How to make zucchini bread at home — it’s easier than you think

Loaf of homemade zucchini bread sliced on a bread board
(Image credit: Cuisine Fiend)

Back in the summer, I made my first attempt at growing zucchini. I was a complete novice, but with beginner’s green-fingered luck, I had a successful harvest. So, with a bumper crop of zucchini, I needed to find some recipes to enjoy apart from my favored zucchini and pine nut risotto!

As a keen bread maker, I stumbled across a recipe for zucchini bread. At first, I was hesitant to try it out, as zucchinis have a high water content, and I wasn’t sure it would be a good mix. I expected it would make a very wet dough that would be sticky and difficult to handle. But I found the bread easy to make, with the bonus that it tastes delicious.

Author holding homegrown zucchini in her own yard

(Image credit: Future)

Although making homemade bread may seem daunting, especially if you’re trying something a little more adventurous than a standard white loaf, don’t let fear hold you back. It’s a satisfying experience to serve up a warm, fresh loaf that hasn’t come from the grocery store.

I’ve taken my favorite zucchini bread recipe from Cuisine Fiend, based on a recipe from The Community Farm, with a few tweaks. I think adding grated lime and light rye flour is a real winner. But I’ll let you try it out for yourself. The proof is in the eating.

Ingredients

Zucchini placed in a wicker basket

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
  • 2 large zucchini, about 1lb (400g) in weight
  • 2 tsp fine salt • 1lb (425g) strong bread flour
  • 2.5oz (75g) light rye flour
  • 1oz (30g) grated Parmesan
  • 1 lime, grated zest
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8.5 fl oz (250ml) warm water
  • 1 tsp instant yeast

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C and lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin. You can use butter, but I tend to use oil — olive oil or sunflower oil is fine.

Step 2

Grated zucchinii on a chopping board with a grater

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Cut the ends off the zucchini then grate the vegetable using the coarse side of a grater. Then, place the grated zucchini in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 30 minutes. The salt will work to draw out the moisture in the zucchini.

The beauty of this recipe, is that you don't need to peel the zucchini and can use the whole of the crop.

Step 3

Taking the grated zucchini between your hands, squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. And squeeze again! You'll be surprised at how much moisture can be pressed out of the zucchini. It's worth spending a few moments at this stage, to ensure the zucchini doesn't contain an excess liquid, which will make the bread too wet.

Step 4

Light green kitchenaid stand mixer with a copper mixing bowl with a

(Image credit: KitchenAid)

Place the two flours, remaining 1 tsp of salt, parmesan, lime zest and olive oil into a large bowl with the yeast (keeping the yeast away from the salt), then add the zucchini.

It's definitely worth adding the lime for the zesty flavor it gives the bread, but if you can't get hold of a lime, you could substitute it with grated lemon rind. 

Step 5

You can mix the ingredients by hand, but I'd recommend using one of the best KitchenAid stand mixers. They come up trumps when mixing and kneading dough. My own KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer is my best kitchen purchase ever and I always use it when making bread. The dough hook is a great tool that takes the hard work out of breadmaking. Mix at high speed for at least 10 minutes until the dough comes together and starts to come away clean from the sides of the bowl.

However, if you don't have a stand mixer it's not the end of the world. Mix all of the ingredients together until if forms a soft dough. Then, lightly sprinkle a worksurface or silicon baking mat with flour, and knead the dough for 10 minutes.

Step 6

Homemade bread in tin proving

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Once mixed, cover the bowl with saran wrap and leave in a warm place for 1 ½ hours until it’s doubled in size. I often place the dough in my airing cupboard or on a sunny windowsill, if the weather is fine.

Step 7

Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it onto a floured surface. It may feel sticky to start, but don't worry. Using your hands or a dough scraper, if you have one, shape the dough into a sausage shape to fit the tin. 

Then, transfer the dough into the tin, and cover with saran wrap and leave to prove for 45 minutes. 

I often oil the underside of the wrap — this makes it easier to remove if the dough comes into contact with it while it's rising  — as otherwise it can be a bit sticky. 

Step 8

Baked zuchinni bread on a cooling rack

(Image credit: Cuisine Fiend)

Bake the bread for 35 minutes, then turn the oven down to 320°F (180°C) and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven, turn out of the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack before eating. 

How to serve zucchini bread

This recipe produces a very light loaf; and despite what you may think, it is not overpowered by the zucchini. I particularly like serving it with poached eggs, but it works equally for sandwiches or toasted and buttered. However, there's always one problem — there's never enough of it.

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Camilla Sharman
Staff Writer, Homes

Camilla Sharman has worked in publishing and marketing for over 30 years and has covered a wide range of sectors within the business and consumer industries both as a feature, content, and freelance writer.  


As a business journalist, Camilla has researched articles for many different sectors from the jewellery industry to finance and tech, charities, and the arts. Whatever she’s covered, she enjoys delving deep and learning the ins and out of different topics, then conveying her research within engaging content that informs the reader. In her spare time, when she’s not in her kitchen experimenting with a new recipe, you’ll find her keeping fit at the gym. In the pool, stretching at a yoga class, or on a spin bike, exercise is her escape time. She also loves the great outdoors and if she’s not pottering about in her garden, she’ll be jumping on her bike for a gentle cycle ride.