250 Cookbooks: Sunset Cook Book of Breads

Cookbook #21: Sunset Cook Book of Breads. By the Editors of Sunset Books and Sunset Magazine, Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, California, 1978.

Sunset Cook Book of BreadsI opened this book and immediately knew I’d keep it. I found many recipes I wanted to try. It was published 35 years ago, so that’s pretty amazing. Why haven’t I marked it up and tried a bunch of these recipes?

Oh, I see. I gave this cookbook to my mother Christmas 1979, she wrote a note to that effect on the inside front cover. She was more interested in baking pies and cookies and casseroles than breads. I was always the one with a passion for yeast breads.

I organize all the recipes that I clip from magazines, newspapers, and other sources by entering them in a database I began in the 1990s. (Over 800 entries!) Thinking that several recipes in this Sunset Cook Book of Breads look familiar, I checked that database. Sure enough, ten of this cookbook’s recipes are referenced there. So before I gave the cookbook to my mother back in 1979, I must have copied several pages of recipes to try, and I still have those copies today.

The bread recipe I will bake this week is “Spicy Zucchini Wheat Bread”. It is not one of the recipes I copied all those years ago, but it appeals to me now. I like incorporating vegetables in breads; the zucchini will add fiber and nutrients and keep the loaf moist. I like the inclusion of whole wheat four and wheat germ too. Cardamom is the spice: Wow! Cardamom usually pops up in ethnic cuisines, not American bread cookbooks from the 70s. I’m tempted to substitute with cinnamon, but I’ll stay with the cardamom. Live dangerously.

Here is the original recipe:

reciperecipe I will use my bread machine and write my own version of the recipe incorporating my changes. If you don’t have a bread machine, follow the original version for mixing and rising.

Spicy Zucchini BreadSpicy Zucchini Wheat Bread

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 cup (7.5 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 cup (10.5 ounces) bread flour (or use all purpose flour mixed with 2 ounces/1/4 cup gluten flour)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 t grated orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup currants or raisins
  • 1 tablespoon yeast

Combine all ingredients in the bread machine and set to the dough cycle. (The dough cycle should mix and rise the dough.) Check the dough during the first few minutes of mixing to make sure that the dough is coming together into ball of dough; add a little more flour or water as necessary.

Take the risen dough out of the bread machine. Form into 2 loaves and place in lightly greased 4 1/2 x 8 1/2-inch loaf pans. Let rise until the dough is 1/2-1 inch above the rims of the pans.

Bake at 375˚ for 30 minutes.

Spicy Zucchini BreadThis bread turned out great, and I will definitely make it again. I like it best toasted with a little light cream cheese or jam or apple butter.

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