Quick breads and muffins often are the most forgiving introduction to gluten-free baking. These also are some of the most popular items, along with cakes, cookies and brownies, produced by Ashland-based Sterling Silver Food Company, which supplies about a dozen coffee shops and grocers locally.
Featured in this week’s A la Carte, “The Sterling Silver Food Company Gluten Free Guide and Cookbook” has no recipes for yeast breads but plenty to set mouths watering. Recipes are accessible to anyone, says author and baker Nancy Shulenberger.
Indeed, she simplifies the tedious and sometimes messy task of blending several types of gluten-free flours by using Tom Sawyer brand (www.glutenfreeflour.com), which she says is a reliable, cup-for-cup substitute for wheat flour in any recipe. Her recipes even could be reversed and made with wheat flour without any other adjustments, she says.
Some purists take issue with Tom Sawyer’s use of gelatin as a texturizer. And there are plenty of cookbooks out there that combine several alternative flours in items that are not only gluten-free but boast an improved nutritional profile from ancient “grains” such as quinoa, millet and amaranth (all botanically seeds), covered in this blog’s previous post. But as Shulenberger points out, gluten-free sweets are hardly health foods when they contain butter, eggs and dairy, as hers do.
Here’s a banana bread recipe, courtesy of Tribune News Service, that draws on the popularity of coconut oil and agave, although the eggs and buttermilk mean it’s not vegan. It combines quinoa and amaranth flours, along with almond meal, also sometimes labeled as “flour.”
2 medium bananas, peeled and mashed
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup amaranth flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped almonds
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 5-by-7-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, Mix together the bananas, coconut oil, honey, vanilla and eggs until completely combined. Add in all the flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Pour mixture, which should be quite wet, into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle chopped almonds evenly over top. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until bread is golden-brown and a knife comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Keep tightly wrapped for up to 3 days.