When I need inspiration that isn’t coming from the ever-growing stack of cookbooks waiting to be reviewed…I go wandering on Amazon. Amazon rarely fails in this: if I know a cookbook I like, I have many others presented to me that are similar. Then I go to the library’s website and start searching. Being that our county library system is massive (how big? 48 libraries!) and one of the most used in the US (it is a yearly battle between KCLS and one in New York – 22 million items circulated alone in 2012!)…well most times I can get the books I see on Amazon. It gives me a chance to find authors I might have missed and avoid stinkers (which is one reason I like the luxury of getting so many review copies of cookbooks!)l My goal was to find more inspiration in baking for Alistaire and the family. Finding gluten-free books isn’t hard, but those that are also egg, nut and peanut free? It gets a lot thinner in choices. Real thin. I picked up a pile of books and started flipping through. The first two went back into my library bag. One claimed to be nut free but wasn’t (really??), the second one used a GF flour mix in every recipe that was nearly all garbanzo bean flour (my stomach said nooo thank you!).
The third in my pile had me happy. It was that special-needs diet cookbook I was dreaming of. How had I missed it before? Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: A Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts by Colette Martin. And more so, it follows pretty closely to how we eat, unprocessed and plenty of whole foods. And will walk the shaky/nervous/overwhelmed through it (yes, it is a crash course, but there isn’t a learning curve with allergens…ugh). And this is a relatively new book, having come out last year, with plenty of color photos, sprinkled throughout.
This made the most ethereal loaf of zucchini bread.
Ummm…this was beyond fantastic. Consider it this way: zucchini bread is usually a heavy loaf that is dark in flavor, texture and heavy in the stomach. This wasn’t that. The vanilla slips through, mingling with the sugar. It doesn’t taste gluten-free. Or allergy-friendly. If you brought it out and kept quiet, it would disappear quickly. Walker and Alistaire happily had it for dessert, and Walker ate what baby didn’t finish.
I took the boys out to the garden, and we picked a couple of small zucchini to use in it. There is something so cool about having fresh produce on the vine, waiting for you!
It never got above 65° today. What a way to celebrate the first day of August. No measurable rain in all of July, first day of August and it opens up dumping and cold. Loved it! The plants did as well….
The bread pulled together quickly, and was in the oven before we sat down to dinner. This could become a go-to for all those squash plants Yellow squash would be so pretty.
Zucchini Bread, pages 102-103 (adapted for our dietary issues)
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend (see notes)
- ½ tsp xanthan gum (see notes)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + ¼ cup warm water, mixed
- ½ cup oil (called for grapeseed, used olive oil)
- ¾ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (called for hemp, used coconut milk)
- 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups zucchini, shredded
Preheat oven to 350°, spray or lightly oil a 9×5 bread pan.
Mix together the flour, xantham gum, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Blend together the egg replacer mixture, oil, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl, with a hand mixer on medium speed, for 1 minute.
Gradually add the flour mixture, blending on medium speed until the batter is smooth.
Add the zucchini and mix for an additional 2 minutes, until combined.
Scrape batter into the loaf pan, smoothing out. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick or thin butter knife comes out clean in the center, and the top is turning golden. My loaf took a full 60 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes, gently flip over to remove, let cool on a wire rack before slicing (a serrated bread knife works well). Once cool, store covered, eat within a day or two for best taste!
I used Trader Joe’s all-purpose gluten-free baking mix, a comparable version is King Arthur’s.
If the GF flour mix you are using has xantham gum, do not add any to the recipe. I used the GF mix I have, it imparts a light flavor, where other ones such as Bob’s Red Mill have a heavier taste (it has beans). Use what you prefer, but keep that in mind.
Overall, I bake with So Delicious coconut milk. I like the texture/flavor. My husband prefers to avoid Hemp products. As for the oil, I cook with only two oils: olive and coconut. Maybe I am used to it, but I love olive oil in baked goods. I don’t fine it strong at all.