Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cucumber Bread

I've had more success this summer growing cucumbers and red hot chili peppers than I have tomatoes. So far, my cucumber plant has produced 3 cucumbers. Since I had 2 cucumbers sitting in my fridge; I've been contemplating what to do with these vegetables. You see, I'm not the biggest cucumber fan. I'm not even sure why I'm growing them other than because of this recipe, maybe. I think I decided to plant cucumbers because I've had more success growing them than zucchini, yellow squash, etc. So, why not. I recently came across this recipe from Apron of Grace for cucumber bread. And, I thought to myself how perfect. I can use my cucumbers that are just hanging out in my fridge for bread! This recipe is super easy to make. Other than the buttermilk, I had all the ingredients. You'd be surprised how good cucumbers can make a bread. It tastes similar to banana bread but it's made with cucumbers instead of bananas. I highly, highly recommend this recipe. The bread is super moist and very good. Plus, it's a great way to use up 2 cucumbers just hanging out in your fridge. Enjoy!

¾ cup Lard or Shortening
1 ½ cups Sugar
2 Eggs
1 ½ cups whole, shredded Cucumber
½ teaspoon Salt
2 cups All-Purpose/Unbleached Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Couple dashes of Nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Set out your eggs and bring to room temperature. You don't have to do this but it's always a good idea.
First, take your 2 cucumbers and peel them. Next, shred your cucumbers on a hand-grater (or whatever kitchen gadget you so desire). I wasn't sure if I should de-seed the cucumbers. But, I just decided to grate them whole. I noticed that the cucumbers were very watery. So, I covered them in paper towels to help dry them. Gather your dry ingredients and place in a bowl. Set aside. Take your sugar and shortening and place in your standing mixer. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in your eggs and mix till combined. Now, add in your dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk and the vanilla. Mix well. This is the point when I decided nutmeg would be a good addition. So, just sprinkle some nutmeg into the bowl if you so desire. Mix. Take a loaf pan and grease it.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake in your oven for at least 45 minutes. I'm not sure if it's because my cucumbers were very watery, but my loaf took about 55 minutes to bake. So, just keep an eye on yours. Remove from oven and let the loaf cool in the pan. Then remove the loaf from the pan and place on a cooling rack. Cut yourself a slice, and enjoy!

(click here for printable recipe)

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