Sunday, October 26, 2014

Zucchini Loaf. Or Loaves. Be Warned.

Having been otherwise occupied, I haven’t cooked or baked for four months. So it’s fair to say I’m a little rusty. Hmmm … Maybe a whole lot rusty. But this is how one learns new skills, Dollinks! What I learned was to let my Significant Other get out in that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans. I’d even settle for an Insignificant Other, as long as it was the pots and pans being rattled, rather than I.

So this is the mmm-mmm-good Zucchini Loaf I made early this morning, on a rare foray into the kitchen. Doesn’t this loaf look scrumptious? Perhaps not. But believe me, that’s how it tasted! This is the best loaf I’ve ever made! The worst, you don’t want to see.

Our recipe began peacefully enough, as morning crept into the Parton kitchen and I crept in there, too - never suspecting the horror that lay in wait.

Zucchini Loaf. Or Loaves. Be Warned. 

3 c. all-purpose flour minus 2 tbsp.
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. cinnamon
3 eggs
1 c. canola oil
2-1/4 c. granulated sugar
2-to-3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 medium zucchini, peeled, grated, and loosely packed to equal 2 c. 
1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (see Note)

Preheat oven to 325 deg. F. Line bottom of greased 9 x 5-in. loaf pan with parchment paper (See Scary Foreboding Noteand set aside.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in medium bowl. In large bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla at high speed, using electric mixer. Gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, beating well at low speed. Combine remaining 2 tbsp. flour with grated zucchini. Hand-stir zucchini-flour mixture into batter. Add nuts, combining well. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

It all started with one medium zucchini. 

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, yada-yada-yada.

Grate zucchini. After which everything went sideways.

My baked loaf sagged in the center.

It spilled over the sides of the pan.

It was misshapen.

It was moist in the middle. Too moist, if you ask,
which you actually didn
’t, but who cares? It was.

Bake 1-1/4 hr., or until skewer inserted at center of loaf comes out clean. Loaf will resemble Hunchback of Notre Dame. Carry on and keep calm. Swig scotch, if you must. Resist urge to commit hari-kari with bread knife. Cool loaf pan on wire rack for 20 min. Turn loaf from pan to cool completely. Yields one. Consider yourself warned.

Note: See Index for How to Toast Nuts and Seeds. Toasting the nuts in this recipe makes a huge difference to its taste. When taste is all this loaf has going for it, you’ll want to be sure to toast your nuts. That advice applies to women, too.

Scary Foreboding Note: The original recipe called for two 8 x 4-in. loaf pans. If you have loaf pans in this size, divide batter between them, baking 40-to-60 min. and everyone will live happily ever after. If you have only a standard 9 x 5-in. loaf pan, fill it 2/3 full (not almost to the top, as I did), using remaining batter to make muffins. Otherwise, use all the batter to make Zucchini Muffins, baking 20 min. This should yield about 2-1/2 doz. muffins.