In the past few days, I’ve made three batches of lemon poppyseed bread. Each of them was quite different from each other. Each of them was delicious.
For one batch, I replaced the butter or oil I would have used with an equal weight of applesauce. I know this is a popular solution for people who want to cut down on their fat intake. The bread was studded with poppyseeds, with a crackling top, and a slightly dense crumb. It seemed like a bread, instead of a cake. At first, I thought it was a bit too dry. However, when Danny used it the next day to make lemon poppyseed french toast? I changed my mind about that bread. We’re making it again.
The same day I made another bread, with olive oil and applesauce in place of the liquid I might have added. I’ve been thinking about that — where do you use fruit purees if you are making banana bread or pumpkin bread? Does it take the place of the oil? The liquid? The eggs? This bread was moist and fell apart on the teeth, in the most delightful way. I like my quick breads cakey, more moist than dry, soft to the touch. Danny took one bite and said, “Please tell me you are making this one again. You’re done.”
Not yet, honey.
This morning, I put the applesauce in the refrigerator. We’re not trying to cut down on fat. I wasn’t trying to make an applesauce bread. I wanted a moist, cakey quick bread, with the scent of lemon zest, flecks of poppyseed, and a brown, crackly top.
Voila. Third time is the charm.
I love baking by ratio and weight.
When you know how different baked goods work — how much fat to flour to liquid to eggs — you start to create your own recipes. Last month, when we launched the Ratio Rally, we focused together on pancakes. I exulted in the chance to bake collaboratively, to talk with people who care deeply about combining flours into something indescribably good. People created amazing pancakes.
This month, we decided to switch to quickbreads. You know — banana bread, pumpkin bread, dried sour cherry bread with a hazelnut streusel. There are no end of possibilities. Moist and light as a cake without as many expectations, quick breads can be breakfast or dessert. They’re pretty damned versatile.
And they’re far less intimidating to make when you switch to baking by ratio.
All you need to know is this: 2 parts flour/2 parts liquid/1 part eggs/1 part fat.
See how easy that is? Double it to create a bread that fills a 9 x 5 loaf pan. If you think in grams, like I do now with baking, that’s 227 grams of flours, 227 grams of liquid of any kind, 113 grams egg (that’s 2 of them), and 113 grams of fats. To make it easy, I rounded up for this recipe. 230 flours, 230 grams liquid, 115 grams eggs, 115 grams fat.
That’s the backbone of any great quick bread recipe.
Once again, what’s so wonderful about baking by ratio is that you have total freedom to play.
The flours? Use any combination of gluten-free flours you like, can eat, and have in the house.
The liquid? Buttermilk. Apple cider. Coconut milk. Cream. Yogurt mixed with a little water.
Eggs? Those are pretty simple. However, if you can’t eat them, you could mix flaxseed meal with boiling-hot water to end up with a slurry and use 115 grams of that.
Fat? Butter. Grapeseed oil. Olive oil. Coconut oil. Any fat you like.
Once you start thinking this way, you start creating recipes, not following them.
Oh, and by the way? Gluten-free quick breads are the same as gluten ones. No difference in ratio. No added ingredients necessary. You certainly don’t need the gums here.
So, I cannot wait to see the multitudes of quick breads and muffins recipes my fellow baking colleagues have created.
(Oh, did I go past that too fast? Quick bread recipes convert directly to muffin recipes.)
If you’d like to see the entire list of posts of people participating in the gluten-free ratio rally this month, head over to Silvana Nardone’s blog, Silvana’s Kitchen. She’s our host this month.
And if, after reading through all those posts, you don’t want to move into the kitchen and start cooking up a quick bread right away?
Oh dear. I think you might want to talk to someone about that.
For more Gluten Free Ratio Rally quick bread and muffin recipes check out these participants of the rally and (if you are on Twitter) follow the thread #gfreerally:
Mrs. R of Honey from Flinty Rocks made Lemon Lavender Muffins with Lavender Sugar
Alisha of GF Mostly Vegetarian made a Sweet Potato Breakfast Loaf
Amanda of Gluten Free Maui made Classic Banana, Oat, and Pecan Quick Bread
Amie of The Healthy Apple made Gluten-Free Agave Apricot Quick Bread
Britt of GF In The City made Date & Walnut Bread
Brooke of Bell Wookie made Double Chocolate Cherry Muffins
Caleigh of Gluten Free[k] made Cardamom Banana Bread
Caneel of Mama Me Gluten Free made Peach Poppyseed Bread
Caroline of The G Spot Revolution made Orange Spice Bread with a Vanilla Glaze
Claire of Gluten Freedom made Piña Colada Muffins with Coconut-Rum Glaze and Toasted Coconut
Danna of Sweet Dees Gluten Free made Blood Orange Cardamom Muffins
Elana of Elana’s Pantry made Almond Flour Muffins
Erin of Mysteries Internal made Strawberry Yogurt Muffins
Erin of The Sensitive Epicure made Chocolate Chip & Walnut Muffins with Streusel
Flo of Makanaibio made gluten-free muffins
Gretchen of Kumquat made a Gingerbread Fig Loaf
Irvin of Eat the Love made Meyer Lemon Muffins with Slow-Roasted Balsamic Red Wine Strawberry Jam
Jenn of Jenn Cuisine made Chestnut and Chocolate Quickbread
Karen of Cooking Gluten Free made muffins
Kate of Kate Alice Cookbook made Raspberry Banana Crumble-Top Muffins
Kate of Gluten Free Gobsmacked made Mocha and Chocolate Chip Muffins
Lauren of Celiac Teen made a Cocoa Quickbread
Lisa of Gluten Free Canteen made Almond Cherry Berry Banana Muffins, Gluten Free
Lisa of With Style and Grace made a Rosemary Lemon Quick Bread
Marla of Family Fresh Cooking made Sweet Strawberry Snack Cakes
Mary Frances of the Gluten Free Cooking School made Cranberry Orange Bread with Cream Cheese Icing
Meaghan of The Wicked Good Vegan made Vegan Gluten-Free Apricot-Orange Bread
Melanie of Mindful Food made Almond Joy Muffins
Nannette of Nannette Raw made Chai Muffins
Robyn of Chocswirl made Brown Butter Apple Spice Muffins with Pecan Nut Streusel
Silvana of Silvana’s Kitchen made Chocolate-Coated Marshmallow-Topped Vanilla Cupcakes
Tara of A Baking Life made Caramelized Banana Bread with Pecan Streusel
Wendy of La Phemme Phoodie made Cheesy Apple Butter Bread with Garlic Powder
Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen made Banana Bread
LEMON POPPYSEED QUICK BREAD
There are a few things about this quick bread that we particularly love.
It uses our whole-grain mix — in this case we used teff, sorghum, buckwheat, brown rice, sweet rice, and arrowroot — which gives it the healthy benefits of whole grains without the toughness that whole wheat can lend to baked goods.
We tried sucanat for this recipe and loved it. Sucanat is essentially pure cane juice, dried. Sucanat is not bleached or processed at all, which means it keeps its nutrients and molasses taste. It’s grainier than bleached white sugar, but that adds to the texture of this quick bread. (And if you want to use white sugar, go ahead. Substitute it by weight, not by the cup.)
Both of these ingredients mean that the quick bread is darker brown than the traditional lemon poppyseed bread. We don’t care. Appearances mean little. This poppyseed bread is tremendous.
Also, because we used grapeseed oil for the fat and coconut milk for the liquid, this bread is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. (Added later: silly me. Eggs are not vegan. I was thinking of an earlier bread where I used flaxseed as an egg replacer. It works well.) That might not make it sound good. It’s truly the best quick bread we’ve ever eaten.
230 grams whole grain gluten-free flour mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
230 grams (about 1 cup) sucanat
zest of 1 lemon
115 grams grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon orange flower water (optional)
¼ cup poppyseeds
230 grams (about ½ cup) coconut milk
Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
Combining the dry ingredients. Whisk together the whole grain flour, the baking powder, and kosher salt. Set aside.
Beating the sugar and eggs. Put the eggs and sucanat into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat together the eggs and sucanat until they are light and fluffy, about five minutes. Add the lemon zest.
Adding the oil. Slowly, with the stand mixer running, drizzle in the grapeseed oil. Pour a bit, then wait while the mixer continues to run. Continue pouring in this slow fashion until all the oil is added, which should take about 1 minute. This allows the oil to be fully incorporated into the egg mixture without taking out the air you beat into it before. Add the vanilla extract, orange flower water, and poppyseeds.
Finishing the batter. With the mixer running on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mix, then ½ of the coconut milk. Repeat this until all the ingredients are in the stand mixer bowl and no flour is visible. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl, as well. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Baking the lemon-poppyseed bread. Slide the pan into the oven. Bake the bread until the top is golden brown and it springs back when you touch it, about 1 hour. Remove the loaf pan from the oven and let it cool on the counter for about 30 minutes. At that point, you can flip the bread out of the pan. Finish cooling it.
Makes 1 9-inch loaf.