Monday, August 8, 2011

Gluten-Free Banana Bread From Anna (and My Nana)

I bake a mean banana bread. Dense and chewy yet still melt in your mouth with a slightly stickier-than-the-rest top. Once again I owe the creation of this killer bread to my Nana, maiden name, Joy (this little bit of info comes useful later). We had a bunch of bananas that were a little too brown to eat so I wanted to put them to good use. Given my disastrous attempt at whoppie pies last week I was scared away from attempting my own gluten-free banana bread and when I saw this at a local health food store I jumped at the chance to try it.

Excuse the quality of the pictures, I was using my phone and I couldn't hold it still enough. Anyway the consistency of the batter was similar to the gluten-full version except it was slightly more viscous and of a darker hue, I'm guessing from the darker grained flours in the mix. 


Throughout the process I was planning on making a typical loaf of bread but when I actually took the loaf pan out I thought against it. I wanted this to last me a while and I knew a loaf of warm walnutty banana bread would be short lived in my house. 

My Nana use to make these raisin bran muffins and it made a massive batch so she always froze bags full of them. We would take them from the freezer, cut them in half and pop them in the toaster oven and then eat them covered in butter. I decided to take the same route. Luckily they froze really well!

This bread mix was pretty pricey but I think it was worth it for nearly two freezer bags full of super convenient breakfast foods. They even travel pretty well. I brought a couple of them with me on vacation and they defrosted on the trip up and I ate them the next morning.

But for those of you who don't need to eat gluten-free but are looking for a delicious banana bread recipe here is the one I have always used and has been raved over for decades. You can do it with or without walnuts but I much prefer the nutty version. It also calls for sour cream which lends it a very moist texture averse to drying out. 

This is ingredient intensive but makes a huge batch; two large loaves and around eight mini loaves depending on size of pan. Baking times vary greatly with large loaves taking up to an hour or muffins taking about 25-30 minutes.This bread also freezes exceptionally well but I like to give it a little extra protection with freezer paper and cling wrap or aluminum foil.

Sour Cream Banana Bread (A La Joy)
Dry Ingredients:
3 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsps baking soda
1 cup butter, melted
Wet Ingredients:
5 bananas, mashed
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 - 1 1/2 cups walnuts, to taste

Sift dry ingredients together and melted butter. Then add the pre-mashed bananas, eggs, vanilla and sour cream. Mix until completely combined, making sure to check for pockets of flour on the bottom of the bowl. Add in nuts and try not to over mix, the amount of these depends if you really like walnuts. You could also sprinkle them on top, but I like them incorporated. Grease and flour the loaf pans you are using.

If making muffins pour into paper cups and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into one comes out clean. Smaller loaves can take 30-40 minutes and larger loaves can take up to an hour. 

PLEASE CHECK REGULARLY because no one likes burnt anything! Once a toothpick, or cake tester, comes out clean they are done. Remember it is a moist bread! Enjoy!

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