While the exact origins of zucchini bread are unknown, it is a widely accepted belief that it was invented in the late 19th century when homemakers used pearlash as a chemical leavening agent. This gave birth to the “quick bread” as we know it today and since zucchini was plentiful, it became a popular ingredient to add to quick bread and it has remained popular until today. You can’t really taste the zucchini in the bread due to its mild flavor. The overall flavor profile of the zucchini bread can be compared to that of a sweet muffin with a hint of cinnamon. Nuts can be added, with walnut being the most popular nut used.
Zucchini Bread Trivia
- Zucchini plants are very productive so this could have been the reason why zucchini bread was invented.
- Zucchini is actually a plural term, the singular term for zucchini? Zucchina.
- National Zucchini Bread Day is celebrated on April 25.
- Other quick bread include pumpkin, banana, carrot, graham, and cinnamon.
Zucchini Bread Buying Guide
Zucchini bread is a quick bread and is very easy to make. If you have some time on your hands then you can easily make zucchini bread at home with zucchini and some pantry staples. If you don’t have the time and just want to enjoy some zucchini bread, just head on down to your local bakery or farmers’ market to grab a fresh loaf.
Since zucchini bread is very perishable, you’ll want to get them as freshly baked as possible and avoid ones that have come from large-scale commercial bakeries as there is a large chance that these have been loaded with preservatives and additives to make them last longer on store shelves.
Zucchini Bread Production & Farming in Texas
Since zucchini are very prolific producers and they are in season for almost three-quarters of a year in Texas, it follows that zucchini bread is one of the most popular quick breads in the state. Every farmers’ market will always have a baker that produces exceptional zucchini bread.
Zucchini bread can also be found in local bakeries and supermarkets whenever the vegetable is in season and a lot of home zucchini growers will more often than not have their own recipe for zucchini bread.
While walnuts have been traditionally added to zucchini bread, in Texas, Pecans are the nuts of choice.
Preservatives, Additives, and Chemicals:
In Texas, zucchini bread is rarely sold in large-scale commercial settings, but if they are, these are the additives that can be found in commercially produced zucchini bread:
- “Natural Flavors” – Due to the heavy processing involved, they need to add natural flavors to make the bread taste like it was baked at home.
- Annatto Extract (food coloring) – For supermarket shelf stuffers, visual appeal is everything. They need to add food coloring to make it more appealing versus every other product on the shelves.
- Xanthan Gum – This additive helps keep the bread moist for extended periods.
- Calcium propanoate and Propionic acid – These are the two most commonly used bread preservatives and they are used to extend the shelf life of bread on supermarket shelves.
- Soy lecithin – Since commercial bread is made in gigantic batches, soy lecithin needs to be added so that all of the ingredients will blend properly.
Zucchini bread, much like any other bread on supermarket shelves, is packaged in single-use plastic bags. Artisan zucchini bread or those sold in farmers’ markets are usually just packed in brown paper bags once they are purchased.
Enjoying Zucchini Bread
Zucchini bread is best consumed warm and straight from the oven. Since they are a very dense and moist bread, much like muffins, they are consumed like a cake. Zucchini bread that is a few days old can be toasted and works as well as any other white bread in this regard.
Home-baked zucchini bread only lasts for a couple of days at most so you shouldn’t bake too much of it. Store on the countertop in a breadbox for two to three days, and if you plan on keeping it longer, you can store it inside the fridge for up to a week.
The best option for storing zucchini bread is to freeze it. If you have a bumper crop of zucchini, you can bake a lot of loaves, cool them down and freeze them. This way, whenever you’re in the mood for zucchini bread, you can simply thaw one out, reheat in the oven and it’ll be like a freshly baked loaf.
Bake Your Own Texas Zucchini Bread:
We did say that baking zucchini bread was pretty simple, so we’re here with a recipe that you can use if you have some extra zucchini around.
All-Purpose Flour, three cups
Salt, one teaspoon
Baking Soda, one teaspoon
Baking Powder, one teaspoon
Ground Cinnamon, three teaspoons
Vegetable oil, One cup
White sugar, two and a quarter cups
Vanilla Extract, three teaspoons
Zucchini, Grated, two cups
Pecans, Chopped, one cup
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease two 8×4 bread pans.
Sift flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
In another bowl, beat together eggs, vanilla, oil, and sugar. Slowly add sifted ingredients to the mixture while mixing. Stir in nuts and zucchini and when mixed, pour into pans.
Bake for 40 minutes up to an hour. To check if done, poke a toothpick in the middle of the load, and if it comes out clean, it’s cooked.
Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes, slice, serve, and enjoy!