Friday, March 20, 2009

Clove Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread is one of my favorite treats. One of the main reasons is that because it contains zucchini and is baked in a loaf pan, I convince myself that I’m eating bread when really I’m eating cake. After all, just like carrot cake, it contains sugar and eggs. One key difference is that both treats are made with oil rather than butter, which is one justification that slightly assuages my guilt. The other is those pretty green flecks throughout the batter. For more about zucchinis, check out my previous posting for a zucchini soup.

The signature flavor of this treat is cloves which are the aromatic, dry flower buds of the evergreen clove tree. Named for their resemblance to nails (clavus in Latin), cloves are native to the Maluku Islands (the Spice Islands) of Indonesia, though they are now cultivated in countries throughout the Indian Ocean. Cloves have been traded and used in South Asia, the Middle East and Europe since antiquity. In addition to their culinary use, they are valued in Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, herbalism and dentistry for their use to dull pain, expel parasitic worms, improve peristalsis, relieve skin disorders and many other uses.

I can’t promise any medical benefits, but a warm piece of zucchini bread slathered with butter or cream cheese usually hits the spot.

Serves 18-24

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
3 eggs
3/4 cup oil (canola or corn)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 small zucchini, grated (about 2 1/2 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two loaf pans. Place parchment in the bottom to prevent sticking and re-grease.
2. In a large bowl, combine first six ingredients. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Then add remaining ingredients.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Divide the batter between loaf pans. There will not be very much batter. Do not worry as it will rise.
6. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Cool for 15 minutes and then remove from pans to cool completely.
8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature and consume within 2 days. Alternately, it will keep for a week in the refrigerator.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you come to Pakistan and make that with me?