On April 25th each year, #NationalZucchiniBreadDay encourages bakers every where to bake this delicious bread. The problem is, that zucchini is a summer squash, which makes me wonder why zucchini's National Day is in early spring. So unless you grated and froze some, you may have to hunt the produce aisle to find good, fresh squash.
But if you do find some, just like bananas, applesauce, and carrots, zucchini makes this baked loaf moist and a bit more nutritious. However, for those of us who use sourdough, it is a terrific excuse to use up some of our discard even though it works well with active starter too.
The zucchini historically comes from the Americas where it was cultivated as long ago as 4000 BC in Mexico and the northern communities of South America. Native Americans told early colonizers that zucchini was to be eaten raw. But as it made it way back to Europe it was added into many heated dishes.
In France, it was dubbed as a "courgette," which basically means vegetable in French, even though botanically it is a fruit. As it found its way into Italian cuisine, it was named zucchino, their word for squash, where it was often cooked into savory dishes.
Harvested best while they are young, fruits have better taste and their seeds are still soft so that they are not noticeable while eating. Zucchini is nutritious since it contains folate, potassium, as well as vitamin A.
For the home gardener, plants often produce and overwhelming number of fruits; more than can easily be eaten raw or made in savory side dishes. For that reason, many home gardeners grate their surplus and freeze it for later baking in zucchini bread. You see like carrots, applesauce, and bananas, zucchini give baked goods a moist texture plus you are getting some hidden veggies too.
Zucchini bread is quite similar to quick breads like banana bread. Zucchini (and banana) bread are baked in loaf pans. When finished, they are both sliced and often served with butter, cream cheese, or jam, but toasted, it is great plain.
Basic Ingredients for Quick Sourdough Breads
- Fat – shortening, butter, margarine, or vegetable oil are all used depending on the texture bakers want in the end. For this recipe we suggest vegetable oil, olive, corn, coconut, etc.
- Sugar – white sugar, brown sugar, and some sugar substitutes may be used. For this recipe we suggest dark, brown sugar for its molasses tone in flavor.
- Eggs – eggs are binding agent, and add volume and texture to quick breads.
- Flour – many bakers use all-purpose flour for its lower protein content, but others enjoy the goodness of whole grain flour
- Liquid – while many quick bread recipes use milk or water moisten the ingredients, the zucchini, eggs and starter will provide plenty of liquid
- Leavening agent – most quick bread use baking powder or baking soda with something acidic like buttermilk, but the sourdough starter combined with both soda and baking powder will give the bread plenty of leavening.
- Flavoring ingredient – many bakers selected spices, fruits/vegetables, nuts, or extracts to complement the flavor of the main ingredient. But most often, everyone use vanilla to enhance the flavor.
While you might mix and match these ingredients, but we suggest following our recipe for your first attempt. And remember over mixing may prevent the bread from rising well while baking and causes the bread to be more dense.