Line a basket or a pretty dish with a napkin and fill it with breakfast bakes – hot, tender, and a little sweet. Hearty and robust or delicate cake-like, all slices of quick bread have a place on the morning table. Chunky jams and preserves go well with full-flavored bakes, while the more subtle ones need only sweet butter, a little crème fraîche, or perhaps a spoonful of jelly. Some breads, such as those filled with berries, need no accompaniment at all.
Quick breads are made from the same type of batter as muffins. They share the same uneven, sometimes cake-like crumb. They are breads usually feel with nuts and cranberries at Christmas, pumpkin puree near Thanksgiving, and zucchini at summer’s end when the garden is overrun with the squash. Quick breads very often benefit from being made a day ahead and wrapped tightly in foil to mellow their flavor, but I never can wait that long-)
Inspired by: “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals” by Maria Speck
Zucchini Bread with Mint & Pecans
A standart item in most every vegetable garden we've ever seen, zucchini is a crop as abundant as it is versatile. Shreddded and mixed with whole-wheat flour, it creates a bread that is especially healthful.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups loosely packed grated zucchini (about 2 small ones)
- 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans, plus some halves for garnish
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
In a bowl, stir together flours, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl combine the zucchini, mint, lemon zest and lemon juice.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the eggs until blended. Add the olive oil, the brown sugar and beat until the mixture becomes thick and foamy about 3-4 minutes. Add the buttermilk and beat just until combined. Add the melted butter and vanilla extract and beat just until combined. Add the zucchini mixture and flour mixture, mix until just blended. Do not over-mix. Using a rubber spatula fold the nuts. (Original recipe in the book calls for walnuts, I used pecans). Gently press 4-5 pecan halves across the top.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. It should be no more than two-thirds full. Bake until the loaf is dark golden brown and dry to the touch and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan, 55 to 60 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the bread rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into thick slices to serve.