Friday, September 3, 2010

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

Late August always brings me Garden Fatigue. What started so hopefully in the spring and blossomed with joy as my garden grew all summer, has now withered with an overabundance of vegetables, and the grim reality (for me at least) of canning season. However, one bright star remains...Baking. I love to bake. And when I’m tired of zucchini fried, raw, steamed, stir-fried, grilled, and broiled, there is bread. I found this recipe (another cut from the Oregonian newspaper) and it has been my favorite since.

There is no author attribution on the yellowed newspaper clipping residing in my recipe book—but my eternal gratitude to the genius that shared this recipe. It's easily the best recipe for Zucchini bread I've ever tried.

As is always the case, the dump cook in me has refined and tweaked it, but the core remains. Baking offers special challenges for the dump cook—it being not as friendly to changes in amount and ingredients as other forms of cooking. Fortunately, a little extra zucchini here, or a few more raisins there, doesn’t seem to affect the taste of this bread. The recipes as it stands is wonderful, but try it with a streusel topping and it’s beyond. Nana tells me if you wait until the bread has cooked for 35 to 40 minutes and then add the topping, it won’t dimple in the middle as it does if you add it before baking. (Yep, I’m gonna try that next time…) Just be careful not to jostle the pans, as you don’t want it to fall.

I also have to confess to ulterior motives for posting this recipe online. My good friend Rosie, has lost it 4 years in a row now...and just last week she asked me for it again.Smiley This one’s for you Rosie! ♥ Happy Baking!

Pineapple Zucchini Bread
Makes 2 loaves

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cup shredded zucchini
8 ¼ oz can crushed pineapple, well-drained
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp nutmeg
1 cup pecans or walnuts--finely chopped
1 cup raisins, craisins, or currents

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour, or spray with no stick cooking spray, two 8-by-4 inch loaf pans

Beat eggs, add oil, sugar, and vanilla, and continue beating until mixture is thick. With spoon stir in zucchini and pineapple.

In a separate bowl combine flour, soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, nuts, and raisins. Stir with fork to mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just blended.

Divide the batter between the two loaf pans and bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pans about 10 minutes and then turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.

Streusel Topping: optional
(I usually don’t measure these, so amounts are approximate…feel free to improvise)

¼ cup flour
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs white flour

Mix together with your fingers until you have a crumbly mixture. As mentioned above, add to top of bread after baking for 35 to 40 minutes.

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