Thursday, January 20, 2011

Zucchini Bread I

Bread. Holy crap, I love bread. And I've been without it and its lovely derivatives for almost two months now (save an attempt at savory zucchini bread and pumpkin muffins that were both made of pretty epic fail). But I wanted to try again. I was at least armed better, sporting more GF flours, guar gum and some new sweeteners. It seemed the ideal time to try again. That's not to say that I wasn't terrified of the potential failure.

I did my research, going through tons of recipes and trying to find one that was the closest to what I was looking for. I would probably need to substitute something at some point, but at least I had some idea how to do it. I finally found this recipe over at Celiac Teen. I'd have to fudge the sugar and the sweet rice flour, but I figured it was worth a try. I also took the opportunity to change the flavorings around a bit.

It was so strange. The Zsweet and butter creamed (or at least something like it). It started to come together like a real batter. But I didn't want to get my hopes up too much. It finally went in the oven. I went to workout. About halfway through my workout, these amazing smells started to emerge with tendrils of promise. I tried not to let myself be swayed. The proof would be in the pudding. Or in this case, the bread.

It finally came out. It looked like bread. It even came out of the pan (mostly). It was so hard to let it sit, but I had heard it was an important step for gluten-free baking. So I did.

Finally, the first cut! The bread was incredibly soft and though it is a bit crumbly, it's very moist on the inside with a nice crust. But how would it taste?


I would like to note that Zsweet (and other erythritol products) does have a 'cooling effect' - kind of like mint without the flavor. It can be a little unnerving, but it has much less of an aftertaste than Stevia or an artificial sweetener. There's no bitterness and no calories. And of the sugar alcohol products, it is one of the mildest, which means far less chance for gastrointestinal distress. Zsweet adds in some S. Rebaudiniana (stevia) and other natural sweeteners so that it measures 1:1 for baking, since pure erythritol is only about 70 % as sweet as sugar.

As for yacon syrup, it's a neat natural sweetener I've been researching. Made from a tuber, it is similar in taste to molasses or caramel. It's definitely something I'm looking forward to working with more, as it is naturally low in calories and practically non-glycemic. A little goes a long way, apparently.

There's certainly room for improvement, but over all, I'm thrilled. I know I'll need to watch my sweet intake (even if it's sugar-free) as one can still become addicted again, but it warms my heart to know that I can indulge in things that I've missed. I look forward to future recipes and new ideas!

Zucchini Bread I


1/3 cup brown rice flour

1 cup gluten-free AP flour blend

½ cup potato starch

3 ½ tbsp tapioca starch

1 tsp rounded baking soda

½ tsp guar gum

¼ tsp salt

Cinnamon to taste (I probably used about 1 tsp, but I like it a lot)

½ cup stick butter (1/2 cup)

A scant 1 cup Zsweet (I think I’ll try less next time)

2 tbsp yacon syrup

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ cup shredded zucchini (you can use less, but I like mine zucchini-y)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan (I used coconut oil) and dust with white rice flour. Mix together flours, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking soda, guar gum, cinnamon and salt.

In another bowl (or stand mixer), cream butter. Add the Zsweet and mix until uniform. Add in the yacon syrup and mix until it looks like creamed brown sugar. Add the eggs and beat until incorporated.

2. Stir in the zucchini and then add the dry ingredients until blended. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake about 1 hour. Remove to a wire rack to completely cool. Always make sure to let GF baked goods rest before cutting.

NOTE: You could easily add a 1/4 cup of walnuts or dried fruit. I just prefer mine on its own. But I hope you tailor this recipe in a way you love.

I look forward to the next go with baking. :D Best wishes and happy, healthy eating to all!

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