Friday, August 16, 2013
Mom's Zucchini Bread (that I messed up)
I have been having trouble with taking food photography. I use my iPhone 5's camera for them and in general--for what it is--I think that the pictures come out fairly well. But I keep submitting them to Tastespotting.com and foodgawker.com. Tastespotting has been accepting them but foodgawker keeps rejecting them! So I did some reading online and--because it is very frustrating--and people recommend using a lot of camera apps to edit the pictures.
Therefore I spent a good amount of time yesterday searching some apps, downloading them and messing around with some of their editing features on pictures I've already taken. They seem pretty cool and they will have to do until I can afford to purchase a nicer camera because it's also become an obsessive goal to get at least one of my pictures posted on foodgawker, the apparent end all be all of food photography judges...
Now, how does this semi-rant fit into this post? Well, on a whim yesterday I bought some zucchini at the farmers market and decided that I couldn't end this summer without making something my mom always makes--and that I love--which is of course zucchini bread.
So after work and dinner last night I decided to use my mom's recipe that I wrote down a few years ago and make the bread. And since it was dark outside by the time I started baking and the lighting on food looks horrible at night in my apartment, I decided it would be an ideal time to make use of some of those camera apps.
Generally I try to bake during the day so I can get good natural light in my apartment but this was a last minute after work project and that just wasn't possible. So I actually just used Instagram--which I use often anyway--to give some effect to the pictures in the hope that they would look "cool" and edible at the same time.
Like I mentioned before, I wrote this recipe down from my mom over the phone and I must have missed something because when I mixed everything together, it was more like cookie dough batter so I ended up adding some liquid in there to get the right consistency for the batter. When I cut into it, it was more spongy than it was supposed to be (not like my mother's bread) and there were areas that looked as though the batter hadn't formed any small air bubbles--it was too dense.
But, the flavor was great--it was just the texture that was off. If it weren't too late I would have made a quick call to mom to ask her but it was way past her bedtime so I decided to improvise by adding 1 c of milk and just see what happens. Nevertheless, I'll have to give her a call later and ask her to re-read the recipe to me. When that happens, I 'll re-post it because I have to say it is one damn good zucchini bread.
This is what I did for better or for worse:
Makes two loaves
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs at room temp.
1 c vegetable oil
2 tsp of vanilla extract (my mom actually calls for 3 tsp of vanilla but I made one minor adaptation)
1 tsp of lemon extract
3 c of shredded zucchini
Sift and whisk all of the dry ingredients together
Whisk the wet together
Pour the wet into the dry and mix together lightly--or fold the wet into the dry
Fold in the shredded zucchini
Then....this was where it looked like cookie dough so I added in 1 c of milk.
Divide the batter evenly between two greased loaf pans
Bake at 350 for 1 hour
After 20 minutes remove each loaf from the pan and allow to cool completely before slicing up.