This simple beginner’s recipe for a moist gluten free banana bread uses regular rice flour. Coconut flakes add interest and texture to the bread. A great recipe using simple everyday pantry essentials.
So, this is banana bread recipe number 4 on the blog; number 6, if you count the two variations of muffin recipes with bananas. I think it is quite safe to say that I have a thing for banana bread.
Firstly, if you are a first-time visitor here, let me state very clearly that this is not a gluten-free blog and neither do I claim to be any sort of “expert” on the matter. But I am Indian, and in our diet, there are many vegetarian, vegan and naturally gluten-free foods the we consume regularly. Not much thought goes into any of it, just the fact that variety is key to Indian cuisine. As such, we use many different flours, but mostly to make flatbreads.
One day, several months ago, my mom told me that she was making my chocolate sheet cake to take to a potluck. (It makes me unbelievably proud that mom cooks from my blog…wow!) Anyway, when I asked her about it the next day, she had a very funny story to tell. Apparently, she didn’t take the cake to the event because she baked with white rice flour instead of regular all-purpose flour. As it very often happens in any Indian household, she was distracted several times and by the time she realized the switch, the pan was in the oven. She baked it, cooled it and stashed it in the fridge to be dealt with later. In true Indian fashion, she would never ever throw it out.
And thus, though purely by accident, mom had made our first gluten-free chocolate cake. As for the verdict, she said that dad and she rather enjoyed it. A cake with rice flour? Suffice to say, my interest was piqued!
I decided to replicate it with banana bread, mainly because it is one of the most forgiving of recipes to bake with. One can make any sort of substitutions and still end up with a wonderful bake. Now, there are many gluten-free recipes with flours in different ratios, pre-made mixes, and ingredients like xanthan gum.
I decided to modify one of my favorite banana bread recipes and simply swapped APF with rice flour, just like mom had done. The reason this recipe is so forgiving is because the bananas add a natural moistness and sweetness to the bread. Such a simple flour swap may not work for something more delicate like say, a chiffon cake. So bear that in mind before you start experimenting with gluten-free baking.
I added some coconut flakes for texture and flavor. The nuttiness of the rice flour compliments the bananas and coconut perfectly. And the verdict? I would say, it is rather excellent for a simple moist gluten-free banana bread made with pantry staples. We did miss the richness and texture of regular flour, but only because our taste-buds are so used to it. I actually loved the crumb of this bread over the regular recipe. Depending on the type of rice flour you use, you might need a few more spoons of liquid (milk or buttermilk) for the batter. You might also need to bake it for slightly longer. Keep checking around the time mentioned in the recipe and decide if you need to tent the bread and let it bake for a longer time.
I store this banana bread in the refrigerator and reheat the slices in the microwave before serving. Works perfectly with a nice hot cup of tea on lazy evenings or busy mornings.
- Eggs – 2, large
- Oil – ½ cup
- Buttermilk – ⅓ cup (or substitute with a spoonful of yogurt mixed with regular milk to make up ⅓ cup)
- Brown sugar – ¾ - 1 cup, lightly packed
- Ripe bananas – 1 cup, mashed (from 3 bananas)
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Rice flour – 1¾ cup
- Baking soda – 1 tsp
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Cardamom powder - ¼ tsp (optional, but highly recommended)
- Coconut flakes (unsweetened) – ½ cup, divided
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg.F and line a 9×5 loaf pan with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs, oil and buttermilk together till creamy.
- Add the mashed bananas, vanilla extract and brown sugar and beat till combined.
- Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the batter. Mix till just combined. Mix in the coconut flakes, reserving 2 tbsp to sprinkle on top.
- Pour batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of coconut flakes on top.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes till the top is nicely browned and it passes the toothpick test. If your bread is taking too long to bake and the top is browning too rapidly, tent with foil and bake till done.
2. If the batter seems too thick to mix properly, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time, till it comes together.
Cool the bread on a wire rack, slice and serve with tea, coffee or milk for the little ones. A healthy and delicious snack or sweet treat that everyone will love!
So, have you had an accidental recipe turn out surprisingly good? Are you into GF baking? Any tips? Do share.
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