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I made zucchini bread, and it turned out very tasty but too moist. It was very dense and somewhat sticky - not in an underdone way, though. I actually baked it for 5-6 minutes longer than the recipe called for (and I know my oven temperature is accurate). It was moist but cooked through when I took it out of the oven (and when I ate a piece about 10-15 minutes later), but as it cooled, it sank in the middle and was much stickier and less bread-y.

If I make this again, how can I make the texture lighter and drier? I’m considering lessening the amount of zucchini used, but do I just add more flour in a 1:1 ratio for whatever zucchini I leave out? Or do I need to adjust the other ingredients, too?

This was the recipe I used, made in a single large loaf pan: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/06/25/recipe-zucchini-bread/

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How many loaves, and what size, did you make from that recipe? –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 28 '13 at 20:33
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was your zucchini fresh or frozen? and did you pat it dry before you baked with it? –  wax eagle Feb 28 '13 at 20:38
    
Being organic, there can be a lot of variation in the moisture level of your zucchini. With that said though, one of the common the most common signs of an undercooked quick bread is that it falls in the middle and is sticky. How did you check that they were done? Usually, you would insert a toothpick in the center are lightly press the center to see if bounces back (muck like a cake) –  djmadscribbler Feb 28 '13 at 20:51
    
@djmadscribbler There is not that much variation--its nearly all water in any case! –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 28 '13 at 20:52
    
I made one loaf, I think my pan is 10x5x3"? My zucchini was fresh - I did pat it dry. I think it might need to be pressed/dried more, though. And yes, I inserted a toothpick, it came out clean, and it was springy. –  Laura Feb 28 '13 at 21:02
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2 Answers

Comparing this recipe to other zucchini bread recipes, and other muffins/quick breads, it seems to specify:

  • Lower temperatures
  • More overall moisture
  • Shorter baking times

than might be expected. I suggest you find and try a different recipe to try. It is very disturbing how casual it is with pan sizing and baking times--and it gave you no test to know when the loaves are fully baked. It does not seem like a well tested, well written recipe.


If you really want to make this one work, I would go with muffins (I always go with muffins); I suspect you will get nearly three dozen from the recipe as written, assuming a standard sized muffin tin.

I would adjust as follows:

Preparation and Ingredients

  • Lightly squeeze the zucchini after shredding to reduce the moisture
  • Replace half the honey with sugar or brown sugar (again to reduce moisture, and lower moisture retention)
  • Consider replacing half of the whole wheat flour with regular all purpose for a less dense structure

Baking

  • Increase the temperature to at least 350, maybe even 375 or 400, you would have to experiment (see timing below)
  • Bake approximately 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out (nearly) clean and the tops are well browned; if this doesn't happen by the 22 minute mark, increase the temperature for the next batch

Keep notes so you know what will be successful.

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The squeezing (or patting) could be key - you can really remove arbitrarily much water that way, since zucchini are mostly water to begin with. Larger ones have higher water content, too. –  Jefromi Feb 28 '13 at 20:52
    
I agree--but I also think that was a terribly poorly written recipe. Zucchini is essentially 95% water in any case, so that is a lot of water in quick bread, where the recipe has relatively short baking times at low temperatures. Its quite odd. –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 28 '13 at 20:54
    
Yeah, I normally make muffins, but felt like doing bread this time. I'll definitely look for another recipe, just wondering what the proper ratios would be for flour and fresh zucchini - or if I just need to do a better job squeezing water out of the zucchini before I use it. –  Laura Feb 28 '13 at 21:03
    
Do you have a good source for what the "expected" temperatures and baking times would be for quickbread with fresh produce? –  Laura Feb 28 '13 at 21:04
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@laura Partly, I just googled "whole wheat zucchini bread" and compared the ratios of ingredents (the zucc counts as water, btw, for this purpose), and looked at their baking instructions. I also cross compared pumpkin muffins (my favorite--see my profile :-) And finally, its just experience because I love muffins. And cats. But my muffins never break my dishware. –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 28 '13 at 21:09
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For starters, I'd give pressing the grated zucchini with paper towels a shot. You'd be surprised how much liquid you can get out of it.

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I'll second this, or alternately press them through a sieve. In making ground beef kabob, I use grated onion, but too much moisture and the thing falls off the skewer, so by pressing it through the sieve, I greatly reduce the amount of liquid in the remaining grated onion mixture. –  ashkan Mar 4 '13 at 1:29
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