Cook the Book: Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.)

Preheat oven to 325°.  Grease two loaf pans.  In a large bowl thoroughly mix the oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla extract.  Add all the remaining ingredients except the nuts. Mix well. Stir in the nuts. Divide into the greased loaf pans. Bake about one hour, until the bread springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan.

Makes 1 loaf.

Cook the Book: Poppy Seed Bread

This recipe is based on one given to me by CIA alumna and former schooner chef Dana Degenhardt.  I often use this recipe as a lunch dessert.  I pour the batter into a 9 x 13-inch pan and make a cake.  You can make muffins with this recipe as well.

Poppy Seed Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
5 tablespoons whole dry poppy seeds
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract

Glaze:

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 tablespoon butter

Bread:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease two loaf pans. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Add the remaining bread ingredients and beat for 2 minutes. Divide the batter into the greased loaf pans; bake until bread springs back when lightly pressed, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Glaze:

Bring all the glaze ingredients to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Pour the glaze over the hot bread while the bread is still in the pan. Cool completely before removing it from the pan.

Makes 2 loaves.

Photo by Ben Krebs.

Cook the Book – Herb-Cheese Bread

Herb-Cheese Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sour milk
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
2/3 cup cottage cheese
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon dried dill
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried tarragon
½ teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease one loaf pan. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Make a well, then add the remaining ingredients and stir until just mixed. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes.

Makes 1 loaf

Cook the Book – Whole Wheat Walnut Bread

Whole Wheat Walnut Bread

3 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (1 package) dry yeast
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons melted margarine or butter
1 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup dry milk
2¼ cups warm water
1 cup whole walnuts

Combine both flours and the yeast in a large bowl. Stir in all the remaining ingredients, reserving ½ cup water.  Add more water if needed. Knead for 10-15 minutes. Oil the bowl and the top of the dough, cover, and set aside in a warm, draft free place to rise until doubled (about 1 hour). Preheat oven to 350°. Divide the dough in half; shape them into 2 round loaves. Place the loaves on a cookie pan.  Cover and allow to rise again. When the loaves have nearly doubled, make three diagonal slashes on each loaf with a razor or very sharp knife. Place the pans in the oven, throw 3 or 4 ice cubes into the bottom of the oven (or a pan set in the bottom of the oven) to generate steam and quickly close the oven door.  Bake until golden brown (around 35 minutes).

Makes 2 loaves

For bread machine:
1¾ cups water
2 cups whole wheat flour
2½ cups bread flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1½ teaspoons salt
1/3 cup dried milk
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons molasses 

Add the ingredients in the order listed above or in the order required for your machine.  Some machines require that the flour go in first.  You must use bread flour rather than all-purpose flour. 

Makes one 2-pound loaf