Food You Can Eat: GF Banana Bread

First things first: I do not fear the gluten, but Mrs. Butcher avoids it like the plague. Further, Mrs. Butcher has a habit of trying lots of different kinds of gluten free flours, which inevitably leads to bags and bags of flours that fall out of favor for her tastes. I am a Cheap BastardTM and cannot bear to watch perfectly good ingredients get ignored or thrown out. So, as much as I like my wheat flour, this recipe is a perfectly good substitute. Now, for those of you who don’t need a GF recipe, feel free to either substitute the GF flours in this recipe for regular flour (and leave out the xanthan gum), or go to Ellicoo’s banana bread recipe which was posted back in March.

A caveat before we get started: The flours listed in this recipe are not necessarily the Gospel Truth. If you want to try different GF flours, feel free–provided that you don’t just get lazy and use a general GF flour mix because those invariably smell and taste like a barrel full of ass. That being said, I do recommend using either buckwheat or brown rice flour as your “base” flour–the one that calls for 2 cups. Warning–do not use tapioca flour in any capacity because you will not enjoy the results.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Three sticks of Butter, softened (this can take upwards of an hour depending on the season)

1 3/4 cups Brown Sugar, packed (or substitute 1 cup of raw honey)

4 Eggs

3 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Cups Buckwheat or Brown Rice Flour

1 Cup Sweet Sorghum Flour

1 Cup Quinoa Flour

2 tsp Xanthan Gum (otherwise you will have Banana Bread Crumbs instead of Banana Bread)

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 Tbsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

2 tsp Cinnamon

4-5 Bananas

SECRET INGREDIENT: 1 Cup Coffee, black

1 Bag Chocolate Chips

No, there are no nuts in this recipe because why the hell would you do that to a perfectly good banana bread? What is wrong with you?

While your butter is softening, you can prep your flour mixture. Sift together the flours, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon. Today’s mantra is Do Not Be Lazy. Yes, you need to sift all this stuff together. Sifted flour makes for a much better texture and a lighter batter. It doesn’t take that long, so just do it.

This took me about 5 minutes to sift. You’re welcome.

Next, mash your bananas and then stir in the coffee and mix well. Trust me.

Yes, it looks like diarrhea. Just do it anyway.

Grease up two loaf pans and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the softened butter and brown sugar (or honey) on medium to medium-low speed. Again: Do Not Be Lazy. Don’t just dump the brown sugar in the bowl with the butter and start mixing. To get the best texture, start the butter and gradually add the brown sugar (or honey) until it is all incorporated and the butter is a little fluffy. I used to do this shit for a living and I promise you that this technique matters. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Then add the vanilla extract.

Turn your mixer down to the lowest speed and begin adding the flour and banana mixtures, alternating first with the flour, then the bananas, lather, rinse, repeat, and ending with the flour. Do Not Be Lazy. Do not just dump all that shit together. You will be sorry. It is important not to overmix the batter–just mix everything until combined. Then add the bag of chocolate chips (don’t be shy–use the whole bag) and combine.

Pour your batter evenly into the two greased loaf pans and bake for about 50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. GF flour bakes differently from regular flour, and can vary even more depending on which flours you use, so don’t be surprised if it’s not ready yet. Be mindful of the color of your loaves if you need to bake them longer. If the color is a light brown then feel free to keep the temperature at 350–but if they’re already looking a little dark, then turn down your oven to 325 for the duration.

This is what you’re looking for.

Leave your loaves in the pans for a minimum of 10 minutes before doing anything with them. After that point, feel free to take them out and place on the cooling rack, or take a slice out of the pan, or just…you know…eat with a fork straight out of the pan with a giant glass of milk. Pro Tip: These will take a long time to fully cool, so if you’re concerned about any retained heat when putting these in the fridge, wrap them with a paper towel before wrapping them in plastic or putting in a bag. That should keep them from steaming themselves if they aren’t fully cooled.

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About butcherbakertoiletrymaker 575 Articles
When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.

12 Comments

  1. That looks delicious. And also may be more effort than I am willing to put in? (I obviously have failed at today’s mantra, “Do Not Be Lazy“. I am a lazy cook, I prefer lots of flash for little effort. (Hangs head in shame.) Coincidentally, after work I am making a white cake and a banana bread, because elderly Violet Chihuahua now refuses to take her 9 pills per day in anything but moist homemade baked goods. You are a good man, Butcher – I had no idea GF baking was so involved.

  2. That looks exceptional! As someone who has looked at life from both sides now, GF and gluten-having, can I ask you a question?
     
    I hosted a semi-professional event in my apartment. Gluten was nowhere on my mind. A young woman (I do not mean to offend) showed up who I didn’t know. Nose ring, tattoos, a too-tight vintage outfit from the 1970s that even in the 1970s would have raised an eyebrow. She worked in Social Media, of course. A great dog lover though, which was handy, because our dog was one of the co-hosts.
     
    She announced she was GF and brought a small loaf of GF bread. I was flummoxed. “Oh, I didn’t…I’m not sure any food here is 100% gluten-free but you…do you want me to put this away somewhere and you can fix yourself a plate of something?” You can see where this is going. It wasn’t Celiac, it was diet fad. She sampled widely and didn’t wind up on a bathroom floor writhing in pain.
     
    My point is, FINALLY, that she left behind the bread, untouched, and I’m like you, I hate to see food wasted. I decided to use this bread for something, maybe sandwiches, and it was some of the best bread I’ve ever tasted! I actually saved the wrapper, thinking I could just switch over, it must be healthier, right? Healthier it might be, but at least twice as expensive and in short supply.
     
    Do you find GF products superior to the common stuff? In my old neighborhood I used to haunt a kosher deli. Not because I wanted the meat to be blessed by a rabbi but because it was so much better. I wonder if this might be the same thing, more careful attention?
     
     

    • Of course she worked in social media.
       
      Like most things food oriented, I don’t think one particular category or type is inherently more or less healthy than another.  For example, people love to yell about the evils and pseudo-poisonous nature of red meat.  Yet, if that red meat is 100% grass fed and pasture raised, it is actually healthier than farm raised fish.  Now, that food costs a shitload more, but my personal belief is that cheap food (thanks, Nixon) has a lot to do with our generally screwed up population health–or lack thereof.
       
      I think the more important factor when it comes to these things is what is the source?  We use Bob’s Red Mill for the GF flours, and their quality is exceptional.  I wouldn’t necessarily go with a store brand GF flour and assume that it’s actually much good.
       
      There are some things that I’ve found I prefer in GF form.  Pretzels for one.  Snyders makes a GF pretzel that is very good.

    • …not that I really know much about this stuff (gluten appears to hold no terrors for me) but someone tried to explain to me that back in the day bread was “proper bread” & then industrial bread started using the Chorley Wood process & that because that method didn’t let the dough prove long enough it produced loaves with significantly more gluten in that there used to be…& we started to have flour with a higher gluten content than they used to use many years ago, too?

      …so it might not just be the gluten free thing that meant the bread she left behind was really good…although as I say I don’t know much about it

      …did used to bake our own bread when I were a kid, though…& that was pretty tasty as I recall

      …which reminds me…any of you smart baking types know a good recipe for irish soda bread?

      • I’m not familiar with the Chorley Wood process, because I am a provincial American, but my understanding is that the wheat we use today isn’t the wheat that we’d used throughout human civilization.  When Norman Borlaug developed dwarf wheat, and saved roughly a billion lives as a result, one of the unintended consequences of this new wheat was its propensity to screw with people with gluten sensitivities.  That’s not the only reason, of course, but it’s a contributing factor.  If you want good old-fashioned wheat, then what you’re looking for is called Spelt.  It’s wheat–behaves just the same as any other wheat flour–it’s just not as commonly found anymore.  Again, Bob’s Red Mill is a good source for it.
         
        Regarding food allergies in general, there is much to be said about the Karelia Allergy Study.  Basically, so-called advanced Western societies have sanitized their children into becoming allergic to the world.  Remember:  a dirty baby is a healthy baby.

  3. Possibly dumb question, where do you buy xanthan gum? My nephew’s wife has Celiac. Whenever we do family holidays I’m the only one who bothers making food for her. So in addition to traveling I have to carry food I prepared. It’s annoying as hell but she’s wonderful, and appreciates it’s so much. she’s one of the few people I’d go to this much trouble for.

    • Way to go, Hannibal.  Keep up the good work.
       
      We typically get it from a place called Ocean State Job Lot, but those don’t exist outside of New England.  I’d bet if you went to Whole Shitshow Market and either went to their baking aisle or asked someone there, they would have it.  Or you can just have Jeff Bezos deliver it to you.
       
      It’s a fine, white powder that is oddly slippery to the touch.  So, if you spill some of it on the kitchen floor, you’d be well served by sweeping it up right away.

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