You slice your just-cooled zucchini bread, expecting an airy pillow of green-flecked goodness. Instead, you dig into some gooey mess that can make any home baker’s heart sink.
Fret not—you can still save your undercooked bread to enjoy with your milk!
In this article, we’ll discuss the methods to determine bread’s doneness and how to fix undercooked zucchini bread. Plus, we’ve put together some tried-and-tested tips to avoid this common kitchen mishap.
You can tell if your zucchini bread is undercooked by checking for the following:
Most of the time, the crust is a good gauge for determining the doneness of your zucchini bread. A perfectly baked loaf should have a firm and deep golden brown crust, with a few gorgeous cracks on the top.
On the other hand, your bread is probably raw if the crust is crack-less or a little on the pale side.
An instant-read thermometer is a reliable tool to check the temperature of your bread’s center. Like any quick bread, the doneness temperature of zucchini bread is around 200–205°F.
Stick the probe straight down through the middle of the bread. Then withdraw it gradually and check the readings along the way.
Flip the pan over and remove the bread. Give the bottom crust a few taps using your finger.
A thoroughly cooked zucchini bread should give a hollow sound. Meanwhile, a dull thump is a sign of undercooked bread.
While a toothpick test works best for cakes, it’s unreliable for textured bread with bits of zucchini, chips, or nuts. Instead, use a narrow-bladed knife to stick into the loaf.
If the knife comes out clean, then your zucchini bread is good to go. Wet batter or moist crumbs clinging to the blade is an obvious sign the bread is still raw.
Here are some reasons your zucchini bread doesn’t cook in the middle:
Zucchini is a moisture-rich veggie. The reason it’s so juicy is that, botanically, it’s a fruit.
It’s 94% water, which is probably why your zucchini bread turns to mush.
If the batter is too wet, your zucchini bread will probably end up soggy. Chances are you don’t have the right amount of flour the recipe calls for.
Tossing your zucchini bread batter in a cold oven prevents it from rising properly, resulting in undercooked bread.
Preheating the oven ensures that you have the optimal temperature for the leavening agent to do its job. Not just that, but the batter gets evenly cooked this way.
Checking for doneness allows you to fix undercooked bread as soon as you catch it.
5 – Oven Set Too Hot
Uncalibrated ovens are silent culprits of undercooked bread. Temperatures can be off by a significant margin in either direction, affecting the doneness of the bread.
If the oven is too hot, the crust is likely to bake faster than the center can cook all the way through.
Cutting into piping hot bread can make the insides appear dense and soggy.
Waiting for the bread to cool down allows the insides to firm up by letting off all trapped steam.
There’s no reason you cannot re-bake undercooked zucchini bread. Most bakers will do it in a heartbeat to save their loaves.
To do this, preheat the oven to 350°F, put the bread back in, and bake it for another 10–20 minutes. It’s always a good idea to tent the loaf with foil to protect the crust from burning or further browning.
Apart from re-baking, try these tricks to rescue your undercooked zucchini bread:
Cut the undercooked zucchini bread into slices and pop them in the oven toaster to cook for five minutes.
Grease the griddle or skillet with little oil or butter and pan-fry the zucchini bread slices. Smother the top with hazelnut chocolate, maple syrup, or peanut butter, and enjoy it like French toast!
If you’ve tried the hacks mentioned above without success, trim the baked parts for snacking and discard the rest.
In any case, never eat undercooked bread. Eggs and flour in the raw batter can harbor germs and make you sick.
Follow these tips for perfectly cooked zucchini bread every time:
- Preheat your oven to the required temperature.
- Wrap the shredded zucchini in a dish towel and squeeze out as much water as possible.
- Measuring dry ingredients, like flour, by volume and not weight is inaccurate. Invest in a basic kitchen scale and convert all cup measurements to grams for greater accuracy.
- Place an oven thermometer on the center of the rack and turn the oven to 350°F. Once it reaches the set temperature, check the reading and compare.
If the temperature is off by 15°F, check your owner’s manual for calibration instructions. Otherwise, call a certified technician to recalibrate your oven.
- Test the doneness of the bread by using a digital thermometer.
- Wait for the zucchini bread to cool down to room temperature before slicing.
Now that you know how to fix undercooked zucchini bread, your loaf doesn’t have to end up in the trash bin. You can bet that the bread will bake all the way through by giving it extra oven time while loosely wrapped in foil.
Finally, a few simple tweaks to your baking habits will ensure that your next loaves will come out perfectly cooked every time!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.