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Zucchini Bread falls in the middle & sticks to the pan

Bruce asks: When baking zucchini bread the loaves rise nicely while baking, but they fall in the middle. What can be done to prevent this?

The bread also wants to stick. We are using stainless steel pans, Baker’s Secret spray and a convection oven. How do I prevent it from sticking to the pan?

Baking S.O.S. says: It sounds like your zucchini bread isn’t getting done all the way through the middle.  Under-baked quick breads are characterized by rising nicely in the oven and then falling as they cool out of the oven–exactly what you described.

To be certain your zucchini bread is completely done before you remove it from the oven, you can try several methods to test for doneness [and sometimes using more than 1 method helps!]:

  • Insert a wooden toothpick or skewer deep in the center of the zucchini bread.  You can also test in several different spots to be sure, if you like.  It should come out clean or with dry crumbs on it.
  • Press the top of the zucchini bread gently in the center.  If it bounces back, it is done in the middle.  If you can hear it “squish,” it is still wet in the center.
  • Appearance: it should look golden brown all over, not just around the edges.

As for preventing the bread from sticking when you remove it from the pan, definitely keep using the Baker’s Secret spray.  You could also line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the pan.  I always use parchment paper as a liner to keep cakes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Lastly, you could run a knife gently around the edges of the pan before you remove the zucchini bread to help loosen it before you take it out.

I should mention that you do not want to try to remove the zucchini bread from the pan while it is still hot.  Tempting as it may be to want to try a piece as soon as it comes out of the oven, DON’T!  It will be much more likely to stick to the pan and crumble if you try to remove it when it’s hot.  Let it cool to room temperature in the pan before you try to remove it.

Good luck!