Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

Zucchini Bread Blowout

There’s something about quick breads that are so homey, so warm, so feel-good GOOD.  Zucchini bread is obviously no exception and is one of my favorite quick breads (in a long list of favorites).  Unless a specific request is made, you will pretty much always see some form of chocolate chips in my quick breads.  Or at least the ones made with zucchini.  Or pumpkin.  Or banana.  ANYWAY.  This recipe adds in an extra dimension of crunch by using walnuts but please feel free to omit either the walnuts or the chocolate chips or both.  This bread will soldier on without either of those ingredients and still manage to kill your brain with deliciousness.

Zucchini Bread

3 large eggs
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix butter with sugar until combined. Add eggs, one at a time.  Mix in grated zucchini and vanilla.

In another large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Use a whisk to mix well.  Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix until just combined. Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Set pans on wire rack and let cool about 10 minutes, then turn loaves out onto rack to cool completely.

Lightly adapted from Once Upon A Chef.


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Zucchini Bread Blob

I’ve been really wanting to make some zucchini bread but I’ve been putting off baking any in the hopes that some zucchini would magically appear on my doorstep.  I’m kind of in awe that the ever-abundant zucchini that always seems to overpopulate someone’s garden didn’t find its way to my kitchen this year.  I throw my hands up in mock exasperation at this lack of zucchini-giving-awaying!  Luckily I am a sale-sniffer and found some RELATIVELY inexpensive zucchini at the supermarket this past weekend.  It sat in the fridge for a few days while I decided what kind of weird science I wanted to perform.  This one is definitely a keeper.  It’s a bread that has that homegrown feel but with a little twist.

A word to the wise – please follow the directions for dividing the batter into two loaf pans!  I had a little snafu with my bread when I decided that I could will my bread batter into not overflowing in the oven.  I don’t think the batter heard me because I ended up having to put a sheet pan underneath my loaf pan in order to catch the blob of batter that was blubbling (yes, BLUBBLING) over the side.  These things happen, though, and at least I got to create a blob that could’ve starred in its own horror movie.

Cinnamon Zucchini Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 bag (10 ounces) cinnamon chips
3 large eggs
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk in sugars then stir in cinnamon chips.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs until combined; add yogurt, oil, vanilla and zucchini until well combined. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into bread comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cover bread with foil if it gets too brown. Cool 1 hour in pan, before running a knife around outside edges and removing.

Recipe adapted from Sugar Plum

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Sometimes there are these deals that I find that are just too good to pass up.  Like when I find a great big armful of bananas already ripened and ready to go in the “reduced” section of the supermarket for $1.69.  What!  $1.69?  Yes, $1.69.  I think there were 50 bananas in the pack I picked up.  Maybe 15.  But still awesome.

So what will follow is a series of baked goods utilizing my wonderfully sweet haul.  The first had to be a banana bread because, well, COME ON, it’s banana bread.  It’s the bread that wafts through the house, bringing children and adults sniffing through the air, wondering when they can get their hands on some of that goodness.  And I’ve gotta say, this is some of the best banana bread I’ve made.  I may have even witnessed some swooning over this bread.  Although, it could have just been the hot weather.

Coconut Banana Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Set the oven at 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt to blend them.  Mix in chocolate chips then set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter, olive oil, and sugars until the mixture is light in color. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla, bananas, and coconut.  Stir in the flour mixture until just blended.  Pour the batter into the loaf pan.

Bake the bread for approximately 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes away with just a few small crumbs. Cool the bread on a rack for 20 minutes. Turn it out and set it right side up on the rack to cool.

Recipe slightly adapted from a Black Dinah Cafe recipe.

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Orange a go-go

I know it’s been awhile and I feel terribly guilty.  I haven’t been baking since we got home from Florida but I just didn’t want to make my waistline any bigger.  Yet, anyway.

I kind of figured that my baking would temporarily run dry once we got home so I made it a point to make something while I was staying in the sunshine state.  It was pretty easy to decide what the focus of my baked good should be and boy were they juicy.  Apparently oranges weren’t in season but I still feel like I got the best of the best.

The orange flavor in this was perfect – not overwhelming but not just a hint of it, either.  The raspberries really broke through, too, and added a nice zing.  It was all gone and in our bellies by the end of the trip.

Orange Raspberry Bread

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed orange juice (or the store bought stuff if you want to make life easier)
3 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
1 container raspberries

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugars and salt; whisk to mix.

In a small bowl, beat eggs slightly then stir in orange juice, butter, and grated orange peel. Add wet mix to flour mixture, stirring only enough to moisten all ingredients. Fold in raspberries.  Spoon mixture into greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan, spreading to corners. Bake bread in preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, lower temperature to 325°F and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes.  Bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let stand 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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Pear are you going?

Okay, I’ve been keeping it from you.  I’m leaving for Florida this week.  I’M SORRY.  I do want to give you some baked goodies while I’m away but I’m also not sure if that will happen.  I mean, there’s going to be all that sun and the sun and, did I mention, the sun?  Oh, and Disney World, too.

That being said, I’m trying to get rid of the arsenal of food that might spoil or over-ripen while I’m away.  You might think that some of the things that I’ve been making would be more suited to the fall season but all fruit beckons to me in the spring/summertime.  Especially when it goes on sale.

I’ve always liked pears.  They kind of seem like the underdog of the fruit world.  You don’t often find them in baked goods, which is why I really liked making this bread.  Eating it was even better.

After a long, long walk, Lee and I sat our butts down and each ate a big piece of this bread.  We both mmmm’d our way through eating and then we both thought about what a second piece would taste like.  The health nut in us struggled with the fat kid in us and, surprisingly, the health nut won.  This time.

Almond Pear Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 to 4 firm, ripe pears (2 cups total)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Heat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 10-inch tube pan or two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl, and whisk to mix everything together. If using nuts, scoop out 1/4 cup of the flour mixture and combine in a small bowl with the chopped pecans, stirring and tossing to coat the nuts with the flour.

In a medium bowl, combine the butter, oil, eggs, applesauce, sugars, and extracts.  Mix until combined.  Grate the pears and add to the wet ingredients, along with the nuts.  Stir together.  Scrape the pear mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until the flour disappears and the batter is evenly moistened.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 70 to 75 minutes, or until the bread is browned and firm on top and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Then turn it out onto a plate or a wire rack to cool completely, top side up. Serve it as is or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

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I warned you.  I told you that my strawberry obsession would only get worse so you really can’t blame me.  Plus, why would you blame me?  Strawberries are delicious!  And strawberry-themed baked goods?  Get outta here.

We’re trying to be healthier, yes?  Kind of, sort of?  Okay, yeah, a little indulgence is good for the soul.  But eating better doesn’t have to be boring or gross!  Little substitutions like replacing a portion of all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour or subbing part of the sugar content with agave syrup can still produce some real hearty mmmm’s.  Sure, your healthier desserts aren’t going to taste exactly the same as a full-fat, full-sugar, full-everything, don’t hold back, don’t look back dessert BUT you might feel a little better about that forkful you just put into your mouth.


This bread isn’t overly sweet and has just a hint of lemon to it.  If you want to up the lemon flavor, feel free to toss in some lemon zest for an extra kicker.  Also, if you can let this bread sit overnight, it’s so much better after a day.  All the flavors have mingled and the texture has settled into a cake-y cornbread concoction that sits nicely on the taste buds.

Strawberry Lemonade Cornmeal Bread

Yields: 12 slices

1 egg
1 egg white
1/4 cup lemon yogurt (I used Chobani)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup agave syrup
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups fresh diced strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease an 8 x 4″ loaf pan.

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg and egg white gently. Stir in the yogurt, oil, extracts, lemon juice, and agave syrup until evenly mixed. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until there are no longer traces of flour. Gently fold in the strawberries, then pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the bread and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.  Enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream.

Approximate nutrition facts per serving:

Calories: 160; Fat: 4.3g (Saturated Fat: 0.4g); Carbohydrates: 27.4g; Protein: 3.5g; Fiber: 1.9g; Sodium: 257.8mg

Recipe adapted from Cate’s World Kitchen.

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