- Food and Cooking
My Tasty Gluten Free Banana Walnut Bread Recipe
I Fine-Tuned My Gluten-Free Banana Walnut Bread Recipe
I was spoiled by my Grandma's Banana Bread Recipe, handed down to me as a girl by my mom. Otherwise maybe I'd be less discerning about doing a gluten-free version.
Banana bread was a staple at our house, and later on I made it at least weekly for my growing family.
After much experimentation I've developed a banana bread made without gluten that surpasses the others. Since making the change to replace gluten with an alternative thickener in most of my diet I went back to Grandma's recipe, made substitutions, and I share it here with an abundance of photos.
It can be a challenge to adapt these recipes and I don't do it often, but most of my prior attempts at modifying Grandma's banana bread recipe have been flops. In fact, for years they either never cooked all the way through, or they turned out dried and heavy.
Either way, I used to slice them into 1.5" slabs and fried them on both sides prior to eating. Frugality was a tradition handed on down through the family.
Recently I tried a recipe I found on Squidoo and it was the best yet, but still lacked the just right taste and consistency I craved. Harken back to the old recipe card, and I knew just what to do.
I've found the GF flour mix that satisfies me, and I think Grandma, and Mom too, would be very pleased with my results.
All Photographs Â© 2013 Leslie Sinclair
I Like Mixing With Slotted Spoons
Call me quirky but I get the right feel when I hand mix quick bread with a slotted spoon.
Having a beautiful even textured loaf
consistently cooked through
light and not heavy
lightly organically sweetened
slicing into pieces without crumbles
good enough for another piece
is my idea
of good banana bread
Perfectly Textured Banana Walnut Bread That Doesn't Crumble
Like My Mom Prepared the Bananas
Mom and Grandma used about 1 1/2 Cups of mashed bananas. Grandma mashed them by hand with a potato masher. Mom taught me to use the blender pitcher to make a banana puree.
For all my previous GF loaves I've used a mixer or hand masher for the job, but this time I decided to follow the tried and true family method of using the Osterizer.
After placing the fruit into the pitcher I broke an egg in, added vanilla and oil, to be sure I had a moist enough mixture for the blender to beat. Taking the easy way out paid off.
I Poured the Blended Bananas Into a Mixing Bowl
I scraped the puree out of the blender and into a medium sized bowl. Then I added the organic coconut sugar in place of white processed sugar.
I Used Almond Oil in my Banana Bread Recipe
Almond oil is a wonder for baking with. It has a light flavor and is not adversely affected by the high temperatures called for in baking.
Safflower oil is mild and excellent for use in baking.
- Prep time: 20 min
- Cook time: 1 hour 10 min
- Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
- Yields: 10
- 1.5 Cups or 3 Ripe Bananas
- 1 whole Egg
- 1/3 Cup Almond or other Oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 Cups Pamela's Gluten Free Baking Mix
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
- 1 scant teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Xantham Gum
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- Add Bananas, Egg, Oil and Vanilla to blender pitcher.
- Blend lightly until nearly smooth.
- Pour batter into mixing bowl.
- Place Coconut Sugar into bowl on top of bananas.
- Add Baking Mix
- Add Baking Soda
- Add Xantham Gum
- Add Salt
- Stir with rubber scraper or long handled large spoon just until mixed.
- Pour into greased or parchment lined baking pan.
- Bake in 350 degree oven. Set timer for 50 minutes.Test for doneness, and reset timer for 5 or 10 more minutes if needed. I baked this loaf for 55 minutes.
- Place baking pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Slide thin knife around sides to loosen loaf.
- Gently turn out of pan onto rack and let cool prior to slicing.
I Used Less Salt Than Before
One teaspoon, even half a teaspoon of salt is too much for me. My sensitivity to the taste of salt seems to have increased since I made my dietary changes, and I find that most contemporary recipes - even Grandma's - call for more salt than meets my taste. This is about 1/3 teaspoon salt.
Skimped on the Baking Soda
You can see that I used less than 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda because I've been aware of the soda taste in my recent batches of my favorite bread.
the Magic Ingredient For Cohesiveness
Although I've been using Xanthum Gum in all my GF baking projects, I've found that it's a fine line between enough to bind the ingredients and a little more - that causes a disagreeable slippery feeling on my tongue. I use the barest possible amount to satisfy me.
This Is How Small I Cut The Nuts
Using a trusty chef's knife makes swift work of chopping the heap of walnuts. Use more or less as you prefer.
Give Batter a Good Hand Mixing
Instead of using a large mixing spoon, a perfectly good alternative, I used the long handled beverage sized rubber scraper to mix the batter.
The Batter's in the Pan
I purposely used a large metal bread pan because my prime goal is to bake the loaf all the way through. I like having the flatter top - there's less chance of a slice splitting as I put it on a plate.
Testing for Doneness
A favorite method of my Mom's was to apply a slight pressure to the top of the baking loaf, when it's colorful and the crust appears to be done. It needs to spring back up right away, or remain in the oven.
I Used Pamela's Gluten Free Flour Mix in My Recipe
I use Pamela's mix because it tastes best, has the best texture in the finished goods, and because I can add whatever sweetener I choose.
This is a particularly good buy, getting three 4-pound bags, so they are always on hand. I've used several of the recipes on the pack back.
Proof's in the Finished Loaf
The loaf tests done with the spoon test, and it looks done so I remove it from the oven.
The Only Utensils I Used
A Wealth of Valuable Information About Bananas
- USDA Facts
Bananas are ripe in nutrients and such health benefits as we don't want to miss. This is an especially informative site that provides more information than the average eater could ever hope to unpeel.
- Natural News Tells How Bananas Help Us
Nearly ten ways we probably don't already know about how we are helped by banass.
In Case You Need a New Utensil or Two
Oster sells cheaper blenders, but for mushing bananas this is a fine option. It's the way I learned when I began cooking as a child.
I've found that having several sets of measuring spoons is a helpful thing for me. Then there's always a dry set when I've already used one set for liquids.
I often grab my stainless steel mixing bowl with a gripper handle. It's versatile for pouring.
With three to choose from there's always one available to scrape the batter out of the bowl and into the pan.
This is a smaller version of the bread pan I used in this example - for those who prefer baking in metal.
You might like this alternative to sweetening your banana bread with white sugar Using Stevia Instead