Ah, zucchini bread. One of lives greatest pleasures, this is. My love affair with quick breads secretly packed with vegetables began in high school, thanks to my friend Judith whose mum is a masterclass zucchini bread maker. Her version is usually darkened by a generous addition of cocoa powder to the batter and pitted with thick chunks of chocolate.
This version was an experiment to satisfy a craving. Foregoing chocolate, this version, or what’s left of it, is of the raisin and hazelnut variety. And oat. I realise oats and zucchini make for a bit of a weird craving, but go with me on this. I’ve been wanting to make something with oat flour for a while; it adds so much substance to general cakey naughtiness and it tastes delicious. As it happens, oat flour is always a good idea for everything, as is zucchini.
Although I’m a dab hand at quick breads in general, I’d not made a veganised version of zucchini bread in ages and wasn’t entirely sure how it was going to turn out. Not helping matter was the fact I didn’t have any flaxseeds, and zero inclination to make a run in the rain for them. However, I’d already blitzed my oats so I dug out an old recipe from my (poor, lamented) Erqsome blog that never fails no matter what you do to it. This recipe doesn’t bother with egg replacer at all and instead sticks to a wartime classic: a baking soda and baking powder combo.
The result was nearly perfect. The crumb is spot on; the crust is perfectly caramelised. As coffee bread it is lovely, but it’s not really something that I’d want on its own. The raisins were excellent, as I knew they would be, but I think dates would be even better. The hazelnuts were too much, there should have been about half (although if I use dates in future, I will have to go for pecans instead, obv.). The zucchini wasn’t quite present enough, there should have been double the zuke and more oat flour to counter the increased water content. The granulated sugar didn’t bring out the sweetness of the raisins and zucchini nearly well enough, while brown sugar would have been just right. I may even try to use palm sugar, if I can drum up enough courage to do the maths.
Bottom line: Zucchini Bread v2.0 will be AWESOME.
PS, So Louisa reminded me last week that I haven’t actually posted since October. OCTOBER. Sorry about that. Utterly remiss. There are good reasons for my absence, but I’ll save them for another post.