Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

My parents and two of my sisters are on vacation right now. Usually, Michael and I go, but with a four month old, we decided against it this year. Every year when I go, I make zucchini blueberry bread to take. It is a delicious, seasonal bread that almost everyone in my family loves. I visited my parents the day before they were leaving, and my mom had just started to make a batch of the bread. When I got there, she informed me that I was going to take over while she spent some time with the kids.

Quick breads are a nice, easy goody to make. It is fun to experiment with different flavor combinations. You can often find in baking cookbooks a generic recipe for quick breads or muffins with several variations. Have a recipe for banana nut bread but don't like nuts? Substitute chocolate chips instead. Making cranberry bread? Use orange juice instead of part of the liquid to make cranberry orange bread. Just think of whatever flavor combination that you like and tweak the recipe as needed. Go ahead, experiment. And let me know if you come up with a masterpiece!

The term quick bread refers to any type of bread that is leavened with chemical leaveners such as baking powder or baking soda. There are many external factors at work when using yeast to make dough rise. The temperature, humidity, and freshness of the yeast all play a major role in how quickly and how well bread dough rises. You do not have this problem when using chemical leaveners. They are generally uniform, reliable and quick. Almost all quick breads have 5 basic ingredients: flour, baking powder and/or baking soda, eggs, fat (butter, oil, shortening), and milk. Any other ingredients are generally for variation on texture and/or flavor. The type of bread produced varies depending on mixing method, type of fat used, different flavoring, and ratio of liquid in the batter.

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