I’m definitely guilty of Pinterest hoarding…ie pinning about one bajillion pictures of delicious looking stuff and yet never even clicking over to *look* at the recipe. I have a whole board dedicated to dinner ideas, another for breakfast, and basically any course or method possible and yet when I am at a loss for something to put together, I generally just Google it. Or throw everything into a pot and make soup.
But!! Every now and then I come across something so…pretty…tempting…unique…that I HAVE to make it. Like, call my husband repeatedly from work when I know he’s in class to make sure he can pick up some bananas and peanut butter on the way home. (I called about 20 minutes later to make sure he could also pick up wine…Tuesday night baking is no fun without wine.)
I was a little wary of having to mix up 3 separate bowls of batter–while trying to split 2 eggs amongst 3 bowls I honestly considered just dumping everything into one bowl and hoping for the best. But damn…it’s amazing. Perfectly flaky, moist, and sinfully decadent. The banana layer is the stuff wonderfully fragrant banana breads are made of. The peanut butter layer is reminiscent of a Reese’s Cup. And the chocolate layer is chocolate.
So, yeah. I don’t care where you are…you have time for 3 layers of heaven tonight. Vanilla-Chocolate-Strawberry has nothing on this guy.
The air has taken on the crisp coolness of mid-Atlantic Fall, so obviously it’s time for baking. With pumpkin. Gluten free and dairy free because that’s how I roll. Mostly.
But you know there’s those times when you just want a slice or two, and then the rest of the loaf stands neglected…I’m not one for waste, so I find it easier to make a mini loaf and call it a day. I mean, it’s fresh and hot out of the oven every single time, so a total win. Besides, theses little babies are just so gosh darn cute!
Added bonus–I don’t have to turn on my giant gas oven (that I’m secretly afraid is going to explode every time I turn it on…it’s an antique). The toaster oven works beautifully. I do still line the pans with a strip of parchment paper since gluten free baked goods have a penchant for sticking. My favorite GF all purpose flour to use for this is Bob’s Red Mill GF AP, but I’ve also used my Namaste Foods brand with success.
Single Serve Pumpkin Mini-Loaf
Serves: 1 mini loaf
1/2 c + 1 1/2 T GF all purpose flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 T sugar
1/4 c applesauce
5 T pumpkin
1/4 t vanilla
1 T water
Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. No such thing as overmixing here so make sure the batter is nice and fluffy.
Pour into a parchment lined mini loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
So freaking obsessed with Glen Templeton right now…I mean, the remake Let Her Go? I seriously cry in my car so much these days. I just thought you should know that. And when I cry, obviously, baking and sweets are generally involved.
Except it’s made with bananas. Which are fruit. So this is basically diet food.
OK. I harp on this a lot but when baking gluten free goodies of any kind, flour choice is critical. I used Namaste Foods All Purpose here, and feel free to use another GF all purpose or “one-for-one,” just be warned that results may vary. There is no such thing as a one-for-one gluten free flour, you guys. I love this article on the matter and highly suggest following recipes as written. If they mention an “all purpose blend,” figure out which one was used in the original. Side story…I totally wrecked a banana bread recipe from Taste of Home earlier in the day using Bob’s Red Mill’s new “1-for-1.” One of these days I’ll learn.
When you do have all your ingredients on hand, make sure they’re room temperature. I’m not 100% sure why this works, but I’ve had good luck with it. That means letting your eggs, milk, or whatever else may have been in the fridge sit on the counter for a little bit. I’m also told that you shouldn’t overmix (same rule of thumb for a lot of recipes with wheat flour), but then again I’ve also been told that it doesn’t matter since, well, there’s no gluten protein to overwork. Jury’s still out on that one. I generally mix my batters until they look good to go, but I’ve definitely let my yeast breads sit in the mixer for a while and they came out beautifully. I just…don’t know.
Oh! I would definitely recommend using a cast iron baking pan as well. Cast iron anything is pretty rockin’…both for the environment and for your body, but it also distributes heat amazingly well and lasts forever. I got mine for like $20 on Amazon. I do, still, line my pans with parchment paper since I’m so paranoid about sticking…with GF stuff it’s kind’ve a crap shoot.
So, yeah, those are my two cents on gluten free baking, at least as it pertains to banana bread. My husband told me this was the best gluten free baked goodie I’ve ever made, so I’m proud of that…too bad the recipe isn’t really mine
The texture of this banana bread is a bit denser than some more cake-like banana breads I’ve had in the past. It’s super rich, though, thanks to the butter. If you want to lighten it up, I’d try using a liquid oil (like avocado oil or another heat stable one that’s liquid at room temp) and maybe even using a tablespoon or two less flour than this recipe calls for. As with anything, don’t make too many drastic changes at once unless you’re prepared for a disaster, but then again, I’ve gone hog wild on a few things in my time that turned out great. You’re welcome for my unfettered wisdom.
We finally got all our stuff out of the Baltimore house yesterday—one thing I realized I miss from the Army was the fact that whenever you had to move, some moving company would just magically show up and four hours later, all your stuff was gone. Whether it would make it to where you needed to go was another story but considering we aren’t even taking possession of the new place for a month, I’m not thinking that far ahead. Either way. Moving yourself is awful. Righteously awful.
Fun fact…there is a Law of the Unviverse that states that no matter how hard you try, you will never—NEVER—fit all of your household goods inside your POD, despite more trips to Goodwill than I care to count and a pile of trash bags in the back alley I’m pretty sure could shield the place from a nuclear war. So, that was my weekend.
I know baking is probably the last thing anyone wants to do in the middle of the summer, except it’s the first thing I want to do every second of every day of the year so I’m posting this anyway. Y’all know I’ve been on my Vegan kick lately and I recently extended said Vegan kick into the realm of baked goods. I did try to make a Paleo/Vegan bread a while back (I’m still racking my brain for a way to make that happen) but for now I’m settling for this lovely creation.
It’s seriously delicious, not to mention versatile. Dudes, I made French Toast and sandwiches and toast with butter and jam and PBJ andandand they all held up. The pain with GF baked goods of any kind is that they can really be dry and crumbly, and doubly so when you have to eliminate eggs and dairy from the mix. I don’t know what it is about this specific combo of ingredients but it works beautifully. I had to experiment a little—it took me one miserable failure and two not-so-miserable-but-still-imperfect attempts to figure out the magic behind it and here is what I found/the ONE change I made…
When she says mix the ingredients until “just combined,” seriously, yo…do NOT overmix. Mix up all your dry ingredients REALLY well before you add the wet stud and mix by hand slowly and carefully until it comes together. Overmixing will produce a nasty sinkhole.
Only let it rise 30 minutes. I know it says 30-45 but too long and a) it might overflow and/or b) it’ll sink whilst baking.
I added a tablespoon of psyllium husk powder. I swear by this stuff.
Does not freeze well. I unthawed a loaf I had frozen fresh and it turned to sand.
Let the loaf cool either upside down or on its side. I know some folks think this is an Old Wive’s Tale, but it makes me feel better. So there.
I took a little hiatus from the Internet for the Lenten season, which is at least part of the reason my last post was forever ago…except school has me pretty much clawing at water so the break from not only social media but, well, everything online was amazing for my study habits. Suddenly I realized where all that time went when I was all like, “OMG I have no TIME to study!”
I haven’t been cooking much, either. It’s terrible. 90% of my food consumption since February has come out of a crockpot. I could make some fancy posts about it all…but it was pretty much either beef or pork. Like, whatever giant hunk of meat I saw first at the store. Tossed it right in there and pressed the go button. Boom. Week of meals right there.
BUT! I finally got around to some baking for Easter brunch. Yay, muffins! Nothing crazy, but as always, a little experimentation with some oldies turned into something glorious. I made my first batch last week and this one is definitely a winner. It’s the first time I’ve used psyllium husk in baking but it really does give a much more gluten-y texture without giving me the bubble guts like a lot of gums out there. If you don’t have it, it’s totally skip-able, but it really does add a little oomf. Feel free to add nuts or chocolate chips or whatever, too…I guess I’m just boring.
Banana Bread Muffins
1/2 c coconut flour
1/2 c cashew butter
3 ripe bananas
1/4 c maple syrup or honey
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla
1 t vinegar
1 T psyllium husk powder
Mash the bananas with the cashew butter and maple syrup (or honey) in a large mixing bowl.
Add the dry ingredients, vanilla, and eggs to this mixture.
Beat the batter with an electric mixer for 3 minutes on high, until fluffy.