Most quickbreads are really more like muffins than breads. And, let’s face it, most muffins these days are just cupcakes without the frosting. So the problem that most quickbreads face is that they’re just cake – sweet, fine-crumbed, buttery – and should be left to the dessert table.
That’s why I was so intrigued with the zucchini bread recipe from Good To the Grain, Kim Boyce’s fascinating and beautiful book about baking with whole grain flours. Her zucchini bread uses rye flour and wheat germ (I substituted wheat flour instead) and very little sugar (only half a cup in the whole loaf), relying instead on herbs, the zucchini, and the flours themselves to flavor the loaf.
The result is a bready, moist loaf that’s just barely sweet. While I didn’t use the herbs in my loaf (because I didn’t have them and didn’t feel like making a late-night run to the grocery store), I’m sure the mint and basil would have added a lovely, fresh flavor. But even without the herbs, I loved this bread – it’s earthy, wheaty, and very moist. It would make excellent toast. In fact, it’s a quickbread that deserves a place on the breakfast table.
Zucchini Rye Bread
Adapted from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce
½ cup (4 oz) butter, melted
1 tbs fresh mint, finely chopped (optional)
2 tbs fresh basil, finely chopped (optional)
1 cup (4.6 oz) rye flour
1 cup (5 oz) All Purpose flour
2 ½ tbs (.8 oz) whole wheat flour
½ cup (3.5 oz) sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ lb (8 oz) zucchini, grated
½ cup (4.4 oz) whole-milk yogurt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a standard loaf pan.
Mix together the melted butter and herbs (if using) and set aside to let steep.
In a medium bowl, mix together the rye flour, All Purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another medium bowl, mix together the zucchini, yogurt, and eggs. Mix in the melted butter.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. With a spatula or whisk, mix together the wet and dry ingredients until combined.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top of the loaf with a small offset spatula. Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through, until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.