Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Gluten-Free Banana Bread Recipe | Bon Appétit

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When real estate agents talk about luring potential buyers at an open house with the smell of baked goods, they’re probably referring to banana bread specifically. Banana bread in the oven smells like comfort, like the very notion of home itself (as seen on TV, with a sleepy dog and flowers in the front yard). Every baker deserves a solid back-pocket recipe.

Turns out, making the best gluten-free banana bread is just as easy as the regular version of this beloved quick bread. Where some recipes may use almond flour, oat flour, or coconut flour, this one turns to commercially available gluten-free baking flour blends that contain xanthan gum, as a reliable and convenient substitute for wheat flour. Our favorite gluten-free flour blends for this banana bread recipe are Cup4Cup and Bob’s Red Mill. For the most banana-y banana bread, use overripe bananas. Fruit that is speckled black is ideal since most of the starches have converted into sugar, resulting in a sweet and tender loaf with a strong fruit flavor. We like to weigh or measure out our mashed bananas to ensure a moist loaf that isn’t gummy, a common problem with many gluten-free banana bread recipes. A combination of baking soda and baking powder keeps this banana bread light and lofty.

Looking to make this dairy-free? Use an equal amount by weight of melted coconut oil (either refined or virgin) in place of the butter. If you want to venture beyond chopped walnuts or pecans as mix-ins for your quick bread, a handful of chocolate chips would be a good idea. Add up to half a cup of chocolate chips, stirring them into the batter along with the nuts. Mini chocolate chips are especially great here as they distribute more evenly in the thick batter. Gluten-free baking comes with its own challenges. If you attempt to substitute coconut sugar or applesauce or flax eggs in place of light brown sugar and eggs, expect your banana bread recipe to perform differently.

To make banana muffins, portion and bake the batter in lined muffin cups (the baking time will be shorter; start checking for doneness after 25 minutes).

Baker’s Note: You can make your own gluten-free blend for this recipe: Stir together 1 cup (160 g) oat flour, 1 cup (120 g) white rice flour, ¼ cup (30 g) tapioca starch, and ½ tsp. xanthan gum to replace the commercial gluten-free flour blend below.

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