Sunday, May 20, 2007

zucchini bread with dried blueberries and orange zest

There is a beautiful Ukrainian church near our house and its bells have been ringing since 10 am. It's 1:30 now and I've already gone out for brunch and read most of the NY Times. And I baked. How ready for a nap am I? Very.

I had one lonely zucchini in the fridge, left over from when I tried to make zucchini cookies earlier in the week and in an attempt at being clever I totally messed them up. I felt like I needed to somehow vindicate my zucchini baking skills and so I adapted yet another recipe from the King Arthur cookbook, with fantastic results. As soon as I took the loaf out of the oven our dog Jordan started to get hyper. She kept going into the kitchen, probably to figure out how she could get the bread off the counter and have a big snack. When I cut into it she just stared at me and began making funny faces and panting. She is still in the kitchen lying down next to the counter with the bread.

The original recipe for this calls for cranberries and 1 cup of unbleached bread flour. I had neither, so I subbed dried blueberries for the cranberries and whole wheat pastry flour for the bread flour. I also added the zest from half an orange, instead of lemon zest. The bread is really great - it is pretty hearty but not heavy, it smells fantastic and I bet would be amazing toasted.

Zucchini Bread with Blueberries and Orange
(adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking)

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teasoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)

1 medium zucchini, grated (makes a bit over 1.5 cups)
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup dried blueberries
zest from 1/2 an orange

1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a 9x5" loaf pan.
2. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Mix together the eggs, oil and milk in a medium bowl.
4. Pour the wet into the dry and mix, adding the zucchini, berries and walnuts once the batter begins to come together (just as a note - the batter was really thick, so you might have to add a tablespoon or two of extra milk if you still have a bunch of flour in the bottom of the bowl).
5. Fill the loaf pan (almost to the top) and bake for about 1 hr, until the top is golden brown and a tester comes out clean.

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