miso & tahini summer zucchini bread
It’s summer, it’s humid, it’s hot.. so let’s fire up our ovens and bake something! I haven't been doing a lot of baking in the last weeks since NYC has been hitting nearly 100 degrees with humidity that resembles butter—yes, it feels like you can slice it with a knife. Yay?!
The upside to this time of year is that the farms are producing all our summer vegetables and the markets have the most amazing abundance of summer items. Rhubarb is just leaving us for the season and being replaced with strawberries, cherries and blueberries. Fingers crossed, if I can snag enough apricots this year, Erin, Jill and I have some ideas. ;) There are also lettuces for days, carrots, green garlic and loads of summer zucchinis.
Normally I’d never buy zucchini from our green market, or any market for that matter, due to the fact that I think they're just a’ight. So why a zucchini bread then? Well... I finally remembered to sign-up for a CSA before the deadline! This year I have joined the East Williamsburg CSA and couldn’t be more excited. It’s amazing to: (1), not have to navigate the weekend summer green market crowds and (2), have a box of things that are as seasonal and fresh as can be.
So far we’ve been enjoying radishes, carrots, baby lettuces, Japanese turnips, baby arugula, kale and tons of zucchini—hence the desire to make zucchini bread! I am challenging myself to create, cook and/or bake one CSA recipe per week using what we get every Saturday morning. This zucchini bread is officially week one!
I’ve been on a tahini kick for a while now and knew I was going to start there. When I was riffling through the refrigerator to fit all the produce, I found some white miso and thought “hmmm miso and tahini?!” and from there I started mixing.
It’s super easy to prepare and bake this bread. The recipe here is for a double batch so that you have the option to freeze the second loaf and minimize oven time in this weather. It also makes the best BBQ, brunch or office treat—the test loaves have been huge crowd pleasers! I hope you enjoy, and keep an eye out for next week's CSA moment!
xo - Jase
If you live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, please check out East Williamsburg CSA and Hearty Roots Community Farm for more information. Or check your area for a local CSA to help locally grown farmers!
…Good to Knows…
- I want to stress the importance of weighing out our ingredients vs using traditional measuring cups. This is especially important for ingredients like zucchini, where it's not a fluid but there's a ton of moisture. It is very hard to explain how much you’ll need using traditional cup measurements due to the variables in how firmly packed your cup is; how finely you grate it; and the moisture content of your particular tubular. This is why I always use grams when creating and writing recipes so you can achieve the same results I did.
- Zucchini isn’t all created equal. Variety and time of season can all affect those variables above and the outcome of your bread. So please please weigh out your ingredients!
- If you can't find black sesame seeds, please don’t fret. Just replace that amount with regular sesame seeds.
- I prefer to butter my pans instead of using a non-stick spray. The butter allows the exterior of the bread to become this amazingly rich, dark (not burnt) crust that adds such amazing depth to the bread. However, if you prefer to use non-stick spray, please, by all means, use them!
- This recipe makes 2 - 900g (approx 1800g of batter) loaves, give or take, depending on your zucchini.
- When checking for the loaves to be done, you may visually see, just under the top crust, that it may appear to be a bit undercooked. This recipe delivers a very moist bread, so I prefer to use a digital thermometer for a true reading of the center. You may still use a cake tester so long as it doesn't reveal wet batter from the center.
miso & tahini summer zucchini bread
…makes two 900g loaves…
420g (3.5 cups) all-purpose flour
165g (1/2 cup) turbinado sugar + 2 tbsp for topping
150g (1/2 cup) light brown sugar
2.5g (1/2 tsp) baking powder
4g (1 tsp) baking soda
2g (1.5 tsp) kosher salt
2g (1 tbsp) ground allspice
560g (4 cups) grated or shredded zucchini, somewhere between firmly packed
75g (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, melted + 2 tbsp pans
60g (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
90g (1/2 cup) white miso
60g (1/3 cup) tahini
15ml (1 tbsp) vanilla extract
3 large brown eggs
30g (1/4 cup) sesame seeds + 1 tbsp for topping
15g (1/8 cup) black sesame seeds + 1 tbsp for topping
Whipped Honey Mascarpone
225g (1 - 8oz container) mascarpone cheese
15 ml (1 tbsp) honey
Place oven rack on the center position and preheat oven to 350˚f/180˚c. Generously butter two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans. Line the bottom and two sides of each loaf pan with a piece of buttered parchment paper.
As always, weight out, gather and/or prepare all ingredients prior to mixing. In a medium-size bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and all spice. Stir in sesame seeds and set aside. In a large-sized bowl, grate zucchini and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together melted butter and olive oil. Now add miso, tahini and vanilla to butter/olive oil mixture and whisk until there are no visible lumps. Whisk eggs, one at a time, into the mixture until everything is incorporated and smooth.
Now switch to a spatula, fold sugars to mixture, stirring to combine. - At this point the mixture will become rather thick, but don’t worry. - Fold in all zucchini and any liquid that may have collected at the bottom of the bowl. Stir gently till incorporated.
Now fold in dry ingredients, folding in 1/3 at a time, until all dry ingredients are incorporated, ensuring there are no pockets/lumps of flour in the batter.
Evenly pour batter between your two prepared loaf pans, 900g each. Sprinkle tops with turbinado sugar sesame seed mixture - 2 tbsp turbinado sugar, 1 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 tbsp black sesame seeds.
Bake loaves for 55 to 65 minutes. The loaves are done when a digital thermometer reads 210˚f/99˚c or a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the loaves from the oven, and let them rest in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn each loaf out of the pan, remove parchment paper and let cool on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely. For best results, don't slice until it's cool!
…ASSEMBLY & SERVE…
30 mins before you are ready to serve your miso & tahini summer zucchini bread, take mascarpone cheese out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temp. In a medium-sized bowl, whip mascarpone cheese and 1 tbsp honey with an electric hand mixer until fluffy. Slice loaf into 3/4 inch slices and serve with whipped honey mascarpone, additional honey and amazing flaky salt.
This loaf may be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days at a cool room temp. You may gift the second loaf to a dear loved one, friend, coworker, barista or neighbor! You may also tightly wrap with plastic wrap and store it in the freezer for a few months or even eat them both at the same time! Enjoy!