Sice of gluten-free banana zucchini bread on a dessert plate.

Gluten-free Banana-Zucchini Bread

Here is another great recipe from Carol Fenster’s “100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes.” This cookbook truly does have some of the best gluten-free recipes I have tried and a lot of good information, as well.

The original recipe called for three small bananas and I only had two, so I added some shredded zucchini instead. I ended up with a very moist and delicious quick bread that disappeared fast!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 small, very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Carol’s sorghum blend
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Optional ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Instructions:

Place rack in middle of oven. Preheat to 350ºF.

Generously grease a nonstick loaf pan. I used olive oil cooking spray.

Beat eggs in medium mixing bowl with electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until blended. Add mashed banana, zucchini, oil and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Gradually add the mixture to the liquid ingredients, beating on low speed until thoroughly blended and batter thickens. Stir in walnuts or other optional ingredients, if desired. (I added walnuts.)

Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

Gluten-free banana zucchini bread batter in a baking pan.

I sprayed the pan with a little too much olive oil spray, but it didn’t seem to effect the final outcome.

Bake 45 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and serve!

Freshly baked banana zucchini bread still in the baking pan.

The bread was nicely browned on top.

Freshly baked banana zucchini bread still in the baking pan.

Close up of sliced end of loaf of gluten-free banana zucchini bread on a plate.

The bread was moist on the inside and not too sticky – in other words, perfect!

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

I don’t always bark at MIDNIGHT – but when I do, it’s for no reason.

 

Slice of gluten-free rosemary focaccia on a plate, golden brown on top with melted Parmesan cheese.

Gluten-Free Rosemary Focaccia

Here’s another recipe from Gluten-Free Quick & Easy. I had some of Carol’s Yeast Bread Mix left over from the dinner rolls I made a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to try another yeast bread recipe.

Focaccia is a type of flatbread, almost like a thick pizza crust. I topped this one with Parmesan cheese and rosemary, but you can try any seasonings and/or any cheese you like.

This is a very flavorful bread and is good dipped in olive oil. It can be sliced in half for sandwiches or used for a thick-crust pizza.

Bread Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 cups Carol’s Yeast Bread Mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2/3 cup warm (110 degrees F) 1% milk (cow’s, rice, soy, potato or nut – I used almond)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Combine all the bread ingredients in a food processor (I used a large spoon and it worked just fine.) Process the ingredients until they are thoroughly blended. The dough will be soft and sticky.

Gluten-free focaccia dough in white mixing bowl with spoon.

The dough was very soft and sticky.

Transfer the dough to a 7 x 11-inch nonstick cake pan that is generously greased with olive oil. Using a wet spatula, spread the dough evenly in the pan.

Gluten-free focaccia dough spread out in the bottom of a non-stick cake pan.

The dough covered the bottom of the cake pan and was about 1/2-inch thick.

Cover the dough loosely with foil and let it rise in a warm place (75 to 80 degrees F) 45 to 50 minutes, or until the dough is about ½ inch below the top of the pan. The dough will rise further during baking.

Rosemary focaccia dough in baking pan, puffed up about 1.5 inches.

My dough didn’t rise very much – I think it wasn’t warm enough in my kitchen.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. For the topping, drizzle the oil over the dough and tilt the pan to distribute evenly. Sprinkle evenly with the rosemary and salt.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and clicks when tapped with a spoon. Cover the bread with foil if the top browns too quickly. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then cut into 10 slices. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Baked rosemary focaccia in baking pan covered with grated Parmesan cheese.

I took the focaccia out of the oven after 25 minutes, put the cheese on and cooked it for five more minutes. I used more than two tablespoons of cheese, I think.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

There is no sense in doing a lot of barking if you don’t really have anything to say.

Two dinner rolls on a small plate, one is split open with butter melting on it.

Gluten-Free Yeast Dinner Rolls

Today’s recipe is from Carol Fenster’s Gluten-Free Quick & Easy cookbook. Her gluten-free yeast bread mix makes about 12 3/4 cups of flour mix, enough for four or five recipes. It can be stored in a dry, dark place for a few months in a sealed container.

These rolls were amazing – especially fresh out of the oven while still warm. I also enjoyed the leftover ones warmed up in the toaster oven. They were not gummy on inside like a lot of gluten-free breads.

The recipe calls for guar gum, in addition to xanthan gum. I didn’t have any guar gum, so I put in two extra teaspoons of xanthan gum. It called for four teaspoons of guar gum, but I was afraid four extra teaspoons of xanthan gum would make the rolls too gummy on the inside.

Carol Fenster recommends mixing the dough in a food processor. My food processor isn’t big enough to do this, so I used a large spoon to mix everything and it worked just fine.

I definitely recommend these rolls to all my friends with celiac disease. When fresh and warm they are one of the closest gluten-free options I have found to “real” bread.

Start by making a batch of Carol’s Sorghum Flour Blend:

  • 1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
  • 1 1/2 cups potato starch (not potato flour) or cornstarch
  • 1 cup tapioca flour/starch

Whisk together thoroughly and store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry, cool place.

Next, make Carol’s Yeast Bread Mix:

  • 8 cups potato starch
  • 4 cups Carol’s Sorghum Flour blend
  • 8 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 8 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 6 teaspoons table salt
  • 4 teaspoons guar gum (I substituted 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum)

Whisk or sift all ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Or you can put it in a container with a tight-fitting lid and shake it for 2 or 3 minutes until combined. Store unused mix in a dark, dry place in a covered container.

Brown mixing bowl almost full of flour mix with whisk.

Carol’s yeast bread mix makes a lot of flour mix that you can store for future use.

Dinner Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup warm (110 degree F) 1% milk (cow’s, rice, soy, potato or nut)
  • 1 envelop (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 3 large egg whites (1/2 cup), at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or buttery spread, Earth Balance, Soy Garden, melted, or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 3 cups Carol’s Yeast Bread Mix (see recipe above)
  • Oil or butter, for brushing after baking (optional)

Instructions:

Generously grease a 7 x 11-inch nonstick (gray, not black) cake pan; set aside.

Place the warm milk in the bowl of a food processor. Add the yeast and let stand while measuring the other ingredients. (I combined them in a small mixing bowl and set aside).

Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and process until thoroughly blended. (I mixed with a large spoon in a mixing bowl).

Gluten-free yeast bread dough in white mixing bowl with spoon stuck in it.

The dough is very sticky.

Using a 1 1/2-inch spring-action ice cream scoop, form 18 uniform-sized pieces of dough (I used a large spoon). With oiled or wet hands, shape each scoop into a smooth ball and arrange in three rows of six for a total of 18 balls. The balls will be close together. I got 14 balls, so I might have made them a tad large.

Baking tray with 14 balls of gluten-free yeast dough for rolls.

I wet my hands to smooth out each dough ball.

Cover the pan loosely with foil and let the dough rise in a warm place (75 to 80 degrees F) for 45 to 60 minutes, until level with the top of the pan.

Top of white refrigerator with foil-covered tray of dinner roll dough.

I covered the dough balls with foil and put them on top of the refrigerator to rise.

Baking tray with larger dough balls.

After sitting on the refrigerator for an hour, the dough balls had doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly browned and firm to the touch. If the rolls brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil. Remove from the pan and let cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Brush with melted butter or oil for a glossier look, if desired. Serve warm.

Baked gluten-free dinner rolls on baking tray.

The rolls were a lovely golden brown when I took them out of the oven.

Close up shot of a few of the baked rolls on the tray.

Crispy on the outside fluffy on the inside!

The dough can be refrigerated overnight after rising, if you want to make them the day before.

Baked rolls can be frozen, then reheated in the microwave on low or in a toaster oven wrapped in foil.

Two dinner rolls on a small plate, one is split open with butter melting on it.

The rolls were fluffy inside without being sticky or gummy.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

If you can’t dance, do a happy hop!

 

 

 

Slice of gluten-free orange cranberry bread on a dessert plate.

Gluten-Free Orange Cranberry Bread

This quick bread is really good for breakfast, snack or dessert. It is sweet and tart with a nice crunch from the walnuts. It is probably better with fresh cranberries, but our store didn’t have any so I used Craisins.

Package of Craisins - dried cranberries

I used Craisins instead of fresh cranberries.

Below is a nice little video that highlights the health benefits of cranberries.

I had no idea they were so good for me – hope you enjoy this healthy recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 C gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Carol Fenster’s sorghum blend below)
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C fresh cranberries, roughly chopped (I used dried cranberries)
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts
  • 1 C milk, room temperature (I used almond milk)
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 C light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 C vegetable or canola oil

Carol’s Sorghum Flour Blend

  • 1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
  • 1 1/2 cups potato starch (not potato flour) or cornstarch
  • 1 cup tapioca flour/starch

Whisk together thoroughly and store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry, cool place.

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9″ x 5″ inch loaf pan.

Stir together milk and vinegar in a bowl or measuring cup and let sit for 5 minutes.

Glass measuring cup containing almond milk and vinegar mix.

Almond milk mixed with vinegar.

Combine flour, xanthan gum, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir in cranberries and nuts.

White mixing bowl with dry ingredients mixed together.

Dry ingredients mixed together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, the milk/vinegar mixture, orange extract, vanilla extract, orange zest, brown sugar and oil until the brown sugar is dissolved.

Metal mixing bowl containg mixed wet ingredients and brown sugar with wire whisk.

Wet ingredients mixed together with brown sugar.

Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a large spoon until just combined.

Gluten-free orange cranberry bread batter in loaf pan.

Batter in pan ready to bake.

Pour batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before slicing.

Baked gluten-free orange cranberry bread in loaf pan.

Baked loaf right out of oven.

Baked gluten-free orange cranberry bread loaf on a plate ready to slice.

Let the loaf cool before cutting. Use a sharp knife to cut cleanly through the cranberries and walnuts.

Adapted from Cranberry Orange Bread at whattheforkfoodblog.com.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

Naps are better when you turn around three times first!

Two slices of gluten-free molasses quick bread on a dessert plate.

Gluten-Free Molasses Quick Bread

This recipe is from Carol Fenster’s cookbook “100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes” that I received for Christmas (thanks, little brother!). I made this bread hoping it would be a quick alternative to yeast bread that would go well with soups or for snacking. I was very disappointed when I sliced off my first, warm slice and it broke in half! When I tasted it, the flavor was good – a hearty taste, mildly sweet – but it was very crumbly and dry. I usually have very good luck with Carol’s recipes, (I didn’t even make any changes to this recipe!) so I can only assume that I mis-measured the ingredients in some way.

I found this video on Carol’s website that has instructions on the proper way to measure flours. I thought it might be helpful to review, since measuring correctly is very important in helping gluten-free baked items turn out well.

I placed the loaf of bread in a plastic bag and stored it in the refrigerator over night. It has moistened up a little bit, so I think it will be edible and not a total loss.

If you try this recipe, please let me know how it turns out. Happy measuring!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
  • 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups Carol’s Sorghum Blend
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds, for sprinkling (optional)

Carol’s Sorghum Flour Blend:

  • 1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
  • 1 1/2 cups potato starch (not potato flour) or cornstarch
  • 1 cup tapioca flour/starch

Instructions:

Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a small measuring cup, mix the milk and vinegar together and let stand for 5 minutes.

Almond milk and apple cider vinegar mixed together in a glass measuring cup.

Almond milk and apple cider vinegar mixed together.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sorghum blend, cornmeal, potato starch, xanthan gum, salt and baking soda. Beat in the milk-vinegar mixture, eggs, molasses and oil with an electric mixer (I used a hand mixer) until the batter is smooth.

Gluten-free molasses bread batter in a white mixing bowl.

The batter was thick and sticky.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a wet spatula. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. (I didn’t use these)

Gluten-free molasses bread batter in a loaf pan.

Batter in loaf pan, ready to bake.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Baked loaf of gluten-free molasses quick bread.

The loaf rose nicely and was very pretty when it came out of the oven.

Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and cool for 15 more minutes. Slice and serve.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

Santa brought me a chew rope, a ball and some SNACKS! If I can find him, I’m going to LICK his face! THANKS SANTA!

A piece of gluten-free bread broken off of the loaf and placed on a small plate.

Gluten-Free Artisan Bread

Artisan is another word for hand-crafted, so I decided to mix this bread completely by hand without using any fancy gadgets. The original recipe from Gluten-Free-Bread.org had two different ways to make the bread and the complete instructions can be found here.  Below, I have just included the process that I actually used to make this bread. I didn’t make any changes to the recipe this time, amazingly.

The room was rather warm where I let the bread rise for 90 minutes, which may have contributed to the dough cracking across the top. I could have probably let it rise for less time, maybe 60 or 70 minutes.

Even though it wasn’t the most lovely loaf in the world, the bread turned out fluffy and moist on the inside, with a nice crust on the outside. If I make this recipe again, I will probably split it into two loaves because it makes so much.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
  • 3 cups tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (increase or decrease to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons xanthan gum
  • 2 2/3 cups lukewarm water
  • 4 large eggs, whisked together
  • 1/3 cup neutral-flavored oil or 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey, corn syrup or sugar (I used honey)

Instructions:

All ingredients should be at room temperature before starting (except the warm water).

Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt and xanthan gum in a large bowl or the mixing bowl of your stand mixer (a stainless steel metal mixing bowl is fine).

Brown mixing bowl with dry ingredients mixed inside.

The flours and other dry ingredients mixed together.

In a small bowl, combine the oil, honey and water and set it aside.

Large measuring cup containing warm water, oil and honey stirred together.

The oil, warm water and honey are mixed together before adding to the flour mixture.

Stirred eggs and whisk in a glass measuring cup.

Four eggs whisked together are added to the flour mixture, then the rest of the wet ingredients.

Add the eggs into the dry ingredients and then stir while you pour in about 1/3 of the oil and water. I stirred it by hand with a wooden spoon, so I had to pour some, then stir – good arm exercise!

Continue to stir while you pour in another 1/3 of the liquid; the dough will start to come together and become very thick and sticky.

NOTE: You can use your stand mixer for these steps with your bread hook rather than stirring the dough ingredients by hand.

Add the final 1/3 of liquid and stir until the dough is nice and smooth.

Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper.

Blob of mixed dough placed on parchment paper.

Mixed dough placed on parchment paper.

Use wet hands to smooth out the surface of the dough and shape it as desired. DO NOT KNEAD. This may take dipping your hands in the water a few times…to get a nice shape. Gently smooth it out with wet hands into the shape you want.

Dough has been formed into a smooth, round shape.

Smooth the dough into the shape you want with wet hands.

Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap. I sprayed the wrap with olive oil cooking spray to prevent it from sticking to the dough.

Ball of bread dough on parchment paper with plastic wrap over the top.

Loosely cover dough with plastic wrap and let sit for 90 minutes.

Allow it to rest on the counter for about 90 minutes. If your kitchen is very warm you may only need about 75 minutes.

The dough may not have grown much while resting, but it will seem a little bit puffier. Use a serrated knife to design the top of your bread.

Blob of dough sitting on parchment paper with cracks all across the top.

After sitting covered for 90 minutes, the dough had grown a lot and had cracks across the top.

Bake it on a stone or cookie sheet. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the parchment paper with the dough on the stone or cookie sheet. Place a pan (not glass) of hot water under the baking stone or sheet at least 4 inches away. Bake for 30 minutes.

Baked gluten-free artisan bread on parchment paper and baking tray, brown and crispy on top.

Gluten-free bread after baking.

ALLOW THE BREAD TO COOL COMPLETELY before eating. This is important, otherwise, the center may seem gummy.

A big THANK YOU to Gluten-Free-Bread.org for this wonderful recipe!

Milo graphic

Milo says….

Maizy says I have restless TAIL syndrome. I can’t help it – my tail is so HAPPY it just has to DANCE!

Baked breadstick on small plate broken in half so you can see the inside.

Gluten-Free Italian Breadsticks

I made these breadsticks last weekend to go with an Italian chicken soup that I love to make in the summer when I have fresh eggplant, tomatoes and bell peppers from my garden.

The original recipe called for 1 1/3 cups of rice flour, so I split that into equal amounts of rice and sorghum flour. This makes a breadstick that is slightly heavier in texture, but more flavorful and nutritious, in my opinion.

I decided to sprinkle them with dried rosemary instead of parsley – I love the flavor of rosemary in bread!

These breadsticks are best served warm right out of the oven, but I found the leftover breadstick was still pretty good warmed up in the toaster oven two days later.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free dry active yeast
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning – (I used 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar
  • 1⅓ cup almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Combine yeast and other dry ingredients, in a mixing bowl.

Brown mixing bowl with flour and other dry ingredients mixed up in it.

Dry ingredients mixed.

Add olive oil and vinegar to milk and stir together. Slowly add milk mixture to dry ingredients and stir until a thick dough is formed. I mixed this by hand and it worked ok, but you can use a mixer if you prefer. The dough will be very sticky.

Dough mixed up into a ball in brown bowl.

Wet ingredients added to make a thick dough.

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray (I use olive oil spray.)

Coat hands with small amount of olive oil and divide the dough up into 6 equal portions. Putting oil on your hands will make the sticky dough manageable. You can also use plastic bags over your hands or latex gloves, if it is easier and less messy.

Six breadsticks uncooked in baking pan.

I put a small amount of olive oil on my hands before making each breadstick to handle and form the dough more easily.

Form each portion into a long breadstick that is uniform from end to end, coating hands with small amount of olive oil between each one. They will bake more uniformly if they are of even size and proportion.

Place each formed breadstick on the greased baking sheet. I wasn’t ready to bake the breadsticks right away, so I let them sit covered with a towel for about 40 minutes and they puffed up a little. You can cook them right away, though, if you want to.

Breadsticks in baking pan, dough has risen slightly so they are a little larger.

The dough has puffed up a little after waiting about 40 minutes.

Combine the melted butter and garlic powder in a small bowl. Brush butter mixture on top of each breadstick.

Uncooked bread sticks in baking pan with butter on top.

I brushed melted butter on each breadstick.

Sprinkle bread sticks with rosemary.

Uncooked breadsticks in baking pan with rosemary sprinkled across tops.

I sprinkled crushed rosemary on top of the buttered dough.

Bake for 15 minutes or until nicely browned. Brush breadsticks with remaining butter mixture.

Baked breadsticks in baking pan glistening with butter.

After I took them out of the oven, I brushed them with the rest of the melted garlic butter.

One cooked breadstick on a small plate.

Each breadstick was about 6 – 7 inches long.

 

Adapted from Megan’s Italian Garlic Breadstick recipe at TheGlutenFreeVegan.com.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

When I take Maizy for a walk, she always puts a leash on me first. I think she’s afraid she’ll get LOST if she gets away from me. I can ALWAYS smell the way back home, especially when it smells like breadsticks!