Sunday, September 20, 2009
I have fond memories of eating zucchini bread as a child. I remember clearly the first time I ever tasted it, sitting outside in my neighbor's yard on a sunny day. I was handed a gorgeous slice of bread that tasted more like cake, with a cinnamony cookie-like scent, speckled with nuts. I can remember how the sunlight made the tiny green flecks of the zucchini look like emerald chips scattered across the bread. It was delicious and I was from that moment on, hooked. Zucchini bread had entered the ranks of my favorites foods on earth. Sadly, since I was very young at the time, I was not quite at the age where I was comfortable demanding recipes, and in fact, was probably not even cooking much yet without the assistance of my grandmother or mom. If mom ever pried the recipe out of my neighbor, it has probably been lost, as I can't remember mom ever making it.
I tried a lot of zucchini bread recipes, enjoying many of them, even though none quite matched that first slice in taste. I had finally found a recipe I liked a lot, enough to repeat making, and for a while, that was "my" zucchini bread recipe. But then I moved next door to a bubbly, friendly decorating student named Tobi. She also loved to bake and offered me a zucchini bread baking challenge. She bet me that hers was better, and I was up for it. I was a winner either way, with two loaves of a favorite treat to test out. I baked my then favorite recipe, she baked hers. And well, one bite into hers and I knew she had a real winner. It was so moist and tender, and the color was beautiful. The secret to its moistness and flavor was crushed pineapple. She very kindly shared the recipe, and a long-standing friendship was started.
So here I give you Tobi's Fabulous Zucchini-Pineapple bread:
(makes 2 loaves)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded zucchini (leave the skin on)
1 cup canola or sunflower oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 F and have ready two 9x5" sized loaf tins, lined with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the wet ingredients. In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and the nuts. Combine the two mixtures together, stirring with a wooden spoon only long enough to combine everything together, leaving no dry patches. Overmixing will make the bread flat and tough. Pour the bread batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean when poked into the center. If the bread is browning too much, tent with foil.
Allow the loaves to cool completely in the tins. If you try to take them out too soon, they will fall apart into a pile of moist crumbs. If you can stand to wait even longer, this bread tastes better after being chilled overnight.
at 11:27 AM Posted by Heatherfeather