5 June 2012

Experimental Zucchini Loaf

Having spent 4 months living in what I affectionately refer to as 'The Shack', its been a while since I've flexed my baking hands.  But today, whilst staying with a friend in Sydney, I took a long walk through the suburbs and city and took in some delicious smells from the multitude of cafes and bakeries I came across and it got me thinking.

To feed my growing obsession of baking with 'things my dad grows' I popped to the supermarket and picked up a zucchini, or in the real world, a courgette (being in Australia I couldn't actually use one from Dad's garden, but the thought is there).  I have no recipes for zucchini bread but a quick search online gave me heaps to read; the one I used is a combination of a few.

The poor little guy didn't really rise much so the loaf looks a little sad, and a lot ugly.  But once I'd sliced it open and popped some in my mouth, superficial factors were forgotten.  For an ugly little thing it tastes good!  The zucchini gives a delicate flavour and moisture to the bread, and the cinnamon and walnuts 

The texture is close, which could be improved if it had risen more, but the texture is right for a tea loaf.  I do wonder if doubling the quantity would have filled the tin better; the batter barely reached halfway and doesn't have much raising agent.  But the top hasn't risen to a dome which would have made for a much more aesthetically pleasing zucchini loaf.

If I was at home I'd have made a few tweaks to the ingredients; for a start I'd have measured the tin I was using.....  I don't like using white flour for tea loaves, I'd rather have used wholemeal flour and demerara sugar along with the soft brown sugar I used today.  This is one loaf I will try again though.

Zucchini Loaf (makes 1 loaf)
1/2 lb grated zucchini
1 1/2 cups plain flour
pinch bicarb. of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 soft brown sugar
3/8 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1) Preheat oven to 180 degress
2) Combine flour, bicarb, baking soda and spices 
3) Mix egg, sugars, oil and vanilla extract
4) Add the zucchini and walnut to the dry mix
5) Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and fold gently with a tablespoon until the dry ingredients are just combined
6) Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes.
7) When fully cooked allow the loaf to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and feel disappointed that its not beautiful
8) Leave it on the bench in your friend's kitchen so her boyfriend can eat it, but eat most of it yourself in the name of science and baking development.