High Altitude Baking: Rustic zucchini bread baked with brown rice. Includes baking instructions for both sea level and high altitude.
We’ve seen two bears, had our potted plants attacked by deranged birds, watched fish swimming in a nearby stream, and laughed at chipmunks and squirrels in high-speed chases up and down trees. It’s been a wonderful rustic summer in the mountains. And nothing says rustic like zucchini bread. I took a recipe I saw on Food52 by Dabblings, and adjusted it for our high altitude, and for my own flavor preferences. I also added some cooked brown rice to the batter since the original recipe calls for walnuts and we’re a nut-free house. I’ve always got some kind of cooked grain hanging around the refrigerator, and loved the result. It added a little heft to the bread that gave it a country bread feel that could have come from my grandmother’s kitchen.
In my opinion, zucchini bread is great for breakfast, and afternoon pick-me-up (instead of my usual chocolate chip cookie), or for dessert in the evening. If you’re running out the door, it’s easy to grab and eat on the run. And if you’ve got a pile of zucchini in your garden, this is a great way to use a couple.
You can make either the original recipe on Food52, or mine (BTW you’ll want to follow Dabblings’ amounts of eggs, baking soda and baking powder if you’re at sea level and you make my version), but I urge to add some cooked brown rice to the batter either way. I think you’ll like the result.
A Few Cooking Notes:
I made some adjustments in the eggs, baking soda and baking powder because I baked this at ~ 7000 feet above sea level. If you’re baking this at sea level, use the original amounts on Food52.
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup plain yogurt, I used full-fat
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1½ ounces (3 well-packed tablespoons) brown sugar
- 5½ ounces (2/3 cup) agave (or white sugar)
- 1 cup shredded, well-packed zucchini
- 1 tsp fresh oregano; finely minced
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ cup packed with cooked brown rice
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F, convection setting. Grease one loaf pan and set it aside. If you want to be able to easily remove the bread for it for slicing, this is critical.
- In a large bowl beat the eggs. Mix in the yogurt, oil, and sugars. Then mix in the shredded zucchini, oregano, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir in the rice.
- Once the batter is well combined pour into the loaf pan.
- Bake for one hour, give or take a few minutes, until a tester inserted comes out clean. My loaves took one hour and five minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut around the sides of the bread and gently edge it away from the sides. Place one hand over the top of the bread, and flip the loaf pan upside down. It should rest in your hand. Immediately flip it over onto a cooling rack. Let it come to room temperature, or close to it, before slicing. This is a very moist bread and will slice well when cooled, but not so well hot from the oven.