Isolated in a celiac’s household, wheat flour is the anti-christ. That stuff gets everywhere. So, when you are a pastry-holic like me, you start to itch…especially when drinking coffee just by itself…
Gluten-free baking sounds like a lot. It might be the most challenging science experiment I have ever taken up. But, it is freakin’ fascinating! If you like options, it is definitely the avenue for you. From brown rice to almond to coconut flour, it seems that almost anything is a gluten-free flour alternative. Yet, each flour behaves differently! That being said, you must always do your research. Most gluten-free flour alternatives are wicked expensive, leaving less room for screws ups for the majority of us working folk.
Luckily, my father went on a GF flour shopping spree after being diagnosed and seemingly forgot all about his purchases. I discovered a bag of Bob’s Red Mill almond flour, and Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour, along with two bags of expiring coconut flour. Quarantine is leading to some adventures let me tell you.
I got to researching. Coconut flour is very absorbent but smells great. Almond flour is exactly what it sounds like. And, gluten-free all-purpose? A lot of flours that are not as easy to make at home (brown rice, potato, etc…) that are mixed in an ideal ratio. This guy I found is a great gluten-free beginner baker STAPLE.
Eventually, I stumbled upon a fabulous recipe from Meaningful Eats for Gluten-Free Banana Bread. It gave me a new foundation for playing around in the world of gluten-free flours. I started with the banana. An amateur mistake: I under buttered the base of my loaf pan. So, it fell apart upon removing from pan. Still tasted great though even after its surgery…
^BEFORE v AFTER^
So, through the chaos and devastation, I got witty. I had about 3 cans of pumpkin. With a quick substitute of cinderella’s gourd for fruit and some honey, I created something really special. Below is my Pumpkin Bread recipe adaptation. Don’t forget to dazzle it with pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, or both at the end…!
The Celiac Friendliest Pumpkin Bread
(adapted from Meaningful Eat’s The Best Gluten-Free Banana Bread recipe:)
- 1 cup gluten-free 1-to-1 all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon*
- 2 teaspoons of nutmeg*
- 1.5 teaspoons of ginger powder*
- 1 teaspoon of allspice*
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of pumpkin (A can of pumpkin usually has about a cup and 3/4 inside of it)
- 1/3 cup of butter (room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons any milk (as long as it is not flavored)
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or a tablespoon of maple syrup)
- As many chocolate chips or pumpkin seeds or whatever you’d like to decorate on top!
*Play around with the spices! I was out of clove AND cardamom, which I was devastated about. I cannot leave the house! Creativity will still prevail! Life’s easy: if you like a spice more, then add more. Use your nose to gage the aromatics of your batter!
A quick note: xanthan gum is not necessary for the Pumpkin bread recipe. Baker’s will scorn me for that statement. With enough moisture, binder (egg, flax, butter, etc…) and rising agent for this loaf style cake, it holds up on its own like gold. Xanthan gum does lend a glutinous like structure, so if your gluten-free flour has it already incorporated, no sweat. It might end up being better than mine…
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with butter and lightly dust with flour.
- Measure all your dry ingredients and add them to a small bowl (except for the spices.) Mix well.
- In a larger bowl, whisk the butter and honey. If you have a mixer, beat them together until combined. Carefully mix in the pumpkin. Then, add vanilla, milk, and spices. Continue to mix until it looks smooth and shiny.
- Start folding in the dry ingredients, little by little. In each add, make sure you mix thoroughly so that all those flour pockets dissolve. Almond flour likes to hang out in clumps sometimes…
- Now you are ready to add that batter into your loaf pan! Once you get every drop of yummy baking spice-scented goodness out of that bowl, its time to decorate! Have a toppings fiesta; think pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, nuts, etc…
- Bake for around 60 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean (because not every household has toothpicks!) I suggest checking it around the 45/50 minute mark – not all ovens are created equal!
- It’s ready. But, curb your enthusiasm! This bread should rest for at least 10 minutes in the pan before you either a) flip it onto a wire rack or b) take a giant chunk to eat with butter or ice cream.
Let me know about your Autumn dreaming baking adventure! I am eating mine with cookies n cream ice cream as we speak. It may sound weird, but what isn’t weird right now in our world?