Buttermilk Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

Happy Thursday!  I hope you’re having a good week.  Mine started with a weekend full of activity: a two-hour tennis lesson on Saturday followed by a long road bike up to scenic Skyline Boulevard in Oakland.  On Sunday I didn’t leave my apartment once: I spent a leisurely day in the kitchen experimenting with recipes from Mark Bittman’s, “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.”  I think I have perfected a recipe for some pretty darn delicious lentil burgers and I’m excited to share them with you… soon.

For now, you get zucchini bread.

You see, I’ve got a bumper crop of yellow zucchini and I find myself grating it (or dicing it) and throwing it into just about everything I make these days: omelettes, pasta, muffins, and breads.  It adds a particularly moist and chewy texture to baked goods, which is why I love this recipe.  The buttermilk further tenderizes the bread and adds a subtle bite.  It’s divine.

Zucchini bread is a quick bread, which means it relies on baking soda and baking powder to rise (as opposed to traditional leavened breads, which rely on yeast).  This means it’s a little more convenient to make, since you don’t have to wait for the dough to rise before baking.  Instead, the bread rises in the oven just once, while it bakes.  (Hence the name.)  Quick breads can be savory or sweet, but they’re more often sweet and have the texture of a coarse-crumbed cake.  They’re great for breakfast or dessert with a cup of coffee or tea.  You can even toast a slice and eat it with a dollop of jam or creme fraiche (my favorite!)

The best part?  This particular bread is a little lower in fat than many quick bread recipes because the zucchini and buttermilk provide plenty of rich moisture without the added shortening.  So you can eat it without the guilt.  I made a loaf of this bread last week, brought it to my office, and then set my stopwatch: The entire loaf was gone in 22 minutes.

1 1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  (Or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer.)  Add the eggs one at a time.  Whisk in the shredded zucchini, buttermilk, and vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and grated lemon zest.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture in two to three batches, beating gently between batches just until incorporated.  Do not overmix.

Pour the batter into a lightly greased 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan and bake at 350F for 50-55 minutes.  The top should spring back when pressed lightly.  Cool completely before serving.

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18 Responses to Buttermilk Zucchini Bread

  1. Thanks for posting this! I can’t wait to try it out in my own kitchen! May have to toss some dark chocolate chips in there, for my hubby! He’s a banana bread fiend! Not sure how receptive he will be to the change, but I LOOOOOVE zucchini bread, so maybe I’ll make it for me, and whip him up some banana bread, instead.

  2. I am SO making this. Time to relieve the neighbor of some of her zucchini. A win win.

    And by the looks of your blog, I have some meal planning to do. Yummy!

  3. Meghan says:

    Great minds…

    That’s all I have to say :-)

  4. Tricia Rose says:

    It sounds as if your gardening has been very successful Miri! Green thumb!

    • miri says:

      Yes, it’s been a good summer. I’m still harvesting Sun Gold tomatoes and zucchini and green beans. But I’m starting to see signs of powdery mildew now that the days are shorter and the nights are cooler. I just hope my pumpkins hang in there for a few more weeks until they turn orange!

  5. Sophie says:

    Your zucchini buttermilk bread sings to me!! oooh,..yes!

  6. Dana says:

    A couple of weekends ago I had a huge craving for zucchini bread. So I started looking online for a good recipe and my first thought was: Man, I wish Miriam had a recipe for this; just because all your recipes always have something extra special. I ended up making IT and it turned out great, but I will try yours too.

    • miri says:

      Ah, sounds like I was a few days too late with this post! Hope you do try it eventually! And I’m flattered that you thought of me first. :)

  7. Ok, no fair…now I totally want zucchini bread for a midnight snack, and of course I don’t HAVE ANY.


    Boy, that sounds good…

  8. Anne Marie says:

    Hi there…saw you at Tricia’s new blog…so glad I came over…I LOVE to cook, and can’t wait to look around here…

    i have a great pear crisp of sorts with almonds recipe you really might like on my blog – just a few days ago I believe –

    Anne Marie

    • miri says:

      Welcome, Anne Marie! I’m so glad you stopped by. I LOVE your blog — the photos are exquisite. The whole look and feel is so dreamy and romantic. I look forward to keeping in touch.

  9. I love buttermilk for many reasons, but it always seems to fall off my radar. Thanks for bringing it back to me. Your zucchini bread looks superb, especially as you’ve served it, with fresh blueberries and…is that whipped cream? Yum.

  10. I made a double batch, so I could freeze one for later! The first loaf didn’t last long…had some fresh from the cooling rack, still slightly warm, with melty peanut butter smeared on it. Tried it first with a combination of dark chocolate (melted) and peanut butter, which pleased SugarPlum’s taste buds and left her begging for more. After trying it with the PB solo, I decided that’s how I like it, although I may add in some dark chocolate chips next time around, to make my hubby happy, and please the SugarPlum’s chocolate craving!

    I had so much zucchini given to me that I gave some to a couple of friends, and one of them asked me for your recipe, as well! :)

  11. Also, wanted to know…did you use glass or aluminum pans to bake in? I had one of each, and was amazed at the difference in cooking time to bake them completely through!

    • miri says:

      Hi Ali! I use a metal pan. Glass will conduct heat more quickly, I think, so you’ll get a darker crust and faster cooking time if I’m not mistaken. Is that what you experienced? And I’m so glad the recipe turned out well AND that you shared it with pals. That makes me so happy! I’m def going to try it with the PB and choc chips. xo

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