We found ourselves with a bunch of fragrant, ripe bananas. So I decided to tweak my faithful Gluten-Free Banana Bread Recipe with Chocolate Chips. To keep things fresh, I used my favorite Zucchini Bread recipe as a template. You know me. I like to change things up.
We've been crazy into walnuts lately, so I added a rounded cup of chopped walnuts to the batter. This new banana walnut bread is fragrant and fabulous. And it does not scream gluten-free. Warm from the oven, we slathered it with vegan butter.
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (roughly three medium bananas- keep it at 1 cup)
2 large organic free-range eggs, beaten
1/4 cup organic Non-GMO Canola oil, coconut oil, or grape seed oil
1 1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 cup brown rice flour or sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour)
1 tablespoon rice bran
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup walnut pieces
1. In a mixing bowl, beat the mashed bananas with the eggs, oil and brown sugar till combined. Add the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, rice bran, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, vanilla and cinnamon and beat until a smooth sticky batter forms. Stir in the walnut pieces by hand.
2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch ceramic loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper. Scoop the batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly. Stud the top with some extra walnut pieces, if desired. Bake on the center rack for 55 to 65 minutes, if necessary, until the center is done (a wooden cake tester should emerge clean). Ovens vary, so check the loaf at 50-60 minutes. In my various ovens this has baked anywhere from 60 to 70 minutes.
Note: I tented the top with foil at 45 minutes because I have a small electric wall oven and I was concerned the top would over-brown. Top yours with a piece of tented foil if you see it browning too much.
3. Cool on a wire rack. This banana bread stays moist overnight, if tightly wrapped- but I would slice and freeze leftover pieces for best texture, beyond that.
A quick word about baking pans; it has come to my attention that some of you attempt to bake gluten-free tea breads in- GASP- foil bread pans. Please Darling. Don't.
Here's why. Foil pans? They are ridiculously thin. I mean, really. They cannot possibly coddle your sensitive gluten-free batter in the way it needs to be coddled. The way it needs to be cradled, protected from the onslaught of hot oven air, as the center takes its slow sweet time to bake.
In other words, when the baking pan is thin, the outside of the loaf will bake fast and furious- while the inside is just lollygagging, staying gooey and difficult until it finally cooks through during the last five minutes. If your loaves habitually under-cook in the middle, or over-cook on the outside, your pan might be why. Here's the ceramic baking pan I use- and love. It heats evenly, and bakes gluten-free batters and bread dough beautifully.
I also recommend you check your oven temperature with a decent (not the cheapest) oven thermometer. Ovens can be wildly inaccurate, temperature-wise. I've tested three ovens in three years and each one has been off- from 25º to 75º.
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