Zucchini Buttermilk Bread— A deliciously moist and slightly tangy bread with the goodness of zucchini. This recipe makes a slightly squat 8x4 loaf, not too sweet, but you can indulge your sweet tooth by drizzling some extra honey or date syrup on individual slices.
Zucchinis are pretty versatile, aren't they? You can find them in various shapes and sizes all year round, even though they're technically summer veggies. And the cool thing is, they don't have a super strong flavour, so you can sneak them into all sorts of desserts without anyone noticing!
What is a Quick Bread?
A quick bread is any loaf that doesn't rely on yeast for rising. Instead, it gets its lift from baking soda and/or baking powder. Quick bread recipes are kind of like the laid-back cousins of cake recipes. You don't need to be crazy precise with measurements, and the mixing method is way simpler. Think of it like cookies – you can toss in more chocolate chips or, in this case, more grated zucchini without a second thought.
Now, here's the real head-scratcher: Is sweet quick bread a dessert or just a snack? Well, it can swing both ways. It all depends on when you decide to munch on it or how sweet you decide to make it. Tricky, right?
After diving deep into about a dozen articles trying to figure out the difference, I've concluded that calling it quick bread just sets the right expectation. Because, let's be honest, when you hear "cake," you've got a mental picture of what that should be, right? But quick bread? It's like a wild card, and that's kinda cool.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- all-purpose flour: Feel free to swap out half of it with whole wheat flour or almond flour.
- baking powder and baking soda
- flavour options: Get creative with your spices. Swap out cinnamon or cardamom for nutmeg, allspice, or ginger to give your bread a unique twist.
- eggs: I have not tested this recipe without eggs. But you can try replacing eggs with flaxmeal applesauce or mashed banana.
- olive oil: While olive oil is fantastic, you can use other oils like vegetable oil, coconut oil, or melted butter for a different flavour profile.
- sweetener: I've tested this recipe with sugar, date syrup or honey – pick your favourite. You can also try maple syrup, agave nectar, or even a sugar substitute for a lower-calorie version.
- zucchini: You can use any kind of zucchini.
- buttermilk: You can use store-bought buttermilk (laban) or even thinned and whisked yoghurt if that's what you've got.
- vanilla extract
Grate the zucchini with the skin, squeeze excess moisture or pat dry with kitchen paper and then measure in measuring cups before you use them in the recipe. As zucchini come in different sizes, it is not a good idea for me to tell you how many zucchini you need to use. So, it is best if you grate and measure. Cling wrap any remaining zucchini to use later.
- Whisk the dry ingredients
- Whisk the wet ingredients
- Add the dry to wet (I have had success with wet to dry but I read it is better to do dry to wet for quick bread)
- Fold gently until almost combined (do not overmix)
- Fold the grated zucchini and chopped nuts (do not overmix)
- Pour into a greased pan
- Bake and serve
Honey + buttermilk: The crumb had air pockets or tunnels that made it look more like yeasted bread that was light and fluffy.
date syrup + labneh or Greek yoghurt: The bread came out so moist with tight crumbs with perfectly distributed zucchini and nuts. The date syrup imparted a caramel flavour and we relished a few slices with evening chai.
sugar + buttermilk or yoghurt also gave a light loaf with open crumb.
Depending on the ingredients, the texture of a quick bread can either be light and fluffy or moist and dense.
- Mixing Bowls: You'll need medium and large mixing bowls, one for your dry ingredients and another for your wet ingredients.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate measurements of your flour, baking powder, baking soda, honey (or sweetener of choice), and other ingredients.
- Whisk: To beat the egg and combine the wet ingredients effectively.
- Grater: To grate the zucchini.
- Loaf Pan: An 8x4-inch loaf pan works perfectly for this recipe.
- Cooling Rack: To allow your bread to cool evenly after baking.
To keep your Zucchini Buttermilk Bread fresh and tasty, here's how I would store it:
- Room Temperature: I store it in an airtight container on the counter for 1-2 days.
- Refrigeration: After that I refrigerate any leftovers and finish it off within a week.
- Freezing: If I bake more than one loaf, then I freeze one. Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and then place it in a resealable freezer bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible. Whenever I am ready to enjoy it, I let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Remember, when reheating slices, you can lightly toast them in the oven or a toaster for that fresh-baked flavour.
Should I peel my zucchini for zucchini bread? - No
Can you taste zucchini in zucchini bread? - No
How do you keep zucchini bread from getting soggy? Some zucchini have more moisture so it is always best to squeeze excess moisture, pat dry and then measure and use.
Why does my zucchini bread sink? - Overmixed batter!
Can I use whole wheat flour instead of plain flour in this recipe? - Yes. Just keep in mind that whole wheat flour may yield a slightly denser texture.
Can I make muffins instead of a loaf with this recipe? Absolutely! You can use the same batter to make 5 to 6 muffins. Just adjust the baking time – start checking for doneness at around 20-25 minutes since muffins tend to bake faster than a loaf.
Looking for other recipes using laban / buttermilk? Try these:
Zucchini Buttermilk Bread
- 1 8x4 loaf pan (4 cups capacity)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios optional (reserve some to sprinkle on top)
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup date syrup (or honey or sugar)
- ½ cup grated zucchini (you can go up to 1 cup)
- ¼ cup laban (buttermilk) room temperature (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat and Prepare
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and flour an 8x4-inch loaf pan or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.
Prepare the batter
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom or cinnamon powder, and a pinch of salt.1 cup all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon cardamom powder, a pinch of salt
- In a larger bowl, add the wet ingredients like egg, oil, date syrup or sugar, buttermilk or yoghurt and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.1 large egg, ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup date syrup, ¼ cup laban (buttermilk), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the dry mixture into the wet mixture bowl and fold just until combined. Do not overmix. Some flour lumps are ok at this stage.
- Fold in the grated zucchini and chopped nuts reserving some for topping. Do not overmix.½ cup grated zucchini, 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
- Use a rubber spatula to transfer the batter into the lined loaf pan. Make sure the loaf pan is only filled ⅔ its height. Sprinkle the reserved chopped nuts all over the top.
- Bake for 35 to 50 minutes or until the centre passes the toothpick test. If your bread is browning too quickly, reduce the temperature and tent with foil.
- Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out the bread onto wire racks to cool thoroughly. The best time to eat zucchini bread is the next day.
Serve and Store
- When it's cool, slice it up using bread knife and enjoy your homemade Zucchini Buttermilk Bread! It's great for snacking or as a delicious breakfast treat.
- Store the remaining zucchini bread slices in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 to 3 days or refrigerate for longer.
- Wash and trim the ends. Do not peel the skin.
- Use the large holes of a box grater to grate.
- Spread the grated zucchini on a flat plate and pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Squeeze out any excess moisture and then measure and use for the batter.