Even if you’re not a big fan of zucchini, zucchini bread is a delicious way to get the health benefits the fruit provides. That’s because the watery squash fruit is barely noticeable between all the spices.
So, you follow different zucchini bread recipes precisely, only to end up with a mushy middle each time. This begs the question, why is my zucchini bread raw in the middle?
Luckily, this article will discuss seven reasons behind soggy zucchini bread and how to tackle them.
Generally, most zucchini bread recipes rely on the squash fruit’s high water content as the main liquid moisture ingredient.
Some recipes add grated carrots or pumpkin puree for added flavor, but zucchini is still the primary source of moisture.
The problem is that not all zucchini will provide the same amount of water to the batter. Plus, those squash fruits differ in size—large zucchinis are generally more watery than smaller ones.
So, when a recipe calls for two grated small or medium-sized zucchini, there’s a chance you might not get successful results. Instead, look for a recipe that uses accurate measurements, such as cups or grams, so that you don’t add excess liquids unintentionally.
Likewise, use accurate measurements if you’re adding carrots, pumpkins, or other ingredients with high water content.
As mentioned earlier, some zucchinis are extra juicy. In that case, you’ll want to drain the excess moisture to avoid soggy bread—even when the recipe doesn’t instruct draining.
That’s especially true if you’re adding frozen zucchini.
You see, zucchinis are more than 90% water. When you freeze those squash fruits, the water solidifies into ice crystals.
The problem is that those crystals break down the cell walls. As a result, the cell content escapes, increasing the moisture of the zucchini.
That’s why you see a puddle of water surrounding frozen zucchini when you defrost them. The good news is you can still overcome the watery issue.
After thawing or shredding the zucchini, drain the excess water at the bottom of the bowel. Then, squeeze the grated zucchini using a clean cloth.
That said, don’t go overboard with the squeezing. Unless a drier loaf is your preference, excess draining removes the water you need for moist, dense zucchini bread.
As surprising as it might sound, not all flour types absorb water the same. That difference in liquid absorbency has to do with the protein content.
Typically, flour types with higher protein content, like bread flour, need more water to reach the right dough consistency. Conversely, low-protein flour, like cake flour, doesn’t need much liquid to saturate.
For that reason, make sure to use the exact flour type as instructed. That’s to avoid having excess liquids that the dry ingredients can’t absorb, which leads to raw zucchini bread in the middle.
That said, you might still get soggy zucchini bread even if you’re using the correct flour type mentioned in the recipe, but why?
The truth is, flour properties can vary from grain to grain. You may use the same type of flour from two different brands and get different results.
So, it all boils down to trial and error. Find a flour brand that gives you the best zucchini bread texture and stick with it.
The type of flour isn’t the only factor that causes raw-middle zucchini bread. Improper measurements can also lead to that problem.
Conversely, adding a large amount of flour would lead to heavy, dry zucchini bread. The best way to tackle the inaccurate flour measurement issue is to use the proper measuring technique.
Here’s what to do:
- Loosen the flour by fluffing it up using a spoon or a whisk.
- Using a spoon, fill the measuring cup with the aerated flour.
- Fill the measuring cup above the rim.
- Level the flour using a knife.
Usually, most zucchini bread recipes have baking powder, baking soda, or both as main ingredients. When mixed in the batter, those leavening agents produce carbon dioxide gas.
As a result, they lift the zucchini bread during baking. Without the chemical-raising agent, your bread will fail to puff in the middle, leading to a raw zucchini bread center.
That’s why it’s best to check whether the baking powder or soda is still active before adding them to the batter.
Here’s how to test the leavening agents’ efficiency:
- In a cup, add around two tablespoons of lukewarm water. Use vinegar for baking soda.
- Mix in half a teaspoon of the chemical-raising agent and examine.
If bubbles form immediately after adding the baking powder or soda, the leaving agents are still active.
Overmixing the batter can also lead to raw zucchini bread. That’s because as you stir the batter, you’re expelling the gases produced by the leaving agents.
As a result, you get a flat, doughy zucchini bread mess. Still, if you don’t mix the batter, you’ll end up with clumps.
To overcome the overmixing-undermixing dilemma, mix the dry and wet ingredients in two separate bowls. Then, add the liquids to the flour mix and stir until the flour is moistened.
It’s no surprise that undercooking zucchini bread will result in a raw middle. The problem is that even if you bake the bread for the period instructed in the recipe, the zucchini bread might still not cook well.
Again, this has to do with the leavening agents. Once they mix with the liquids, baking powder and soda produce gas.
The longer you delay cooking the batter, the more bubbles escape, resulting in flat, raw bread.
That’s why it’s crucial to preheat the oven before throwing the batter into it. Consequently, you reach a high enough temperature to cook the bread immediately without letting air bubbles escape the batter.
So, why is my zucchini bread raw in the middle? Adding too much liquid and not hitting the right oven temperature are the primary culprits behind wet zucchini bread.
Other factors that cause doughy zucchini bread include the flour type, inactive leavening agents, improper measuring technique, or overmixing.
The good news is that you can counter all these problems. Once you tackle those issues, you’ll bake and savor a dense, moist zucchini bread whenever you crave it!
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.