So, I’ve realized that I haven’t provided you all with very many sweets lately.
My sincere apologies, people. Really.
You have to understand that when you bake and make sweets for a living, you tend to want to get away from them at home.
You develop a desire to put salt, vinegar, or hot sauce on everything.
You eat packets of mustard.
Am I the only one who will eat a packet of mustard?
…I just love mustard…
Whatever, I hate you all. So anywho, I got back into a little gluten-free experimental baking. In the past I’ve had some successes, but also many failures. It’s one thing when you’re doing strictly vegan or strictly gluten-free, but when you want to do BOTH in one recipe… Woof. Without eggs or gluten, you gotta work on your method of structure. It’s like being an architect or construction worker. And a chemist. Well, damn, I didn’t know I was so versatile…
I got lucky with this one. I pondered for a bit on how to make a successful gluten-free, vegan banana bread that tastes awesome and is not flat and dopey-looking. I’m familiar with amaranth and tapioca flours, and find them to work very well in various recipes. Amaranth for its protein content and sweet, nutty taste, and tapioca for its elasticity and blank flavor (like a ninja…). Then I researched a bit on baking powder and baking soda, since there would be no eggs to help the bread rise. I took my usual banana bread recipe, made some adjustments, and voila. Well kids, I guess this is (one reason) why I”m the Guru Rabbit…
Delicious Vegan, Gluten-Free Banana Bread
2 cups amaranth flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp guar gum
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
3 ripe bananas
1 cup sugar (brown, white, or a combination of both)
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/2 cup vegan, gluten-free butter substitute*
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp vinegar (white or apple cider variety)
2 tsp vanilla
Optional: a big handful (or two) of chocolate chunks, nuts, dried fruit, candied ginger, dried coconut, whatever you want. I added chocolate chunks and chopped pecans
*I used non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening, which is stored at room temperature, and is always soft. If you use something like Earth Balance, which is refrigerated, make sure you let it soften, or melt it slightly.
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan. (If baked in a 9×5 inch pan, it may bake faster, but will look flatter. It will still taste awesome though.) In a small bowl, whisk together the first seven ingredients (all the dry stuff, amaranth flour through cinnamon). In a medium bowl, combine the bananas, sugar, flax seed meal, and faux butter. And in a small cup, combine the milk with the vinegar and vanilla.
2) With an electric mixer, beat the banana and sugar mixture until it’s as smooth as possible. It may look like vomit… Just sayin’… Add the vinegared milk and mix well. Then fold in the dry ingredients and your optional additions until well incorporated.
3) Spread into the prepared pan and smooth the top, allowing it a bit of a dome. Bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. I know, it’s a while, but it’s worth it. Go watch a movie or something. Test with a wooden skewer or toothpick to make sure it’s fairly dry inside (there may be a trace of moisture on the tester, but there shouldn’t be any batter). Allow to cool until at least lukewarm before you cut into it. This will keep just like regular banana bread– at room temperature, in the fridge, in the freezer– it all depends on how fast it’ll go.
So here’s to tooting my own horn.