Thursday, September 4, 2008

Uniforms and Zucchini Bread

So we just got back from the school and today was a good day for us! They had every piece of my uniform except my senior polo that I am supposed to wear, but they said that they would get it in by sunday. The pants are icky and too wide in the legs and make my butt look weird though. I am thinking of taking in the legs a little bit though so shhhh.... lol.
I thought that I would also share with you guys one of my other more recent baking adventures.

Heidi's Special Zucchini Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, plus a few to sprinkle on top
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds (optional)
  • zest of two lemons (optional)
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped (optional) (you can also use fresh ginger)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium), skins on (squeeze some of the moisture out and then fluff it up again before using)
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (optional)
Note: Heidi calls for you to use two 5x9 inch loaf pans, but i used a bigger pan and made a single loaf

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter the two loaf pans, dust them with a bit of flour and set aside. Alternately, you can line the pans with a sheet of parchment. If you leave a couple inches hanging over the pan, it makes for easy removal after baking. Just grab the parchment "handles" and lift the zucchini bread right out.

In a small bowl combine the walnuts, poppy seeds (the only thing that Heidi recommended that I didn't have in my kitchen so it was the one thing that didn't make it in), lemon zest, and ginger. Set aside.

In a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until mixture comes together and is no longer crumbly. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and then the zucchini (low speed if you are using a mixer).

Note: Make sure you squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini first!

In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and curry powder. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition.

By hand, fold in the walnut, poppy seed, lemon zest, and crystalized ginger mixture. Save a bit of this to sprinkle on the tops of the zucchini loaves before baking for a bit of texture. Avoid over mixing the batter, it should be thick and moist, not unlike a butter cream frosting.

Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans. Make sure it is level in the pans, by running a spatula over the top of each loaf. Bake for about 40-45 minutes on a middle oven rack. I like to under bake my zucchini bread ever so slightly to ensure it stays moist. Keep in mind it will continue to cook even after it is removed from the oven as it is cooling. Remove from the oven and cool the zucchini bread in pan for about ten minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling - if you leave them in their pans, they will get sweaty and moist (not in a good way) as they cool.

Makes 2 loaves.

Recipe courtesy of Heidi Swanson at 101CookBooks.

I have made several of Heidi's recipes now including her Baked Polenta Fries, Grilled Pizza, Peanut Butter Cookies, Baked Doughnuts, and I have to say that I have loved every one of her recipes that she has shard with her many fans on her website! She takes a very interesting approach to some very classic recipes to make them more healthy and balanced, and yet she always manages to retain an amazing flavor with every creation. She is one amazing chef, and it is because of her that I have decided to start this blog where I will share the many recipes that I will be making.
I give Heidi Swanson a two thumbs up, and I hope that you all check her out!

No comments: