Yesterday, the new King Arthur Flour catalog came in the mail. I perused it before bed, as I always do when a new one comes. Rarely do I order, but there is some solid information in the King Arthur catalog, and they always include a few recipes that are worth the time and effort. One for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread caught my eye, and I started to scheme in my dreams of a gluten-free version. When I bounced from my bed, I got right to work - happy with my end result and feeling quite productive all before 7 a.m.
I always feel the need to stress that I am not gluten-free myself, or in need of keeping to a gluten-free diet. But more often than not, I wish I was. Everything baking experiment ends up enchanting me far more than the conventional glutened counterpart. Maybe it's the thrill of a new challenge, or the appreciation of a tender crumb. Maybe, it's because it is a truly healthful alternative to traditional baked goods. This bread just feels healthy, like you are doing yourself a favor by enjoying a slice.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Bread (adapted from King Arthur Flour's August 2012 catalog)
- 2 c. gluten-free all purpose flour (I used this method and mixed my own)
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. xanthan gum
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 1/4 c. cocoa powder
- 3 1/2 oz. coconut oil (I used room temp, just softened oil, not melted)
- 1/4 c. sugar (up this to 1/2 c. if you prefer it sweeter)
- 1 large egg
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 2 bananas (8 oz.)
- 1/2 c. plain yogurt (4 oz.)
- up to 1 c. or so of optionals (nuts, chocolate chips, seeds, etc.)
Preheat the oven to 330. (Yes, it's lower than 350 and not a typo. I read here that perhaps baking at a slightly lower temperature is good for helping maintain the integrity of the loaf. That link is also a great resource template for vegan GF quick bread baking!) Line a loaf pan with a crumpled sheet of parchment paper. (You can use reused parchment for this, and may be able to get a couple of bakings out of the sheet you crumble as well.)
In a medium bowl, combine flour, soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa powder.
In a larger bowl, mash bananas and add the coconut oil, sugar, egg, and yogurt. Mix well to combine thoroughly.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and use a spatula to make sure everything is well mixed. Add in any optionals, and spread evenly into prepared loaf pan. (I sprinkled the parchment lined pan first with cinnamon sugar, and then sprinkled a little more on top of the unbaked batter as well. It adds a little extra sweetness and crunch.)
Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Just so you know, King Arthur is a deep love of mine. Their website and on-demand staff is just plain amazing, and they never would ask me to tell you so. I am able to find their flour locally, and it consistently performs so well and tastes so good that I make excuses that I don't source more local or organic flour. I haven't yet tried their gluten-free flour, but I'm sure it is also consistently good.