banana oatmeal raisin bread

oatmeal raisin banana bread

Sometimes the mistakes lead to great places.

Last week, when we were cooking out of C is for Cooking, I spied a recipe for pumpkin muffins. Remembering a can of pumpkin puree left over from the holidays, shoved in the back of the cupboard, I gathered all the ingredients we’d need.

I love teff flour in muffins and quick breads. Its fine texture brings a lightness to baked goods that gluten cannot provide. You heard me right — some gluten-free baked goods are better than the gluten ones. If you hit the right ratio of flours to fats to eggs to sugar, your muffins and quick breads will disappear the day they are baked.

So I grabbed the teff, the potato starch, the cornstarch, the superfine brown rice flour. (I’m loving this one lately too. More on this later.) I had eggs we bought at the farmers’ market, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder. Everything was ready.

Except, when I reached into the cupboard for the pumpkin, my hands came back empty. I pushed aside the walnuts, the gf crackers, the dried cherries, the Thai rice noodles. Where the heck was that pumpkin?

Not in our kitchen.

Okay. I now had the KitchenAid ready to take a spin and I was missing the main ingredient for these muffins.

Trying to decide what to do, I took a break. Lu and I played in the living room. She crawled through her blue tunnel and came out grinning. She sat all her stuffed animals on the couch and fed them Cheerios. She grabbed books off the shelf for me to read. The irritation of the pumpkin had dissipated.

And then I heard that scratching. Intermittently, Danny and I have noticed this vague scratching sound coming from the kitchen. Bird caught in the oven hood? Every time we walked into the kitchen to hear it, the sound stopped. This time, however, I wanted to know.

So I left Lu with a book and tiptoed into the kitchen, stopping every two quiet sock-padded steps. I reached the stove with the scratching still going. “It sounds like it’s beneath the oven,” I thought, and opened the door beneath it.

A small grey mouse was scurrying on the metal bottom of that drawer. The drawer where I keep the muffin tins.

SLAM.

Yeah, I didn’t make pumpkin muffins.

Instead, I substituted the 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree for 3/4 cup of mashed bananas. (They have different weights, you see.) And I grabbed a loaf pan from the scratching-mouse-sound-free pantry.

And thus, this bread.

Danny and Lu both want me to make it again soon. And since I’m not opening that drawer until we figure out what to do about that now-you-hear-me-now-you-don’t mouse? It’s all quick breads and cakes around here for awhile.

Banana Oatmeal Raisin Bread, adapted from C is for Cooking

I haven’t gone back to see how much these flours are in cups. If you haven’t bought a kitchen scale yet, may I kindly suggest that you do? Baking mishaps like the one I experienced are far easier to handle if you know you just have to tilt some flours into a bowl on that scale. That’s because baking by weight means far more accurate measurements, and thus far more precise batters, and so far more successful baked goods. Seriously? Buy a scale.

But if you want to convert these flours into cups, this conversion table is wonderfully useful.

2 ounces teff flour
2 ounces superfine brown rice flour
2 ounces potato starch
1 1/2 ounces cornstarch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon guar gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
3/4 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 cup uncooked oats (make sure they are certified gluten-free) or 1 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup raisins

Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a standard-size loaf pan (9 x 5 x 2 3/4).

Mixing the dry ingredients. Stir the teff flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, and cornstarch together. Sift them into another bowl. Add the xanthan gum, guar gum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and ginger. Set aside.

Mixing the wet ingredients. Stir together the sugar and oil until blended. Then, stir in the egg, banana mash, and yogurt until they are blended.

Finishing the dough. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until they are just blended. Stir in the oats and raisins.

Baking the bread. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Slide into the oven and bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes (in this kitchen). Put the loaf pan onto a cooling rack and allow the bread to cool for 15 minutes. Pull the bread out of the loaf pan and allow it to cool until you can eat it without burning your mouth.

Makes 1 loaf of bread.

32 comments on “banana oatmeal raisin bread

  1. Amelia Byrnes

    I’m so sorry you had to deal with a mouse in your kitchen! That has to be the worst place for a mouse! But you seem like one of those people who always find a way to get through the tough stuff, like how you play with your daughter when you’re stressed for instance. It’s really inspiring.

    And it seems you made something delicious anyway! Yay!

  2. Cindy

    I’m still laughing!

    I know, it isn’t funny, our cat brought us a live mouse late last night. Naturally, it got away from the cat, and had to be caught by the two-legged.

    The banana oatmeal raisin bread looks delicious!

  3. Julie

    I love this story of how your banana bread came to be! I’m impressed that you were able to concentrate on baking after discovering your hidden visitor…I think I wouldn’t have thought as quickly on my feet as you did on how to continue with the recipe.

    Thank you for kindly suggesting the scale. I have never used a scale for measuring in baking, and to be quite honest, the idea of it intimidates me. You make is sound so much easier and less frustrating than dealing with cups to measure. I’m not sure I quite grasp the concept of converting recipes from cups of flour to weights on a scale. I’m new to your blog, so I haven’t fully explored all its facets…do you have a link posted somewhere to information on measuring for baking using a scale? I’m interested in learning this method.

    As always, your post brought a smile to my face. Have a fantastic weekend, and keep us posted on the eventual happenings of that mouse ;-)

  4. Christina

    This looks great! And thank you again for reminding us over and over again about the merits of a scale. I’ve actually owned one for a long time, but it was one that you had to eyeball the amount as the little lines lined up. Last month I bought a digital scale. Oh what fun! Baking is so much easier. I just whipped out a huge coffee cake for my husbands work (not gf, but I have an idea for converting). It was so much easier with this scale. And a really nice benefit is now I can try all the recipes from European cookbooks and blogs that are only in metric.

  5. Cove Girl

    That looks lovely! I like things that make a good “breakfast on the go” since I’m not a traditional breakfast girl. I can’t wait to try it out, although I will be making it with measuring cups since this budget does not allow for a new kitchen gadget.

  6. Jas.

    hahaha.…sorry that’s hilarious! Poor lil mouse just wants some of your cupcakes!

    Now, this annoys me as here in Australia the Celiac Society insists that we don’t eat oats — even certified gluten free oats! Yet you and others in the US are happily eating them.… oh what to do what to do — do I buy them and try them (they’re imported from the US so they are around AU$9 + postage — blo*dy expensive oats if you ask me!) or do I stick with the Australian guidelines which are 5parts per million (compared to the US 20parts per million — or so I’ve read) and even then they don’t recommend eating oats as some might have an adverse reaction and others don’t.…

    I just thought I’d put this query (and confusion) out there… and I’ll try his recipe with quinoa flakes in the meantime!

  7. Cove Girl

    That looks lovely! I like things that make a good “breakfast on the go” since I’m not a traditional breakfast girl. I can’t wait to try it out, although I will be making it with measuring cups since this budget does not allow for a new kitchen gadget.

  8. Cove Girl

    That looks lovely! I like things that make a good “breakfast on the go” since I’m not a traditional breakfast girl. I can’t wait to try it out, although I will be making it with measuring cups since this budget does not allow for a new kitchen gadget.

  9. Pamela

    I had a mouse a couple of years back, having inadvertently provided a veritable rodent smorgsbord in the form of the sack of wheat I had been using to fill wheat bags I was making to sell. That mouse totally cleared a whole gingerbreadman that I left out one night to check it ws still around. I couldn’t face the idea of killing the mouse so I set a humane trap, baited with some of the wheat from the now disposed of sack, and caught the critter. Obviously I had not thought beyond the trapping of the unwanted visitor and was now faced with disposal of a live mouse. I did not know at the time that you should not release an animal more than a certain distance from where you found it — but surely that it just an open invitation to come again soon? — and took it for a walk. I gently tipped it out of the trap under a hedge nearby and in a flash it was gone. By the way, you will have to wash, wash, wash those muffin pans because mice pee and poop constantly. This is the voice of experience. Happy hunting!

  10. corycoakley

    oh I am sorry. I will sympathize with you.…that has happened so many times every fall in our old farmhouse that the oven is the FIRST place I look, now. But my cats do seem to have gotten better at removing the mice before i need to set traps.
    Get the traps that look like big plastic clips, they are much easier to set. Go ahead, you can do it. Then you can sterilize all your pots and pans (been there done that!)
    Trust me, you don’t want to know what happens when the mouse electrocutes himself inside the control panel of the stovetop and you have to dissassemble the stove to get the smell out of your kitchen.…just trust me on that one.

  11. Swiss

    You live on the Island– happens here– be glad it is not a rat as there are tons of them on the Island too. Even with our Buddhist belief’s it is not something we want running around alive in our houses.

  12. rasananda

    That looks lovely ! I like things that make a good “breakfast on the go” since I’m not a traditional breakfast.ok

  13. Dr. Jean Layton

    If you get a cat, you won’t have to deal with the mouse for long. They leave once they smell the cat.
    Love the new quick bread.

  14. Jenny

    This sounds delish! I wish there were a button to “print this recipe”- not sure if that’s possible on your blog, but it would be a nice addition. For now, I copy/paste into word, pick a fun font & color to suit my current mood or how I hope to feel when baking the particular recipe, and then print!

  15. Raewyn

    I Love your blog and the stories behind your cooking adventures!! And I am keen to try this recipe today. I have never heard of Teff flour here in New Zealand… do you know what it is made from?? I will just substitute with another flour today. A recent article in our Coeliac magazine categorically said there was no oats recommended for us here in NZ so I will also try the Quinoa flakes… I have plenty of them..Happy Easter!! (PS ALso going to make some GF Hot Cross Buns today; I am excited about that too!!

  16. Anonymous

    oh– i thought the SLAM! was you killing the mouse! i was like, you go, mighty hunter woman! i guess not. good luck getting rid of them!

  17. Sharon M.

    Thanks for the information about how much pumpkin puree to use. I am allergic to bananas and I love pumpkin.

  18. La Niña

    Oh silly mouse. I would lend you our dear Cali, but she only brings us live “gifts.” We actually caught “Chance the Mouse” — the last one she brought us. He was dazed and confused and sitting on top of the dryer. Booth put a sweatshirt over him, and we put him outside…

    Only poor Chance was surrounded by ravens. It was pouring rain, and the little guy didn’t know where to go. So Booth ran out in the rain, and grabbed him by his tail, and we put the wet, shaking little guy in a shoe box with some of Cali’s cat food… and he dried off and ate like a king.

    We moved him to the garage, hoping to let him go at night, so the ravens wouldn’t get him… but when we went back to get him at night-he had gotten out of the box (it had a lid and small air holes) and he was AWOL. Hopefully he survived…

    Cali has brought us rats before. We don’t set those free… though I’ve tried to use humane traps. One rat that camped out under our stove for a week (and man, did it stink when I had to turn on the oven…) avoided the tunnel I created out of wood and books to lead him out the back door. I gave it every chance, but the penalty was a snap trap.

    You can probably get the little mouse into a box with some peanut butter– then let it go outside… but if there are more than one– you may need to use traps.

    Good luck– maybe someone has a barn cat near you– they will eat what they catch. We feed our calico girl too well. She wants US to eat what she brings in.

  19. Chele

    The bread sounds wonderful! I actually have some bananas I mashed up today for bread and will probably use your recipe. Thanks!

  20. Cove Girl

    I just made a loaf, my over ripe bananas were calling to me and I couldn’t help myself! The aroma of cinnamon permeating through my apartment is wonderful. The only problem is that it’s taking to long to cool off.

  21. Cove Girl

    I just made a loaf, my over ripe bananas were calling to me and I couldn’t help myself! The aroma of cinnamon permeating through my apartment is wonderful. The only problem is that it’s taking to long to cool off.

  22. Cove Girl

    I just made a loaf, my over ripe bananas were calling to me and I couldn’t help myself! The aroma of cinnamon permeating through my apartment is wonderful. The only problem is that it’s taking to long to cool off.

  23. Brenda

    I like the tip about weighing the substitute fruits. I’ll have to try it as I substitute and throw things together all the time. They usually turn out edible, but some better than others.

    I have a mouse too. It’s that time of year. So far he’s stolen the p-nut butter off the trap 3 times without getting caught. Hubby just threw the trap away and got out a new one. Our cat alerted us, but she is a silly house cat, with no real purpose. She sits in front of the cupboard door and dreams of the mouse.

  24. Suzanne

    First comment after being a fan/proselytizing for so long! Mousies come and go, quel domage, but great recipes are enduring. I didn’t have any raisins, so tossed in a handful of g-f trail mix (mostly raisins!). Thank you so much for what you and your family are doing.

  25. Anonymous

    Yet another fantastic recipe! My only change: left out the raisins (not a huge fan), and added walnuts for texture — YUMMMMM!!!

  26. Eileen

    I was just thinking of digging up your earlier banana & teff bread recipe when here you are with a fresh one. Serendipity rules! The bananas are calling awfully loud so I’ll be making it tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Anonymous

    Hey there! My name is Dave and I work with Kinnikinnick’s and specialize in gluten-free baked goods! Working in the gluten-free field I love finding new recipes and cant wait to try this once I get home!

  28. Michael

    This is a great recipe! I have tried making this a couple of days ago and I really loved it. Thanks for posting this recipe as it is very easy to use and the measurements are precise. It went really well with a hot cup of coffee made from my delonghi coffee maker at home. Kudos!

  29. Pam C

    I tried making this & although it tastes good, it is really crumbly. As in you have to eat it with a fork. And it leaves a giant mess when you cut it. I’m going to have to read up to figure out why this is. I followed the recipe (minus the gums — maybe that’s the problem??), but had maybe 1/3 of a cup more banana than what it said. Not sure what went wrong. Ah well. It’s a good experiment. Thanks!

  30. Sarah

    Pam C–
    I’m about to try this as well, but with Chia and Flax seeds in lieu of the gums as per more recent suggestions by our lovely muse. I’ve had good success with this method in other recipes, hope the same is true here. See more in Shauna’s post from Feb 6, ’11:
    “I’m still learning about ground flaxseed and chia seed, so I can’t claim to be an expert on this. However, I am finding that whatever amount of xanthan or guar gum I would have used in a bread recipe, I substitute it with the same amount of flaxseed or chia seeds. Then I combine that with twice as much boiling hot water and stir. That’s it.”

  31. lovelylinguist

    Just like Pam C., my loaf turned out fairly crumbly with an uneven texture — definitely didn’t cut with a fine crumb like Shauna’s photo. And I’m a long-time home baker! Not sure what happened. Worth another try, but I need some suggestions.