03 August 2007

zucchini quick bread

A couple days ago, before it got too hot to light the oven, I baked zucchini bread. I slightly modified the recipe from The Best-Ever Wheat- and Gluten-Free Baking Book. (Hate that title; love the book as a reference.) The recipe called for zucchini (obviously), eggs, melted butter (I used canola oil), honey, rice flour, millet flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, xanthan gum, vanilla, an envelope of gelatin, raisins, and plain nuts. I don't know what "plain" nuts are so I used pecans. And I don't love raisins so I chopped some dried apricots.

Notice it doesn't say "quick zucchini bread". It took me awhile to chop and grate everything.

The recipe calls for two 8 x 4 loaf pans. I figured I'd fill one loaf pan and use the rest of the batter for muffins, then freeze either the loaf or the muffins for later. I emptied out my cupboards to discover that all 4 of the loaf pans I own are 9 x 5 pans. So, okay, I'll make a 9 x 5 loaf and use the rest for muffins. I decided to try my new silicone loaf pan--first time with silicone baking "dishes".

The batter came together just fine, until I started folding in the flour mixture. This was my first use of gelatin in baking and I wasn't sure what would happen with it but I decided to trust the recipe-writer. The batter was an elasticky lump. I thought maybe I had used too much xanthan gum. It plopped into my loaf pan and I knew it would be too much trouble and mess to scoop some out for making muffins. So I just put my 9 x 5 loaf in the oven.

The recipe said to bake for about 25 minutes. In my mind I was factoring in using a larger loaf pan, which might require longer cooking time, but using silicone is supposed to reduce cooking time because it distributes the heat better or something. After 25 minutes, I still had a gooey mass. After 30 minutes, the same. 40 turned out to be the magic number. Browning on top, clean toothpick from the middle. Quick, take it out before it gets too dry!

Dryness turned out not to be a problem here. Between the honey, zucchini, apricots, xanthan, and gelatin, there was enough moisture and stickiness in this batter. And it didn't turn out gooey, like some other GF quick breads I've tried. It's a nicely held-together moist quick bread. And tasty! Not too sweet, perfect for breakfast or snacktime with a cup of coffee or tea. And very filling. With the nuts and millet flour and apricots and zucchini there's a lot of protein and fiber in this bread.

Wet vegetables in breads tend to get moldy, quickly. After 3 days I had eaten about half the loaf, and was completely full and ready to eat something else for breakfast. I knew I'd never eat the rest before it went bad. So it's in the freezer now. We'll see how it comes out after freezing.

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