Saturday, September 17, 2011

Betty Knows Best

At my bridal shower, my mother gave me a bridal edition of the Betty Crocker cookbook. In this day-and-age of super chefs, iron chefs, and gourmet cooks on TV, Betty Crocker seems hopelessly old-fashioned. But the truth is, this book is a must-have for any kitchen. Not only does it contain classic recipes and all your favorite comfort foods, but there is a wealth of information including skills, cuts of meats, and cooking times.

So it's only natural that I use Betty's recipe every summer when I bake zucchini bread. And you can't go wrong with this one. I like to make two loaves and freeze one for later. Also, the zucchini I get from my farmer's market is so beautiful, I leave the skin on when I shred it. Then, when I slice the bread, there are beautiful green ribbons throughout each slice.

Zucchini Bread

Recipe from Betty Crocker
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 1 hour
Cool: 2 hour 10 minutes
Makes: 2 loaves

  • 3 cups shredded zucchini (2 to 3 medium)
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts *
  • 1/2 cup raisins, if desired

  1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches or 1 loaf pan, 9 x 5 x 3 inches, with shortening.
  2. Mix zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts and raisins. Stir in nuts and raisins. Divide batter evenly between pans.
  3. Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire rack.
  4. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Pumpkin Bread: Substitute 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) for the zucchini.

* I substitute chocolate chips for the nuts.

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