Zucchini bread is a miracle of baking. Even though the main ingredient is squash, the bread doesn't actually taste like squash. In fact, moist and tender zucchini bread might be one of the sneakiest ways to disguise a wholesome vegetable as a guilty pleasure. Read on to get tips to make the best zucchini bread from scratch.

By Vanessa Greaves
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Lemon Zucchini Bread
Credit: naples34102

How to Make Zucchini Bread: Top tips

Zucchini bread is a quick bread, meaning it doesn't need yeast to make it rise. Instead, quick bread uses baking soda and baking powder as leavening agents that cause a chemical reaction in the bread batter so it rises as it bakes. If you're new to baking quick breads - or if it's been a while - read up on how to make quick breads, then use the following tips to make the best zucchini bread.

1. Use small to medium zucchini.

When it comes to choosing the zucchini you bake with, smaller is better. Smaller zucchini have more moisture and sweetness - exactly what you want in your bread batter - while supersized zucchini are much too dry and bitter to use for zucchini bread.  Better to save those giant zukes for robust recipes like Italian Meatloaf in Zucchini Boats.

2. Don't bother peeling the zucchini.

Unless you really dislike seeing tiny flecks of green in your bread, you don't have to go through the extra step of peeling zucchini, especially if you use smaller zucchini instead of big ones. Zucchini peel is thin enough to eat; just be sure to scrub the squash well to wash away any soil or other impurities before you use it in your recipe.

3. To seed or not to seed?

If you take my advice and use small to medium zucchini to make your bread, then the seeds should be small enough to disappear into the batter. If you want to remove them anyway, you can do that by slicing the zucchini in half lengthwise and scooping out some or all of the seeds with a spoon or melon baller.

4. Grate, don't chop.

Here's how to grate a zucchini: Cut off the ends of the zucchini and rub it against the shredder side of a box grater to make a pile of squash that's perfectly sized for baking zucchini bread. You can also use the shredder blade in your food processor to quickly shred zucchini.

Grating Zucchini
Photo by Meredith

5. Squeezing is optional.

Some recipes tell you to remove extra moisture from the grated zucchini by squeezing it in a clean kitchen towel. But unless your zucchini is excessively juicy, squeezing the squash could be removing some of the moisture you really do want in the bread. It's up to you, though. Squeeze for lighter, drier bread. Leave it as is for denser, moister bread.

6. Mix lightly.

Whether you're making zucchini bread, banana bread, pumpkin bread, waffles, or pancakes, you always want to mix the dry ingredients together first, then mix the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Finally, you'll gently stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture with a spoon just until everything is moistened. Over-mixing these kinds of quick bread batters makes them toughen up as they bake.

Mixing Zucchini Bread Batter
Photos by Meredith
| Credit: Meredith

a. Whisk the dry ingredients together.

b. Combine the wet ingredients.

c. Pour the wet into the dry.

d. Stir gently with a spoon until moistened.

7. Line the baking pan with parchment paper.

Yes, your recipe may say to grease and flour the baking pan, but adding a layer of parchment paper helps ensure your bread comes out of the pan cleanly. After baking the bread, set it on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Then, remove the bread from the pan and let it finish cooling completely on a metal rack before you slice it. This waiting period helps the bread keep its shape as you slice.

Favorite Recipes for Zucchini Bread

Watch this top-rated recipe come together easily.

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