Saturday, October 22, 2011

GF Pumpkin Bread

Saturday, 22 October (updated 28 October)

I started with a recipe for Sweet Potato Bread that I found in the latest catalogue from Penzeys spices (sorry, can't find it on their website). My baking philosophy is that a recipe is a starting point, and you make it work with what you have. I had some cooked pumpkin on hand, and it seemed easier to use that than to cook a sweet potato. I modified the original recipe by cutting the amount of sugar in half and cutting back on the oil (I find you need less fat with GF flours). My measurements were not very precise, and I didn’t add any xanthan gum, and it came out fine. It doesn't rise a lot, but judging from the picture with the original recipe, the gluten-ful version didn't either. Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are heavy stuff.

Here’s my approximate recipe for GF Pumpkin Bread.

1 cup brown rice flour
¾ cup white rice flour
¼ cup oat flour
[other flours and flour proportions would work too; I’d stay away from the starches—the pumpkin needs something substantial to absorb the moisture]
¾ cup brown sugar
[less sugar would be OK, or maybe a little molasses and a little sugar]
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/2 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger (or to taste)
1 cup cooked pumpkin (make your own or use canned)
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl; mix well with a whisk (to get everything evenly distributed and to break up the clumpy oat flour). In a small bowl, mash up the pumpkin and add the eggs, oil, and water. Mix this until smooth, then stir the mixture into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Spoon it all into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack, then let it cool to room temperature before you try to slice it.

If you don't like plain pumpkin bread, the original recipe calls for sprinkling vanilla sugar over the top before you bake the loaf. Or you could add icing before slicing. Or add some mini chocolate chips or toasted walnuts or raisins to the batter. Or carefully spread Nutella on individual slices.

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