

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Some favorite quick breads:
Bananas Foster Banana Bread
Three Cheese Beer Bread

One year ago: Pain Ordinaire Careme (French Baguettes)

Zucchini Bread

Yield: Makes 1 loaf

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 55 to 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
1 pound zucchini, washed and dried, ends and stems removed, cut in half lengthwise and seeded, each half cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) granulated sugar
½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped coarse
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions:

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the zucchini and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until the zucchini is coarsely shredded, twelve to fifteen 1-second pulses. Transfer the mixture to a fine-mesh strainer set at least 2 inches over a bowl and allow to drain for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can shred the zucchini (don't cut into 1-inch pieces) on the large holes of a box grater, toss with the 2 tablespoons of sugar, and drain.

3. Meanwhile, spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a cooling rack and cool completely. Transfer the nuts to a large bowl; add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and whisk until combined. Set aside.

4. Whisk together the remaining ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, and melted butter until combined. Set aside.

5. After the zucchini has drained, squeeze the zucchini with several layers of paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Stir the zucchini and the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture until just moistened. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula.

6. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted int he center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 1 hour before serving. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

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48 Responses to “Zucchini Bread”

  1. LIna on August 11, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Ive never tried zucchini bread before, it dosen’t sound too appealing but i hear its yummy!

    Reply

  2. Heidi on August 11, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I’ve been frantically searching for my mom’s zucchini bread recipe. This morning I gave up and called her to send it to me. I think I’ll bake a batch of each and have a Zucchini bread challenge with my fam:)

    Reply

  3. Danielle on August 11, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I’ve never had or made zucchini bread. I’m going to have to cross over to the “other side” one day soon and give this a try. I mean, it seems to be a huge favorite so I can’t be bad, right? :)

    Reply

  4. Kati on August 11, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    THIS LOOKS DELISH-WOULD LOVE TO GIVE IT A TRY-THANKS

    Reply

  5. Bev on August 11, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I love zucchini. It’s sweet and moist. It disappears as soon as it is cool. I have both zucchini and papaya squash in my garden so I mix the two. You can see the flecks of green and yellow.

    Reply

  6. Trent on August 11, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    More good reasons to get some zucchini this weekend at the farmer’s market! I like the addition of yogurt to help keep it moist.

    Reply

  7. Tracey on August 11, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I’ve never tried zucchini bread because I’m not sure I like zucchini. I should really give it a shot this summer when it’s so abundant. Your bread looks wonderful! I love all of the recipes from Baking Illustrated.

    Reply

  8. Brie on August 11, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    This looks wonderful! I’ve never tried a recipe w/ yogurt for zucchini bread…i’ve used yogurt in a lemon poppyseed muffin recipe and they were soooo delicious. Just gotta wait for zucchini plant to grow another few zucchini’s and I will let you know how the recipe goes!

    Reply

  9. Kerstin on August 11, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Love those pics, your bread is making my mouth water! I finally decorated sugar cookies using your instructions and everyone was very impressed, so thank you for all your great tips :)

    Reply

  10. Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen on August 11, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    I love zucchini fritters! In fact I made some a while back. I also posted a recipe for my favorite zucchini cake! YUM!
    http://www.leftoverqueen.com/2007/09/14/recipe-zucchini-cake-%E2%80%93-a-proud-family-tradition%E2%80%A6

    Reply

  11. Jasmine on August 12, 2009 at 6:15 am

    I love the Chocolate Zucchini cake from the K. A. blog that was published sometime last year. Chocolaty and moist.

    Reply

  12. Diana on August 12, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Thanks for this recipe! I was looking for one to use up all that harvested zuchinni, lol! By the way, I used your original pita recipe and made a whole wheat version. Hope you don’t mind that I mentioned you in my post :)

    Diana
    http://spaininiowa.blogspot.com/2009/08/soaked-whole-wheat-pita-bread.html

    Reply

  13. sherri on August 12, 2009 at 9:19 am

    One of my favorites. Love it.

    Reply

  14. Kathy Apple on August 12, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I love zucchini bread. For those who don’t like zucchini, you don’t even taste it. My husband says, then why do you put it in there?? In my recipe, I add crushed pineapple.

    Reply

  15. Kristen on August 12, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Truly – where did summer go?
    I love zucchini bread… so much that I couldn’t pick a fave. I love it with mix ins, without, any which way!

    Reply

  16. sarah on August 12, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Your pictures are so beautiful & vivid! The bread seems to jump from my screen, compelling me to make this soon!

    Reply

  17. avanti on August 13, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Looks delicious. The picture is awesome too.. make s you want to take a bite:)

    Reply

  18. Danielle on August 13, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Looks lovely!
    Love the photography…

    Reply

  19. Mark "Dutch Oven" Hansen on August 13, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Interesting. My wife and I made zucchini bread last night, but I’d never heard of draining it… I might try your method…

    Reply

  20. obparker on August 13, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    I love this recipe! My neighbors shared this with me from a different source, The New Best Recipe. I checked and it is exactly the same recipe. I made it per instructions and it is the very best Zucchini Bread I’ve ever had – not sweet or oily. It is buttery and lightly sweetened, moist but not greasy. The only change I needed to make was in the baking time. In my commercial oven it took 40-45 minutes.

    Reply

  21. Amber on August 16, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    This looks delcious! I have 4 more zucchini in the fridge that I need to use. I made somezucchini bread last week (joy of baking recipe) and it had coconut and a shredded apple in it. It was quite amazing.

    Reply

  22. Michelle on August 18, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Hi obparker – Thanks for the review! The New Best Recipe and Baking Illustrated are written by the same editors at Cook’s Illustrated, so I’m glad to hear the recipe remained consistent.

    Reply

  23. Bette on August 21, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    My neighbor recently gave me a loaf of her pina colada zucchini bread. It was fantastic! And I think she just added coconut and rum extracts plus a can of crushed pineapple to her recipe. I wonder if that would work here…

    Reply

  24. Rachel on November 8, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I tried it and added some spices and even ran out of white flour and had to use more than 1/2 wheat and it was still great! I find that sweet breads often taste to much like sugar and/or oil but this one was perfect!

    Reply

  25. Stephanie on July 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Can’t think of a better way to enjoy zucchini – then again, desserts are always the best way to enjoy vegetables!

    Reply

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  28. Jessie on September 12, 2010 at 12:17 am

    I just made this, it literally came out of the oven 10 minutes ago. It smells fantastic – like zucchini sticks. Can’t wait til it’s cool enough to try! Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 13th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

      You’re welcome Jessie! I hope you find it tastes as good as it smells!

      Reply

  29. Einahpets65 on July 9, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Quick question, about many zucchini do you usually get in a pound of zucchini? I’m bound and determined to figure out a way to like zucchini this year, and I would love to try this zucchini bread recipe. However, I’m usually get my vegetable from a CSA, so I’m not sure how many to pick up.

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 11th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      Gosh that’s hard to say, it totally depends on the size of the zucchini. You could have one huge zucchini that weighs a pound, or a couple of smaller ones.

      Reply

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  31. Monica on August 11, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Could you use lowfat vanilla yogurt instead of plain? I have some in the fridge and all of the other ingredients on hand so I am hoping to save myself a trip to the store….what do you think?

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 11th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      Hi Monica, I think you could use that, but the resulting flavor will be sweeter and more vanilla-y than intended. If you’re okay with it, texture-wise, it will okay.

      Reply

      • Monica on August 12th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

        I used the vanilla yogurt and it turned out delicious. I made the loaf yesterday afternoon and it is almost gone already!

        Reply

    • SusieQ on July 3rd, 2013 at 7:18 am

      I used Greek vanilla yogurt and it was delicious!

      Reply

  32. colleen on September 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Perfect recipe. I’d never tried zucchini bread (baking it myself or even tasted it). This recipe was delicious and easy to make. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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  40. SusieQ on July 3, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Zucchini Bread perfection!
    I made this bread last night, and was concerned when the batter didn’t come together like other quick breads I have made. This seemed much dryer. I read over the list of ingredients and found I had made it true to the recipe. Once the dry ingredients were moistened I had hope, put it in my emile loaf pan and baked as directed. It came out beautifully. The texture was not dense and heavy nor was it dry and light. But my favorite thing about this recipe was it was not overly sweet; it had just a hint of sweetness.

    Reply

  41. Odonnell on July 21, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Your Grandmother was a smart lady. This recipe is a 2009 Americas Test Kitchen (PBS) recipe. The yogurt is used to add moisture. In lieu of the yogurt, cut your oil in half and simply use apple sauce. If you don’t have walnuts on hand, toast some coconut or toast some oatmeal. Adds great flavor.

    Reply

  42. CARREN J on August 10, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I HAVE BEEN USING A ZUCCHINI BREAD RECIPE FOR 20 + YEARS AND DO NOT DRAIN THE ZUCCHINI. I ALSO USED A HAND GRINDER THEN AND A GRINDER ATTACHMENT FOR MY KITCHENAID NOW.

    Reply

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