August 11, 2020
Zucchini bread wasn’t even remotely on my mind when I pushed off for a summer singing tour in college, but that is exactly what I found.
My sophomore year I toured the south and east United States with a singing group. Each week we would get on the large tour bus and pull out onto the wide open road.
When my feet hit the pavement in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I knew I had stumbled upon something special. A bed and breakfast hosted three of my tour mates and myself, and it happened to be smack in the middle of Amish country.
For two weeks I watched as they gardened, farmed, ran around with children, and even hosted a barn raising (something every person should see in a lifetime). It was incredibly beautiful and inspiring to see the community coming together for a someone’s good.
I know the Amish community isn’t perfect, but there are so many beautiful parts to their way of life, including their cooking.
Because I was living for those weeks with a local, I got to meet and interact with Amish neighbors, who held wisdom, generosity, and delicious recipes that they were kind enough to share with me.
This zucchini bread recipe is one of my very favorites. It has become a signature in our household. I even featured it in my book Reclaiming Home. I have adapted it a bit from the original to fit everyday ingredients, but it remains true to Amish roots.
The secret ingredient swap
The recipe uses oil instead of butter, just like my other favorite baking recipe, Soft Gingersnaps. There must be something to that!
One of my deep values is generosity. I believe in sharing what is good. And let me tell you, this recipe is G.O.O.D.
I make at least four loaves at a time and freeze them. They keep beautifully in the freezer, just be sure to take the plastic off when de-thawing so it doesn’t get too wet on the top.
Here is a quote from a friend after giving her family a loaf of the bread the other day:
Okay my friend…not enough thumbs to give your “famous zucchini bread” the proper thumbs up!!! Thank you…what a blessing!
-Wendy from The Peaceful Homestead
Enough said… get baking friends!
Cheers to the signature zucchini bread recipe!Print
Amish Zucchini Bread
A signature in the Gilbert household, this recipe will delight even those who don’t like zucchini! This is a great addition to brunches and parties, and is a welcome neighbor gift as well.
1 cup oil (grape seed, vegetable, or avocado)
2 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons vanilla extract (this is not a typo – trust me!)
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional – I usually leave out)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease two or three loaf pans (with cooking spray or with butter and flour).
Blend together the oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until well blended. Add to the sugar mixture a little at a time. Do not over mix. Add the zucchini and fold in well.
Bake at 325 degrees for 45 min. to one hour (be checking starting at around 45 min.). Cook until “just done.” Do not overcook or the bread will be dry. Let cool on a rack. Run a knife over the edges and take out of the pan before it hardens.
I usually double or triple this recipe so I have extra to freeze. To freeze the loafs, cool completely then wrap in plastic, then foil.
To thaw, unwrap from the plastic and place on a plate. Do not thaw in the plastic or it will be “wet” on top.