Sunday, August 26, 2012

Monster In the Garden

I am sure by now, if you have a garden, that you have grown at least one of these:


Monster Zucchini.

We have had our fair share of these monsters growing in the garden over the years, and have come to make friends with them, instead of throwing them straight into the chicken coop.

We make bread. And, lots of it.

 I have tweaked, and toiled with this recipe and have finally hit my stride, settling into the fact that it needs tweaking no more. It is fine tuned, delicious, and now, I share it with you.

The monsters pictured above are actually too big to taste well, even in bread, because they tend to get a harder shell that is not very good to eat. They are best in the bread when they are on the big side, but not too gargantuan. You can most certainly use little zukes too, if you like.

                                     Monster Zucchini Bread

                      2 Cups shredded green or yellow zucchini
                      1 Cup Brown Sugar

                      2 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar

                      2 Tsp. Vanilla

                      2/3 Cup Vegetable oil

                      2 Eggs

                      1 1/2 Cups Flour

                      1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder

                      1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda

                      1 1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon

                      3/4 Tsp. Nutmeg

                      1/4 Tsp. Ginger

                      A pinch of Cloves

                      3/4 Tsp. Salt

                       3/4 Cup Frozen Raspberries

                       3/4 Cup Frozen Blueberries

                       1/8 Cup Sugar mixed with 1 Tsp. Cinnamon

 Oh, and this recipe makes one loaf, but I usually double the ingredients to make two; one to eat now, and one to freeze for later. It freezes beautifully and actually becomes more tender.

Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees.

Prepare your cinnamon sugar mixture by mixing together the 1/8 Cup of sugar with the 1 Tsp of cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar. Grease your loaf pan with butter or a nonstick spray, then dust it with your cinnamon sugar reserving half of it to dust the top of your loaf later. Dusting your pan with the cinnamon sugar instead of flour will give your bread a tastier crust, and will also help it come out of your pan easier.

Prepare your zucchini. I use my trusty grater on my food processor to make the job quick and painless.

In a kitchen aid mixer bowl, or large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, the 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, the vanilla, the vegetable oil, and the eggs. Mix well.

Once mixed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. Mix well. It will be a little soupy, but that's okay, that's the way it's supposed to look.

Add the shredded zucchini, folding it into the batter. Next, gently add the frozen berries. These really add to the bread, so make sure to include them. Freezing them beforehand makes them much nicer to fold into the batter, and won't leave you with blue batter, or tiny bits of raspberries. You want the whole berries in the slices of bread, and freezing them beforehand ensures this.

Next, pour your batter into your prepared loaf pan. Spread it out evenly, then top liberally with the reserved cinnamon sugar mixture. This will give it a hard, shiny, yummy top crust.

Bake for 55 minutes to an hour, or until done. Make sure and test it and make sure your knife comes out clean as bread can be tricky to tell when it's cooked all the way through.

Cool on a wire rack and let cool completely before removing it from the pan. If freezing a loaf for later, wrap the cooled loaf tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap it another time in foil to make sure it freezes nicely.


I'll be back next week with highlights from our Cannon Beach trip.

Sand in my suitcase,

Sand in my toes,

Sand in my toothbrush,

And, Sand in my nose

Vacation went too quickly, it's back to the old grind,

I wish there was a button, so I could hit rewind.

: )!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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