Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gluten- and Dairy-Free Summer Squash Bread

Well, xanthan gum definitely works to give gluten-free dough the coherence and lift to be more bread-like, though it's rather expensive a solution at $10-$15 per half-pound. The egg in this recipe probably made a difference, too. For reference, my previous attempt at gluten- and dairy-free summer squash bread didn't have so much rise, and was much more like a crumbly cake in texture (not necessarily a bad thing):

As you may have noticed, the top of take-two was burnt. This is the hazard of baking bread in a toaster oven, even a relatively large one; as the bread rises, it gets too close to the top heating elements.

For my own bread, I referenced these two recipes. The bread will be only lightly sweet, so if you prefer your breads sweeter, add more sugar. After refrigeration and cooling, I found the sweetness to be just right, as the flavor came out more. Texture was definitely more bread-y, if a bit spongy. However, after a night in the refrigerator (which tends to dry things out), the bread lost the sponginess--though I would have preferred its keeping a little more of that texture than it did.

Gluten- and Dairy-Free Summer Squash Bread

2 cups gluten-free baking flour (I used King Arthur)
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cardamon

1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
2 cups grated summer squash
1/2 cup brown sugar or honey or mixture of both
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.    Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.    Brush loaf pan with oil.
3.    Chop and food-process summer squash (or grate).
4.    In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamon. Mix well.
5.    In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: oil, eggs, sugar, honey, and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.
6.    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together until combined.
7.    Fold in the squash.
8.    Bake for 50–60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.


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