Strawberry Chocolate & Banana Quick-Bread

by Jenn on July 2, 2010

in Breakfast,Desserts,Gluten Free,Pastas and Grains

Strawberry Banana Quickbread with Chocolate Chips, Gluten Free

The success of cooking is as much dependent on how well one follows the directions of a good recipe as it is on being able to add a personal element – either to suit your tastes, your current pantry, or just to give a recipe a little bit of flair to help you make a dish become a part of you.  And that’s why I’m going to be embarking on a little project.  Over the next month or so, I’m going to make for you a guide.  A guide to GF ingredients, a guide to knowing when you can switch one thing for the other – in the hopes of giving you more tools to enjoy your gluten free cooking.  I’m going to aim for a month to put it together, and I hope it will help you.

One of the hardest facets of gluten free baking is making the right decisions about substitutions – When does it matter what flours are in a recipe?  When can you just substitute a box mix?  Is it really necessary to own 20 different types of ingredients to make something?  If you are like me, you probably have a base of 4-5 flours that you use regularly, and when you see a recipe with someone else’s gluten free flour mix, you do your best to make do with what you own rather than going out to spend even more money at the store – cause let’s face it – gluten free ingredients often bring a whole new definition to pricey groceries.  I think about substitutions almost every time I bake gluten free – sometimes I am sure the end result will come out great and other times I’m praying to the gluten free baking gods that whatever is in the oven will turn out edible.  As you probably well know, baking is not my original area of expertise, and even I am prone to a mess-up or two.

Being a scientist, ideally I like to have a little “lab-book” of sorts for recording what I try, so that I have a place to start if it turns out that I need to alter my recipe.  However, as nice and organized as that makes me sound, in reality, it’s more likely that I just jot down notes as I bake on a random piece of paper, like the back of some receipt from the store.

I don’t do this just to remember what I’ve done (though that’s certainly a goal), but also to be able to look back on a recipe and be able to make changes.  Sometimes, general baking rules like those you’d find out of Ruhlman’s Ratio just don’t apply to gluten free cooking – one often needs to alter amount of liquid to dry ingredients, add more eggs, etc.  Gluten free ingredients change the rules a little bit, and it’s just a bit of a process figuring out how.  But, in the end, if one can figure out how to change a recipe, or even just fit an already gluten-free recipe to suit your current ingredients, it can be quite freeing, and give back the chance to be creative again in the kitchen.

Creativity is something I missed for a long time when it came to baking.  I always felt so tied to following recipes exactly as planned that it was hard for me to think of something as mine vs. a well executed product of <insert GF cookbook author here>.  It’s taken me a long time to learn how to play, and even I am still figuring it out. Just as with any skill, cooking is all about knowing what tools are at your disposal and how to use them.  I’ve tried to collect this knowledge from the interwebs and put it all in one place in my Gluten Free? page, but what I really want is to give you these tools to make yummy GF foods your own – so that you aren’t left wondering how jeopardized your recipe is because you didn’t have teff flour on hand or really can’t stand the taste of chickpeas or trying to figure out if a packaged all purpose mix will really work for the recipe you want to make.

As an example of a work based on substitutions, today I am sharing with you a quick-bread that I made for breakfast one weekend, adapted from two awesome recipes that I saw come out at around the same time.  Quick-breads are really well suited to being gluten free, and I’ve always had great success with them.  This particular bread combined three of my favorite flavors – strawberries, bananas, and chocolate chips, and I did a rather unorthodox thing by baking it in a giant springform pan so that it came out looking more like a cake than a quick-bread.  But it was moist and flavorful, using sweet ripe Swiss strawberries – oh I’m going to be so sad when strawberry season is over…

Also linked to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays

PAG_1897batter

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa July 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Fabulous! That combination is heavenly!

Cheers and have a lovely weekend,

Rosa

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Jenn July 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Thank you so much! And happy weekend to you too!

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Sara July 2, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Why am I all of a sudden hungry for banana splits? :) That looks fantastic. Would you do a feature on the “gums”? I have guar gum at my disposal but I’m holding out for Xantham as its a lot more expensive. Also how do those relate to arrowroot powder?

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Jenn July 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Thanks!!! Mmmm maybe I too will have to make a banana split….love them!! I would def. like to cover the gums and binding agents in GF baking, that is most certainly in my plans for making this guide. Xanthan and guar come can just about be used interchangeably, but combined they have a synergistic effect and so if you have both, you actually need less total gum content in your recipes. Arrowroot powder falls in the category of starches rather than binding agents – so it is most similar to cornstarch, tapioca flour, potato starch, etc.

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Karina July 2, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Looks fabulous! I have always loved the combo of strawberries and chocolate. And as for substitutions- what a wonderful project! It’s trial and error, so much of the time. Subbing can be hard to predict. Have a great weekend! xox Karina

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Jenn July 4, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Thanks Karina! Yeah it’s a bit of a task, I’m going to tackle it in sections, and see how it goes :)

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite July 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Looks absolutely amazing Jenn. I am constantly so impressed with what gluten free baking looks like these days. Those are three of my favourite flavours all in one bite!

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Jenn July 4, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Thanks so much Mardi! Yep they are some of my favorite flavors too!!

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Nancy @TheSensitivePantry July 3, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Love it! The ingredients are fabulous–so different from the typical brown rice/sorghum/starch mix we all seem to have as our mainstay. Haven’t tried baking with quinoa in a very long time. Might be time to try it again. Oh, and strawberries & chocolate–heaven.

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Jenn July 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Thanks! I discovered the utility of quinoa flakes last fall making a recipe for dinner rolls by Gluten Free Girl – they definitely change batter/dough consistency, but I really like the flavor that they incorporate :)

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Ellen @ I Am Gluten Free July 4, 2010 at 1:18 am

As a regular gluten free baker, your idea for creating a repository of hints about GF baking is fantastic and will no doubt be much appreciated by me and other who are in the same club. While I love the concept behind Ruhlman’s Ratio book, it was definitely frustrating to read it knowing that it really didn’t apply to our baking, and that we’d have to write a completely different set of ratios in order to make gluten free baking work. But still, his idea really helped me shift my thinking about baking in general, gluten free or not. Because of him (and beloved Shauna of Gluten Free Girl), I’ve begun weighing my baking ingredients, though I haven’t yet published weight measurements when I share my gluten free baking recipes on my blog – eventually I will. In any case, thank you for your wonderful post and the delicious looking quick bread.

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Jenn July 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Oh good! Everyone should weigh their ingredients, especially when baking, and especially when baking gluten free. I also have neglected to put weight measurements in my recipes so far because I know most people don’t have a scale at home, but maybe I should be adding them in. It would make measurements more precise and get rid of a lot of variability when it comes to trying to reproduce someone else’s recipe.

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penny aka jeroxie July 4, 2010 at 1:31 am

Looks so so good! Using quinoa and hazelnutmeal…. makes it all so much more healthy.

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Jenn July 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Thanks! Though honestly I wasn’t thinking about health when baking it, just tastiness ;)

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Deanna July 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm

You know, I never would have thought to put those flavors together. But, it sure does look intriguing!

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Jenn July 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm

It’s one of my favorite flavor combinations! Well strawberry & banana is one I’ve used a lot, and everything is made better with a little chocolate, right? ;)

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Magic of Spice July 5, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Wow, what a great recipe…looks amazing!

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Jenn July 8, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Thanks, I’m glad you like it!

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Maggie July 6, 2010 at 4:36 am

Looks amazing! I love the picture of the strawberries and chocolate chips waiting to join the batter! And I love the combo too. Smart girl!

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Jenn July 8, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Thanks so much! Ha yeah, I just kinda piled it all on top before mixing it all together :)

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Aubree Cherie July 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Hey Jenn,

Another recipe I just couldn’t ignore.. You have a lot of those though! :) I wanted to let you know that I listed this recipe in my fav top ten recipes from last week post :)

~Aubree Cherie

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Jenn July 8, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Thanks so much Aubree! I’m so glad you like it!

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Linda July 8, 2010 at 3:14 am

That looks delicious. I love the combination of strawberries, bananas and chocolate. I had to laugh when you described jotting down notes because that’s exactly how I am. I keep meaning to have one place where I keep all my notes, but it just doesn’t happen.

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Jenn July 8, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Haha glad I’m not the only one! Hoping that now I have a dedicated place to write stuff down that everything will find its way there!

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GeorgeRoberts May 10, 2011 at 11:23 pm

This looks SO much better than the bread I make! Trying this one this weekend. :)

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Jenn May 10, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Thanks, hope you enjoy it!

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