A Flexible Gluten Free Quick Bread Recipe

Gluten free quick bread is a forgiving recipe, especially if you’re just starting out on a gluten free life journey.

Please remember that I’m in China and some ingredients that I was used to back home  just aren’t available here. For instance, normally I would use blue agave nectar instead of sugar. Unfortunately, that product is nowhere to be found, so I have to use sugar or honey instead, but if you have access to agave nectar, then by all means please use it.

Regarding gluten free flour, one of the fantastic things about China is that you can take your little bags of millet, brown rice or whatever over to this little kiosk in the center of the grocery store. There, they will grind it up for you. From my understanding, they don’t use the grinder to grind wheat. They use it for other ingredients, which I’m not particularly familiar with. However, if you are a true Celiac survivor, then you will have to make some hard choices about what is acceptable for you and want isn’t.

As an egg replacement, I prefer to use ground flax seeds mixed with a bit of water. Why flax seeds? Well, sometimes it’s difficult to get my hands on apple sauce. It’s considered an imported luxury here. With that being said, tofu is plentiful and cheap here. I just haven’t whacked up the courage to use it yet. Although I do have a cozy little memory of making some tofu carrot muffins when I lived in St. Pete, FL. That was a long time ago, pre-internet days. I have since lost that recipe, but I may try to find it online somewhere and try it out again at some point in the near future.

Ingredients:

300 grams of flour – I prefer millet flour, but I’ve been known to break it up into random ratios based on what I have on hand. The important thing to remember is the ratio of flour to starch, which should be about 60 percent starch to 40 percent flour.

400 grams of starch – Yeah, yeah, I know it isn’t exactly 60 percent, but it’s close enough for our purposes. As far as starch goes, I’m lucky enough to have lots of choices, but I usually stick to my favorites, sweet potato starch and plain ‘ol potato starch, although I have a bag of pea starch in my pantry. It sounds exotic, doesn’t it? The thing is that I doubt it will taste exotic. It is just starch after all.

Egg replacement – Click here for a compressive list of vegan egg replacement options.

3 tablespoons of oil – I like to use rice bran oil. It’s plentiful and cheap here. Also, it has a nice neutral taste and does well when exposed high heat. (I also use it as skin moisturizer. I’ll blog more about that at some later point.)

1 cup of sweetener – As mentioned previously, I prefer agave nectar, but unfortunately I don’t have access to that ingredient in Chengdu. Maybe some specialty import shop in someplace like Shanghai or Beijing may carry it…

1 and a half tablespoons of guar gum – One popular website suggests:

Cake, muffin and quick bread recipes: Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum per one cup of gluten-free flour used.

You can follow their suggestion if you want, but some people have reported gastrointestinal upset after using guar gum and xanthan gum in their gluten free recipes. So far, using only a teaspoon and a half of guar gum has been fine as far as this particular recipe is concerned. And I’m happy to report that I haven’t suffered from any gastrointestinal discomfort at that level of usage and if appears that the recipe hasn’t suffered either.

1 and a half teaspoons of baking powder – Of course, I use the aluminum free type of baking powder. Fortunately, we have an import store here that carries it.

1 and a half (or more) cups of liquid – I usually use water, but you can use whatever vegan alternative you chose. I’ve been known to use rice milk/soy milk/almond milk and orange juice in my recipes. It’s really up to you and whatever you have on hand at the moment.

Optional flavoring choices – As always, you can add vanilla extract or any other extract your little heart desires, but for a period of time, I was unable to lay my hands on a bottle of vanilla extract. Guess what? I didn’t miss it.

Recently, I sprinkled some cinnamon sugar  on top of the quick bread just prior to placing it in the oven and it turned out great. That was the time I mashed up two bananas and threw it into the recipe, which by the way,  isn’t such a bad idea if you are going to go light on the guar gum.

I’ve also added cardamom to the basic recipe. That resulted in a very tasty,  light flavor.

So you get the picture, right?  Optional flavorings are only limited by your imagination.

Directions:
Mix the dry ingredients together until they are thoroughly mixed together and the color is uniform in appearance.

Then add the wet ingredients. A word of caution, if you don’t want the batter to come out all lumpy, mix the wet and dry ingredients together with a whisk. The result will be velvety a smooth batter.

Place a bit of oil in your pan and wipe it thoroughly with a clean paper towel.  Now you’re ready to pour the batter into the pan.

Place it in a preheated oven, set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Keep an eye on it. When you poke the center with a fork and it comes out clean, it’s done.

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