You’ve heard of the gift that keeps on giving, well a single zucchini plant is just that. Here it is approaching October and the official start of Fall (September 22nd) and that plant is still doing its thing. It keeps my creative juices flowing trying to come up with new ways to incorporate it into recipes. Since my palate leans to the savory side rather than the sweet, I am particularly fond of this bread recipe. It is moist and flavorful and pairs well with soups and stews or other comforting dishes you may be inclined to prepare now that the evenings are getting cooler. It is also good as a breakfast treat. Try toasting and topping it with butter or cream cheese. I think you will enjoy it either way.
The recipe is for one loaf baked in a 9×5-inch bread pan but I prefer to make smaller loaves and freeze some for later. I have a pan that bakes eight very small loaves, about enough for one or two portions each, and that is what I used. If making smaller loaves, adjust the baking time accordingly. The large loaf takes 60-70 minutes while the little loaves I baked took 30 minutes. Just keep that in mind.
Here is how it goes down.
1/3 c olive oil, plus more for the pan (I used extra-virgin because that is what I had)
2c all-purpose flour, plus more for th pan
1/3 c milk (I used whole but I think you could use whatever you have on hand)
2 large eggs
1 c Parmesan, freshly grated (about 4 oz.)
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb. zucchini (about 1-2 depending on size), coarsely grated
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Brush a 9×5-inch bread pan with olive oil; dust with flour and tap out excess.
- In a small bowl, whisk oil, milk, and eggs. In a large bowl, whisk flour, Parmesan, baking powder, salt and pepper. Mix in the grated zucchini.
- Add the egg mixture and mix until completely moistened and incorporated. Dough will be heavy similar to biscuit dough.
- Transfer batter into prepared pan and gently press in.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes (adjust baking time if using smaller pans; mine took 30 minutes). If loaf or loaves brown too quickly, tent with foil until done.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan (s); turn out loaf (or loaves) onto a rack and cool completely (if you can wait that long).
I think it is important to note that grating Parmesan on a microplane grater yields a different quantity than grating on a box grater or when using a food processor. The microplane, one of my favorite kitchen gadgets I might add, produces a flufflier result thus more volume but less weight than other methods. This is where a food scale is very handy. I couldn’t live without one in my kitchen. For this recipe, I like a very fine grate so I cut it up into small pieces and processed it in my food processor using the metal blade. Quick, easy and great result!
One more thing. I was putting together my mise en place, a fancy French term for getting all the ingredients ready up to the point of assembly and cooking/baking, when I realized I did not have enough Parmigiano-Reggiano, the “king of Parmesan” and my one and only. Oh, I do go on! I did , however, have Pecorino Romano, a hard sheep’s milk cheese used in Italian cooking, so I substituted that. It was perfectly delicious and I might add is considerably cheaper that my preferred Parm.
At this point, I cannot resist another product plug. Bear with me. If you do not own a microplane grater, stop everything and go buy one right now! They are super for grating chocolate, ginger, garlic, citrus zest and hard cheeses. I have bought many as gifts as well as for myself (they makes several types now). They cost about $15.00, are available at most kitchen stores and will be one of the most used utensils in your kitchen. I promise!
I will stop now so you can grate that zucchini and get started on the bread. I love it and hope you will too. Would love to hear from you.