Zucchini Bread Wins

Oooo, hard time getting back into the swing of things post Memorial Day weekend. Weather in New England has been nothing short of spectacular, highlighted by some very lovely and exciting thunderstorms.

But now, it's time to get going....get moving into the final weeks of school, final weeks of Spring, and final weeks of daily sports-chores-errands before the lazy days hit us softly hard.

With all these end-of-the-school-year events there's a big draw to classroom breakfasts, teacher gifts, and thisandthat swan songs. Usually, we're the family that brings the fresh fruit or seasonal fruit salad or sometimes, it's whatever we have on hand. I think one time I actually tried to pass off a bag of Trader Joe's trail-mix as a adequate classroom breakfast donation - much to my 1st grader's horror. I might have even said to someone, "wow, who brought the half-eaten bag of dried fruit and nuts?" just to secure my covert operation.

This year, without a job complicating my time, I can actually bake something....some quick bread, like old-school style. I recently gave this recipe a try. I'd like to make a strong recommendation to any other folks out there looking for a mighty tasty, home-baked creation....it was a sure fire hit:

This is a tweaked recipe from Cooks Illustrated:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 pound zucchini
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pecans (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled.

1. Adjust an over rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375°. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5" loaf pan; dust with flour.

2. In a food processor, coarsely chop and blend zucchini and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Transfer mixture to a fine-mesh strainer and drain for 30 minutes. You can also grate the zucchini and hand mix with the sugar, and drain.

3. Meanwhile mix flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and whisk until combined. Set aside.

4. Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, and cooled melter butter in a 2-cup glass measure until combined. Set aside.

5. Stir the zucchini and the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture until just moistened. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan. Smooth the surface.

6. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

(I'm thinking: maybe I should don a bonnet and apron when I bring this in and go super old-school)

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