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Ok! Time to get back to that pile of zucchini in my kitchen.
What next? Figured I’d fine-tune the gluten-free zucchini bread recipe I’ve tinkering with. When I first started out on this zucchini bread adventure, I didn’t have a wheat-based recipe I loved. I only had recipes I thought were fine. But fine doesn’t cut it when I’m converting. It has to be really good. And great is better.
So I looked around. I asked friends for their favorites and checked out recipes from wheat bakers I admire. I also like to research recipes in really old cookbooks because it lets me see what they looked like in their more original form (a few of my favorite older cookbooks are from the early 1900’s). I think this allows me to better understand how a recipe has been adapted, updated, improved or ruined by modern day cooks. In most cases, “ruined” takes the form of complicating a recipe with unnecessary flourishes. Flourishes make it more difficult to convert to gluten-free because there are either too many ingredients to consider or too many complicated techniques to follow, or both. For me, less is more; flourishes can come later.
The recipes I found varied in terms of sugar and spice. Some had so much sugar they looked like they really should be called “cake”, not bread. Some were loaded with add-ins like coconut, raisins and nuts. Some had absolutely no spice and relied on just the zucchini and sugar for flavor. And some had so much cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or allspice, that they seemed more like a gingersnap or a pumpkin pie.
After looking at a couple of dozen recipes for zucchini bread, I realized that I could start with one of my own gluten-free muffin recipes as a foundation. I took a middle ground on the spice and add-ins. I made my first breads with a 1/2 cup of walnuts and only a touch of cinnamon. But every taste-tester thought they needed more spice (I wonder why there were so many zucchini bread recipes without any spice). I added more spice. And then there was the request for a touch of cinnamon sugar on top. I made a few other refinements, as well. And here they are- my little gluten-free zucchini breads. Fragrant, light textured, a bit green. Delicious. Try the recipe and let me know what you do to make it your own!
Makes three 3 x 5 inch loaves
2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix*
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon sugar (optional, see instructions in cooks note)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Position rack in center of oven. Grease three 5 x 3-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.
- Put shredded zucchini in a small bowl and pat dry with paper towels.
- Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and cinnamon in large mixing bowl. Add zucchini and nuts; stir to coat evenly.
- Combine milk and oil in small bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add liquids to zucchini nut mixture and stir until just blended.
- Fill loaf pans with batter. Sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar, if desired. Bake 35-40 minutes until light golden and toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 8 minutes on a rack and then remove from pan. Cool completely before serving or wrapping for storage.
*Find my Brown Rice Flour Mix in the recipe section of this blog.
Store bread covered tightly with plastic wrap in refrigerator for up to five days. Can be covered with plastic wrap and then with foil and stored in freezer for up to six weeks. Best when eaten within four days of baking.
To make cinnamon sugar, combine 2 tablespoons sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.