July 2, 2010

gluten-free apron

Dear Cold, Gloomy Weather,
I'm not sure if you knew about this or not, but it is, in fact, July. Please usher the rain, clouds, and chilly air away and send the warm, bright sun in to take its rightful place in a blue sky.
Thank you!

I needed to brighten up my day yesterday with a quick, fun project. I bought this material from JoAnn Fabrics quite a while ago with the intention of making myself one of those lovely aprons from this fantastic tutorial.

The bright oranges and airy blue did the trick! I was so happy to make this apron for myself because I've promised myself to start baking again. You see, I used to bake all the time. I loved it. Then I started this gluten-free diet about four months ago. In order to bake gluten-free goodies, you need to use xanthum gum and all different kinds of flour, so I was totally scared off. I did "bake" some yummies using Duncan Hines gluten-free mixes, which are surprisingly delicious (especially the brownies), but I had yet to do any "real" baking... until yesterday.

Inspired by my new gluten-free apron and a somewhat drizzly, yucky afternoon, Charlie and I made some gluten-free banana bread. The recipe is from my gluten-free friend, Lexy, and it is excellent! I've copied her recipe at the bottom of this post, just in case you're gluten-free and interested. It was so much fun to bake with Charlie - something we used to do a lot together!

We put entirely too many chocolate chips in our bread, which made the bread more like a dessert than a sweet breakfast treat. I was very fearful of what Lexy calls the "GF undertone," which is why we added so many. Charlie made sure to polish off what was left of the bag (yes, we used that many chips). Hey, do you like Charlie's apron? I do, too! Anna made it for him!

Marcus got in on the chocolate chip scavenging action, too.

The bread was very, very yummy. I'm no food photographer, but doesn't it just look delicious?!

The boys sure thought it was. Even Chris tried the bread, and he's never one to be super excited about gluten-free food products. He didn't eat much, but he gave it a good review. Thanks, Lexy!

Here's her recipe. I included her commentary because it is both helpful and very funny, just like Lexy.

GF banana bread w/ choc chips recipe
(made this last night - very yummy, worth reproducing, so I thought I'd forward it!)

Mash up 3 medium sized mushy bananas (I freeze them until I'm ready to thaw & use - makes them sweeter) + 2 eggs + 1-2 tbsps vanilla + 2/3 cup brown sugar.

Add dry ingredients (I never bother to mix dry ingredients together first and it seems to work fine): 2 cups of Bob's Red Mill GF Flour (I used about half & half all-purpose flour + bread/baking flour, just because that's what I had, it's probably all the same anyways) + a dash of salt + a healthy dose of cinnamon (I like 2 tbsps at least) + 1 tsp xanthan gum + 2 tsps baking POWDER (not soda).

Mix all together. Add choc chips to make it tasty. Otherwise you can taste the GF flour.

I baked in a greased loaf pan at 350 for 45 mins then at 325 for another 10, and it was PERFECT. A little bit of honey on top of a slice of this, and it is heavenly even a day later.

This is the result of much experimentation... adding oil or extra liquid like apple sauce makes the loaf mushy inside, not enough flour does the same thing, white sugar is not as yummy, need lots of vanilla/cinnamon/spices to cover the GF undertone, and choc chips really make it worthwhile.


  1. LOVE the apron! I love orange and pale blue together.
    Your post on the G-F bread almost makes me want to make something gluten-free...almost. I'm glad you are finding some baking delight again.

  2. I need a project like that because it was actually raining here yesterday....at the 4th of July parade! It literally rained on our parade! I do so enjoy your breezy fabric.

  3. So sorry it rained on you Megan! We were up in Snohomish, where it was dreary but dry. When we got back to Seattle late last night we saw that it had rained here. Bummer! But today is beautiful!! I'm getting back out into the yard now after a quick refreshment break.

    Two Pockets, never make GF bread if you don't have to. Enjoy your wheat flour!! But, thanks for the solidarity.