Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sweet Success

My family LOVES pumpkin. They ask for pumpkin pie in July. Last year there was a pumpkin shortage which was a crisis in this house. Last weekend I did my "big shop" where I hit the warehouse store and spend about 1/2 of my monthly grocery / household budget. They had canned pumpkin. The excitement this produced in Alice and Tim was similar to the time when they walked around the store singing a made up song about ham, another passion they share.

We came home with enough canned pumpkin to last an average family 3 or 4 years. My family is not average. I predict that pumpkin will not make it to Thanksgiving.

I made this a few days later:
pumpkin bread with dried cranberries and walnuts

I got three loaves out of the recipe, which I doubled to use the entire 30 oz can of pumpkin. I took one loaf to a friend who thanked me the next day but said, "That was gluten bread, right?"

THAT is the ULTIMATE compliment.

I think my new found success in gluten free baking has to do with the purchase of a digital food scale. You see, a cup of rice flour, a cup of sorghum flour, a cup of Pamela's mix, and a cup of all-purpose wheat flour all have different weights. Substituting cup for cup does not always work out. If you measure by weight you have a much better chance of getting it right the first time.

For reference, a cup of all purpose flour weighs 125 grams, or about 4-3/8 oz.

Pumpkin Bread (single loaf recipe)

250 grams of flour (I used Pamela's Baking Mix and a little bit of almond flour.)
1 tea. baking soda (1/2 tea if using Pamela's)
1 tea. baking powder (1/2 tea if using Pamela's)
1 tea. cinnamon
1/2 tea. salt
1/2 tea. nutmeg
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin
1 cup sugar (I always cut the sugar a bit, I probably used about 3/4 cup)
8 Tbs butter, melted (I used half butter, half oil and cut it down a bit)
2 eggs
2 tea. vanilla
1 cup toasted nuts, chopped (opt)
1 cup dried cranberries
If you are using gluten free flours that do NOT include xanthan gum, you will have to add some when you mix the dry ingredients, probably 1 teaspoon.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a different bowl. Combine the two. Add anything optional. Pour into a greased loaf pan, bake at 350 for 45 to 55 minutes until it is done when tested with a toothpick.

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