A boatload of zucchini is never a problem around here as we enjoy it so many ways. You can find one of my favorite recipes here for funfetti zucchini bread, but today we are going with an Italian spin on the loaf. It was a challenge to get Italian style zucchini bread right.
Inspired and intrigued by Deb Wise’s recipe for a Tuscan Pignoli Orange Zucchini Bread on myrecipes.com I immediately went to work to change it.
At first glance, I loved her use of almond and semolina flours, but then I noticed 2 teaspoons of baking soda plus 1 of baking powder. A red flag went up. I hate the metallic bitterness of unreacted baking soda in quick breads and muffins. I just did not think there was enough acidity in the recipe to balance out the baking soda and allow it to do its job. In addition, I also noted an overload of oil and sugar in the ingredient list. This conjured up an overly sweet and greasy loaf image. I find most quick breads don’t ever suffer from a reduction in the oil and the sugar in the recipe. In my mind it feels so much healthier, too.
In my first attempt, I reduced the baking soda form 2 teaspoons to 1 1/2 teaspoons plus I added 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Next, I reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup and the oil by 1/3 cup. I did not use the nuts (too expensive an ingredient to experiment with), but kept everything else the same. The result is the loaf pictured above. It was greasy and tasted slightly metallic. It was sweet enough, so I opted out of the icing. Did you notice it is slightly sunken in? That is the result of too much leavening. I knew it needed further refinement.
The next loaf required a dramatic decrease in baking soda (from 2 teaspoons to 1), oil (from 1 cup to 1/2 cup) and sugar (1 1/4 cups to 3/4 cup) and the addition of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the results were deliciously amazing. First, the aroma is super nutty and the flavor is bright with citrus and just a touch of sweetness. The texture is perfectly light without any greasy feel. Bonus points for a perfect rise without sinking. My husband described it as “fresher tasting”.Print
Inspiration from Tuscany for this moist lemony zucchini bread
- Category: quick breads
- Method: baking
Keywords: Italian, Tuscany, zucchini, semolina, breakfast, brunch, bread
I am fresh out of grief lessons, but don’t want to give up on blogging. From time to time, I hope you enjoy the recipes shared here. You can see more of what I do on instagram @goodgriefcook