Maybe it was the drizzly, gray morning, surely invigorated by the tantalizing vanilla scent of fresh baked goods. Maybe it was my taste for something comforting and nostalgic to accompany my cappuccino (okay, maybe quarantine is getting to me, le sigh). Maybe it was the box of gluten-free baking mix I have been meaning to try. Regardless, I whipped out my big red mixing bowl and favorite Paris spatula and got baking.
A recipe does not have to be from scratch to count as “real baking,” pas du tout! If you find a reliable mix that bakes well, tastes great, and has all of the dry ingredients pre-measured for you, why second guess it? Life is too short to worry and feel guilty about anything, let alone baking. I have no compunction about baking from mixes and stirring in extra goodies to spice things up.
This post shares my recipe for gluten-free quick bread using a King Arthur Flour baking mix. After meeting with a nutritionist a couple of times this summer via telehealth appointments, I am gradually reducing gluten to better follow a low-FODMAP diet and help manage IBS symptoms.
My friend, Edie, turned me on to King Arthur gluten-free baking mixes. Not only is King Arthur the premier baking company in the United States, it also has a host of gluten-free offerings and happens to be headquartered in our home state of Vermont.
- 1 box King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Muffin Mix
- 1 c. milk (I use lactose-free milk)
- 6 T. oil (I use canola oil)
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 c. toasted, chopped nuts (as a nod to my Southern upbringing, I used pecans)
- 3/4 c. dried fruit like raisins or currants (a traditional French baking ingredient)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare loaf pan with a generous amount of cooking spray.
- Pour mix into large bowl. Add milk, oil, and eggs. Stir to combine.
- Add nuts and dried fruit. Stir to combine.
- Let batter rest in mixing bowl for 10-20 minutes. (This makes a huge difference in how the quick bread bakes!)
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes and tent (cover top of loaf with aluminum foil). Bake additional 10-15 minutes. Total bake time is around 50 minutes.
- Let quick bread cool in pan 10-15 minutes. Place cooling rack or plate over top of pan and slowly turn loaf over to release from pan.
- Cool loaf completely before storing in refrigerator (one week) or freezing (one to two months).
- N.B.: My recipe deviates from King Arthur’s instructions for the quick loaf variation in a few small ways.
- Baking Mix. Note that King Arthur baking mixes contain only dry ingredients. Do not let the tempting, plump blueberries in the muffins on the box picture fool you. That is merely a serving suggestion. As the box cheerfully reminds you, “Perfect for your favorite add-ins.” You must supply your own goodies.
- Eggs. The recipe on the box called for three eggs. I had only had two – merde! – so I used them and hoped for the best. The quick bread baked well and tasted great, so no harm done. Note to self: check your eggs before you start! This is a huge rookie mistake! Zut alors!
- Oil v. Butter. The recipe on the box calls for six tablespoons of oil or melted butter. I went with my instinct and used canola oil. The quick bread had a creamy, buttery flavor without the addition of extra butter.
- Baking Time. The box calls for 55-65 minutes. Since I used my toaster oven set to bake mode, I knew the baking time would be less. I tented the quick bread after 35 minutes. I then checked it with a cake tester at 50 minutes, and it was done. (Perhaps the baking time was affected by the Great Egg Débâcle of 2020.)
- Final Result. This was only my second time baking with a gluten-free mix of any kind, and I was skeptical the quick bread wouldn’t taste like real cake should. But I was pleasantly surprised: The final product was (almost) baked through, moist, soft, and tasty. The texture was only very slightly off from that of a traditional cake or loaf, thanks to the mix’s blend of rice flour and tapioca. Mon Mari, ever eager to taste test and encourage more baking, claims you would never know the loaf was gluten free. Or missing an egg (see the Great Egg Débâcle of 2020, supra.)
What alternative baking recipes have you tried?
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À votre santé,