Growing produce has been one of the best things about having a house with a yard. Taylor built us some really great garden boxes in the back, and we’ve grown everything from ancho chiles to zucchini to herbs. When we were deciding what to plant this spring, I knew yellow squash had to be included. I like the mild flavor or it. Don’t get me wrong, zucchini is awesome too, but for some things, I prefer the mild taste of yellow squash. Like when I make spirulized “pasta” out of squash yellow absorbs the taste of sauce better than it’s green cousin. I don’t know why zucchini seems to be so much more popular.
When planning my next recipe, I knew I wanted to make sweet bread, and I was going round and round about whether to make lemon poppy seed bread or zucchini bread when I suddenly realized, I might be able to make a hybrid recipe! I thought, what if you combined the mild flavor and moist texture of yellow squash with sweet and tangy lemon? Let’s not forget that the color is perfect. Why does zucchini get to have all the fun being the super moist veggie masquerading as dessert?
When Taylor tried it, he said that he never would have guessed that there was squash in it. That’s what I love about the mellow taste of yellow squash. Let’s face it. We’re not scarfing down zucchini bread because we just can’t get enough of that green flavor. It’s the moist and substantive quality that the zucchini lends to bread that we crave. The mound of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg that usually goes in zucchini bread are there to say “Hey, don’t taste those green flecks you’re eating! Taste meeeeee. Mmmmm! Don’t you love sugary cinnamon-y bread? Yeah, I don’t have vegetables in me. Aren’t I moist?”
Yellow squash is sneakier.
Please, whatever you do, don’t skip the glaze! It increases the tangy lemony goodness 1,000 fold. Essential! I promise.
Do you see squash? No Ma’am, you don’t. If you told someone the darker yellow flecks were lemon zest, they’d believe you in a heartbeat. In fact, maybe some of them are…
So it tastes very similar to a traditional lemon poppy seed bread, except it is even more moist and a little bit more dense. In a good way. The texture leans a bit toward pound cake.
I can’t wait to try yellow squash as a substitution in more zucchini recipes!
Which do you prefer; Zucchini or yellow squash?
- 2 small yellow squash, ends trimmed
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbl poppy seeds
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 6 tbl butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup yogurt
- 1 tbl lemon zest
- 1 tbl lemon juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard size loaf pan, or line it with parchment paper.
- Grate squash with the large holes of a standard grater. Wrap grated squash in a thin kitchen towel and squeeze out all of the liquid you can. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds with a whisk.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add sugar and lemon zest. Mix on medium speed for about a minute. This will help the lemon flavor to infuse the whole loaf. Add to sugar mixture butter, grated squash, eggs, yogurt, and lemon juice. Mix on medium speed until fully combined. Scrape sides of bowl once with a rubber spatula, and mix again for another minute or so to be sure it is fully combined.
- With mixer on lowest speed, add flour a little bit at a time. Once all the flour is added, stop the mixer immediately. You don't want to over mix. You can stir it once or twice with a wooden spoon if there are big pockets of flour left.
- Pour dough into prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour. Start checking at 50 minutes. Once the dough in the middle feels set, you can start checking with a toothpick. When the toothpick comes out of the loaf with just a few crumbs and no wet dough, it's ready.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before adding glaze.
- Combine sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir frequently. When sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to simmer, take off heat and pour over bread.
- Let cool for 20 minutes before cutting.