There are those who complain that summers in New England are too hot and humid and winters are too cold and gray (I am sometimes one of those people in February, the most brutal of the winter months). Is there anyone who doesn’t like Fall? Sunny, yet cool and crisp weather, cozy hoodies, apple picking, gorgeous foliage, and pumpkin. There are more reasons, but I am totally sidetracked (once again) by pumpkin.
It’s been too long since I posted a recipe, and I could not miss the start of the seasonal pumpkin-in-all-the-things frenzy. I settled on pumpkin bread after a delicious-looking loaf stared me down at Whole Foods the other day, right next to a large display of pumpkin pies (those will follow shortly). I referenced an old recipe I posted a couple of years ago because it still stands out as one of my favorites. This time though, I made it low-glycemic and gluten-free. And I skipped the chocolate chips – my apologies – although you could definitely add those into this version.
One of both the good and the tricky aspects of gluten-free baking is the wide assortment of flours available. Chickpea, quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, white rice, potato and tapioca starches, almond flour…it can be overwhelming. On the flip side, it can also be fun in a science experiment sort of way to play around with each, see what they do to the density, texture, and flavor of baked goods, and refine things the next time you’re in the kitchen. All-purpose gluten-free blends are a great place to start because the mixing of various flours is already done for you, but I think it’s possible to make your own blend that’s even better. Right now, I’m loving this combination:
Whole Grain Buckwheat Flour + GF Oat Flour + Sorghum Flour + Superfine Brown Rice Flour
Yes, it’s sort of a lot of flours. And yes, my freezer (store them there to extend the shelf-life!) looks like I have a flour-hoarding problem. But that’s the thing I’m learning about gluten-free baking – you need the mix of flours to get the texture that rivals traditional gluten baking. There are exceptions, I’m sure, but I’m pretty pleased with the above blend.
And you know what else? No xanthan gum in this pumpkin bread! The ground chia seeds completely eliminate the need for it.
Like New England summers and winters, there are those who will also complain about the pumpkin obsession. Clearly, I am not one of those people. My freezer looks like a have a “flour problem” and my pantry will soon have a dedicated pumpkin shelf. I’m saving my complaining for February.
- 1 chia egg (2 teaspoons freshly ground chia seeds, 3 tablespoons warm water)
- ½ cup buckwheat flour
- ½ cup gluten free oat flour
- ½ cup sweet white sorghum flour
- ½ cup superfine brown rice flour
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 15 ounces (just over 1½ cups) pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil, plus a little extra for greasing the pan
- 2 tablespoons molasses (can sub maple syrup if you don't like molasses)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- handful of raw pumpkin seeds for topping (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly grease a 9 x 4 inch loaf pan with coconut oil and set the pan aside.
- Prepare your chia egg by combining the ground chia seeds with the warm water. Stir and allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, until it has a gel-like consistency.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, coconut oil, molasses (or maple syrup), applesauce, vanilla bean powder, and chia egg.
- Sift in the flours, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Stir until combined.
- Transfer the batter to the greased loaf pan and top it with a small handful of pumpkin seeds (if using).
- Bake the bread for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool before slicing.