Hey all! I have been a baking maniac this summer. With all of the wonderful fresh produce at my fingertips, it was hard to stay out of the kitchen. Boy am I blessed!
That being said, a summer couldn’t go by without having an influx of zucchini. I baked and cooked with that stuff in every way possible. And we all know that summer and zucchini means bread!
Having recently been to Connecticut with my bestest college friends, I had a new recipe to try! A dear friend has had major food allergies for most of her life and was sweet enough to make bread without gluten or xanthan gum. Love her! She even looked up xanthan gum alternatives and tried one I had not. She substituted in flaxseed instead of the gum! She was the ultimate taste tester and thought the recipe she used was just a tad dry compared to its gluten filled counterpart, so I just HAD to bake it again. It was for a friend don’t cha know!
This recipe produces a seriously dense but somehow delicate quick bread. Despite the lack of gluten, it rose well, cooked evenly and even my kids ate it. Yup. They thought it was brownies. No joke. It’s that yummy. In fact, it doesn’t even really need butter. And I have never said that sentence in my life!
A couple of things I do recommend. First of all, the zucchini measurement does not have to be exact. I used both 1 1/2 and 1 3/4 C of zucchini for this recipe and both results were yummy. What I would recommend, contrary to popular belief, is that you use at largest a medium sized zucchini. As a farmers daughter growing up, I had to quickly learn how and when to pick zucchini. When you use the smaller zucchinis, the taste is sweeter and the zucchini itself is not discernible in the recipe, even unpeeled. Cut off the stem end and grate the top down about an inch until you reach the seeds, then grate the sides, leaving out most of the seeds. This will give you all of the lovely tender parts. You would likely need 2 medium sized zucchini for this recipe. If you do have a large zucchini, be sure to peel it first. The skin becomes really dense and tough and definitely leave out the seeds for this tender bread. After you grate your zucchini, place on a paper towel and press down using another paper towel to absorb some of the moisture… but not all of it!
Quick tip: if you grate more zucchini than needed, no worries. Simply measure it out and then place in a plastic bag. Label the amount and place it in the freezer for freshly baked zucchini bread all year long!
Second of all, be sure to use a 9×5 inch pan with cooking spray! Because gluten free bread has a hard time rising, a smaller pan will require the bread to climb up a smaller amount of surface area. This may cause the bread to become super dense only on the bottom where it doesn’t cook as evenly. I have had that happen too many times with even gluten filled quick breads! I tried to simply oil only the bottom and sides of the pan with vegetable oil… and lost half of my bread that way. Be sure to use the original Pam and none of the “baking” sprays as they may contain wheat.
The amount of yogurt in this recipe is a bit fluid as well. (can you tell that I am not a precision baker! I am sure many of you are suddering at that mere thought!) The truth is, I totally mess up numbers all the time. I made this recipe using single serving yogurt cups since I knew I would not go through a whole big thing of plain Greek yogurt. I read the original recipe which said (60g) and transposed it in my head somehow to 6 oz. The single serving size is 5.3 oz so I said… close enough! (and I upped the zucchini a bit to add more liquid ingredient.) Yup. Did that. The recipe turned out wonderfully! My kids ate it up so I went for a repeat! This time I must have had more coffee (some of which I set aside for use in the recipe… hehehe) and took a quadruple take on the original recipe. I KNEW that I had used the entire Greek yogurt cup last time. There wasn’t any left over. I threw that cup out! (or rather recycled it.) So, on a wing and a prayer, I hoped to duplicate what I had done. Yup. It had all gone in! It still came out wonderfully! Knowing how the original tasted gf, this version with pumped up yogurt and zucchini came out with that missing moisture ingredient. If you want to compare the two- simple sub out flour in the original with a gluten free alternative and if going xanthan gum free, include the flaxseed in as well. As a general rule you can substitute teaspoon for teaspoon flaxseed for xanthan gum (xg) in gluten free baking. Most of the time it is around 1 teaspoon xg for 1 cup or so of flour. Simply combine 2x the water as flaxseed with the dry flaxseed meal. (so 1 teaspoon +2 teaspoons water, 2 teaspoons flaxseed +4 teaspoons water)
Finally, be sure to bring your eggs to room temperature. Room temperature eggs lend themselves nicely to being whipped together. In order to add a bit of air into this recipe, some solid beating of the eggs really helps. Forgot to take out the eggs? No worries. Simply put the eggs into a bowl with some luke warm water at the beginning of your baking. By the time you need them, they should be just about right!
So bring on the recipe!
- 1 and 3/4 cups (225g) shredded zucchini
- 1 teaspoon flaxseed plus 2 teaspoons of water
- 1 cup (125g) gluten free flour blend like King Arthur
- 1/2 cup (42g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder- regular and not dark chocolate and not dutch process
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon strongly brewed coffee (or 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder (or 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder) can be omitted if desired
- 3/4 cup (135g) semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- 2 large Eggland’s Best eggs at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60ml) canola or vegetable oil
- 1 container single serve (5.3oz) plain Greek yogurt (about 2/3 cup)
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Give a 9×5 loaf pan a good coating of cooking spray- bottom and sides.
In a small bowl, combine flaxseed with water to make a slurry.Over the course of the rest of the combining, the flaxseed will absorb the water and make a thickened substance.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl making sure to break up any baking soda or baking powder clumps. Add in chocolate chips (and instant coffee if using) until well combined and coated.
In a medium size bowl, beat eggs until a nice pale yellow and a bit frothy. Add oil, yogurt, sugar, liquid coffee (if using) and vanilla and mix until completely combined. Mix in flaxseed slurry.
Take the wet ingredients and using a spatula, fold together wet and dry ingredients in the large bowl,combine well but be careful not to over mix. Fold in zucchini using a spatula until just combined.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes. This bread took almost exactly 45 minutes for me but no worries if yours takes a bit longer. Insert toothpick in the center to be sure bread is cooked through. Allow to cool completely! Slice and enjoy!!!
Original recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Find that recipe here!
I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know how it goes!
Thanks for stopping by!