I have never created a more delicious way to use up zucchini! This decadent bread is going to become a classic in your house just like it has in mine!
Place the zucchini bits into a medium bowl and cover with apple cider. Place in the microwave for 1 minute and then set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, water, and vanilla extract. (You want the temperature of the ingredients to be warm, at least 105 degrees. If the ingredients are too cool the yeast will not activate. If necessary, put in the microwave for 10 seconds). Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
Add in the melted butter mixture. Then, add the eggs, one at a time.
Using the dough hook attachment, knead until the dough is soft and smooth, about 2 minutes. If it seems too dry add a little water, if it seems too sticky add just a little flour, up to a 1/4 cup.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan. (You can also use a longer/large pan if needed, the bread will simply not be as compact.)
Stir the vanilla into the melted butter.
With a pastry brush, spread the butter mixture over the entire top on the dough.
Carefully and evenly sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.
Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over the dough.
Add the diced zucchini on top of the cinnamon and sugar.
Cut the dough crosswise into six 3 1/2" x 12" strips.
Stack the strips on top of one another.
Cut the stack into six pieces, about 2" x 3 1/2" each.
Turn the pieces on edge, and place them in the loaf pan one in front of the other from one end of the pan to the other, squeezing them in tight. I sprinkled any pieces of zucchini that had fallen off over the top of the dough after I put it into the pan.
Cover the pan and allow the loaf to rise for 30 to 60 minutes until it's almost doubled in size. While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the loaf for 45 to 55 minutes in the center of the oven, tenting it with foil after 30 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before turning it out of the pan to cool completely.