3 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 cups grated crookneck squash*
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon roasted ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 tablespoon tung hing cinnamon**
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup coarsely chopped black walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour or spray with cooking spray with flour one standard loaf pan or one 4-cup mini loaf pans. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar, oil, squash and vanilla. Mix well. In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add to wet mixture. Mix until well combined then fold in walnuts. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 45-60 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan.
*I found the squash had some big seeds. Any ones that don’t fit through the wide holes I grated the squash through, I discarded.
**I’ve also seen this labeled as “Chinese cinnamon”. It is available at any spice shop and has a sweeter, less overpowering flavor than Saigon or “regular” cinnamon.
We’re still working through all of the squash our garden produced so I thought I’d make some quick bread. I’ve never seen crookneck bread before but I hoped it might be even better than zucchini bread because the crookneck squash seems to be sweeter tasting. It turned out great! I don’t know if it is that noticeably sweeter than zucchini but the texture is great, maybe even better than zucchini and the flavor blended wonderfully with the spices. It is also the moistest quick bread I think I have ever made. Added bonus? The whole house smells amazing!
I made this in my mini loaf pans because while I like black walnuts, nuts creep me out when they are in quick breads so I made 2 mini loaves with nuts and two without. I sprinkled some nuts on the top of the batter in the well before baking to ensure it would be easy to identify them when they came out of the oven.