Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mike Carson's Zucchini Sweet Bread

I 'm excited to highlight Mike's recipe this week since he told me he only used one cup of cooking oil with twelve cups of flour!

(Makes 10 medium loaves)

In a very large bowl cream together:

4 cups lightly packed brown sugar
4 large eggs

Blend in:

6 cups zucchini, grated (remove seeds and peel, if necessary)
You may also throw in leftover canned peaches with juice, pureed (if heavily sweetened cut back on sugar); ripe bananas, mashed; yams, pumpkin, or squash (cooked and mashed); or canned whole cranberry sauce.
2-4 cups milk or other liquid (less if using runny fruit)
1 T vanilla

In another bowl combine:

9 cups whole wheat flour
3cups white flour
2 T baking powder
2 T baking soda
1 level T ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/8-1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 generously rounded T salt

Thoroughly combine dry ingredients with liquid fruit mixture.  Mixture should "creep" slowly off large spoon.

Stir in:

2 cups soft raisins and /or Craisins, chopped if desired
(Soften for one minute in microwave with one cup water.
Add raisin water to mixture if needed.)
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
2 cups chocolate chips (adjust to taste)

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees, rack in middle.  Spread shortening with fingers half way up sides of pans. Line bottoms of pans with wax paper or baking parchment, cut to fit.
Spoon batter into pans and level to 2/3 full.  Bake 40 minutes or until top of bread springs back from touch.  Remove pans from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.  Remove bread from pans using a knife to loosen around edges.  Remove paper from bottoms of bread, and cool on rack two hours before freezing.  Freeze bread in wrappers.  To serve after frozen, allow to thaw at room temperature in sealed container, or microwave on frozen loaf two minutes on high.

The spice measurements given in the recipe are "mild to moderate."  So please adjust to taste.  The raisin, nut and chocolate chip amounts are only suggested, but I like the bread chuck full of texture and flavor.  Also, chocolate chips come in  many varieties and sizes: semi-sweet, milk, and swirled flavors with chocolate.  I like white chocolate and butterscotch swirled flavors a lot.  I even combine different flavors so I can use up partially used bags.  It's really an "everything but the kitchen sink" sort of recipe.  Over the last 20 years I've probably made 100 10-loaf batches.  For company we sometimes serve a warmed slice topped with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream lightly drizzled with chocolate/or butterscotch syrup.