Saturday, August 09, 2014

Gluten Free Pineapple Zucchini Bread

Welcome to August's Zucchini Bounty
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup sunflower oil (or softened ghee)
2 eggs (or 3 tsp egg replacer and 3 Tablespoons of water)
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 8-oz. can of crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 cup water
2 cups gluten free flour mix
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a ceramic bread pan and line with parchment and grease again. (See baking notes below for more information)

Mix the sugar, oil and eggs together until smooth. Add the zucchini, carrot, pineapple with juice, and water. Mix until incorporated.

Sift together the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and allspice. Blend well with the wet ingredients. Fold in the nuts if you are using them and spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 90 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Serves about 10-12.

Baking notes: I use ceramic pans like a Emile Henri because it seems to allow a gluten free loaf more even baking - not burning the crust before the center is cooked. When I used to bake large wedding cakes, I found Magic Strips to be essential for keeping the baking even. Ceramic pans seem to do the same for the dense nature of gluten free breads. I also use Corning glass with great success. However, if you choose to use a metal pan, reduce the baking temperature by at least 25 degrees - go slow and observe what your oven does. Magic strips might also be useful in this circumstance. I find an oven thermometer to be an essential piece of equipment even if I trust the temperature of my oven. It simply confirms that the temperature that I expect the oven to be.

I should also note that I bake my bread using convection baking setting. My operator's manual suggests that I should reduce the normal baking temperature by 25 degrees when I use convection, but I haven't found this to be the case with gluten free breads.

Variations: This recipe can be made without the pineapple. If you opt to remove the pineapple and replace it with more veggie material - make sure to add a Tablespoon of vinegar to help the loaf rise and to neutralize/buffer the baking soda.

I love this loaf for using up zucchini in the garden, and can be made 100% zucchini or summer squash, no carrot. I've wanted to try shredded raw sweet potato as well. I'm sure raisins would be wonderful in this instead of nuts. Or with the nuts - which I think might be the recipe for one of my favorite little Saturday morning haunts who make an amazing "Morning Madness Muffin" that's delicious with a cup of earl grey tea. Yes, this would make great muffins, but I'm not sure how many muffin cups it would fill.

Sugar: This bread is on the sweet but not sticky sweet range of quick breads. I heavily reduce sugar when I can. Adjust for your personal taste. And if you don't have coconut sugar, substitute brown sugar.

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