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01 October 2013

Welcome back to my life, Banana Bread!

One of the things I miss the most about being gluten-free is baking. I'm no master cook, but I do love to bake treats. It's how I show I love people: with food. Given that I was diagnosed right before the wedding and then the school year started up almost instantly after that, I haven't had the time nor the focus to attempt gluten-free baking. I've made some brownies from a gluten-free mix, but that's been the extent of my attempts. Of course, I've continued making non-gluten-free treats for my husband and our friends. One of my favorite things to bake (because it's so simple!!) is banana bread. Plus, it's my husband's favorite treat, so that's always a bonus. Well, finally, this weekend I attempted to make the banana bread gluten-free. 

My favorite banana bread recipe is one that comes from a dear family friend. I remember it tasting so amazing as a kid -- especially with chocolate chips or walnuts in it -- and I love recreating that taste memory for people I love. It's an easy recipe that doesn't require any special shopping (unless you're modifying it for gluten-free or don't regularly keep bananas in your house) and it only requires one bowl. One bowl!!

Family Recipe Gluten-Free Banana Bread!! Finally!!
4 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup sugar (can be substituted with Splenda or a sugar substitute, but I prefer plain sugar)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
2 cups Bisquick Gluten Free baking mix (or regular flour if gluten-free isn't a concern for you)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Peel your bananas and place in a mixing bowl. I use my KitchenAid mixer (because I simply adore that little machine!), but a medium mixing bowl will work perfectly as well. Add the sugar, softened sugar, eggs, baking mix, baking soda, and baking powder. If using a stand mixer, start the mix on low until batter is evenly wet. Turn it up to medium-high until batter if mixed evenly and has few lumps. Pour into a greased bread pan and bake at 350 for approximately 50-60 minutes. Test the center with a toothpick to ensure that the bread is baked throughout. 

A few notes ... the Bisquick mix is a great option for newbies in the gluten-free baking world. It's a premixed flour that functions equally to standard flour. The texture of the banana bread (and pancakes!) that I've made with it is the same as the non-gluten-free counterparts, and the flavor is not altered. However, as with many gluten-free baked goods, there is a slight aftertaste. It's not unpalatable or harsh; it's just an aftertaste. However, when gluten-free baked goods are scarce, it's quite acceptable. At some point I plan to experiment with making my own flours, but I'm not there yet. I will be someday! 

Bisquick GF mix ... my savior
My novice gluten-free baking best friend
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