Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bake zucchini bread today! Give it away tomorrow!

Each morning on the way to work I drive past a building supply store called Elmo Studd's. Though I have never been there, Elmo Studd's seems to me to be the epitome of a great small business, efficient and useful, with a honest and ever changing billboard erected on an ever busier corner.

The billboard does not advertise nails or lumber or staple guns for sale. Instead it announces the opening of the newest play produced by the community theatre and tells the high school kids to drive safe and have fun at prom. In late summer Elmo advises the masses to bake zucchini bread. Zucchini is abundant, so abundant that Elmo says to give the bread to those you like, or those you don't like. Whatever it takes to unload loaf after loaf of expertly tin foil wrapped bread.

And so I did it. Even though zucchini bread is not my favorite, I baked. It seemed the right, most civic minded thing to do, especially since I had two rather thin and delicate looking zucchini perched in my produce bowl just waiting for something to be done with them.

I must say, the bread was divine. Apparently delicate zucchini produces delicate zucchini bread that is brown and good and flecked with amazingly green morsels of shredded zucchini. On a whim, and because I was out of walnuts but had blueberries, I added blueberries to the mix with very pleasing results. It is the only blue and green bread I've ever eaten, but I dare say I'll make it again soon, and not just because a billboard told me to.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Magnolia Bakery's Zucchini Walnut Bread recipe
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini (include the skin!)
1/2 to 3/4 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350
Grease loaf pan (9 x5 x 3 size) and line with parchment.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.
In a larger bowl, on medium speed of mixer, beat together the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Stir in the zucchini.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the blueberries and stir very gently.
Pour the batter into a prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool for at least one hour before cutting or serving.
This bread is very moist and almost cake like. Make sure bread is really done before removing from oven.

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