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Zucchini Bread (with curry and poppy seeds)

(recipe, Katie Hickey)

Introduction

I adapted this recipe from Heidi Swanson and it is the best zucchini bread ever.

Ingredients

  1. 1½ cups chopped walnuts, preferrably toasted, plus a few to sprinkle on top
  2. ⅓ cup poppy seeds
  3. zest of two lemons
  4. ½ cup unsalted butter
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. ½ cup fine grain natural cane sugar or brown sugar, lightly packed (I use brown sugar)
  7. 3 large eggs
  8. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  9. 3 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium), skins on, squeeze some of the moisture out and then fluff it up again before using
  10. 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  11. 1½ tsp. baking soda
  12. ½ tsp. baking powder
  13. 1 tsp. salt
  14. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  15. 1 Tbsp. curry powder (I use garam masala)
  16. Special equipment: two 1 pound loaf pans (5 x 9 inches)

Steps

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter the two loaf pans, dust them with a bit of flour and set aside. Alternately, you can line the pans with a sheet of parchment. If you leave a couple inches hanging over the pan, it makes for easy removal after baking. Just grab the parchment "handles" and lift the zucchini bread right out. (I never use the parchment sling)
  3. In a small bowl combine the walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest. Set aside.
  4. In a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until mixture comes together and is no longer crumbly. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and then the zucchini (low speed if you are using a mixer).
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and curry powder. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition.
  6. By hand, fold in the walnut, poppy seed, and lemon zest, mixture. Save a bit of this to sprinkle on the tops of the zucchini loaves before baking for a bit of texture. Avoid over mixing the batter, it should be thick and moist, not unlike a butter cream frosting.
  7. Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans. Make sure it is level in the pans, by running a spatula over the top of each loaf. Sprinkle the reserved nut/seed/zest mixture over top. Bake for about 40-45 minutes on a middle oven rack. I like to under bake my zucchini bread ever so slightly to ensure it stays moist. Keep in mind it will continue to cook even after it is removed from the oven as it is cooling. Remove from the oven and cool the zucchini bread in pan for about ten minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling - if you leave them in their pans, they will get sweaty and moist (not in a good way) as they cool.