Tuesday, October 1, 2013

No-Grain Quick Bread Squares

Very simple dinner last night - spicy chili and this 'corn' bread.  There is no cornmeal in it, actually, and although it tasted delicious, a few seasonings to make it more savory would have worked very well - and a few sweet seasonings would have just as happily rendered it into a tasty snack cake dessert.

This recipe is the neutral template for a no-grain quickbread - it can and should be altered, because the important part is that it works.

It is moist, has a mouth-feel identical to quick bread squares made with flours, and it's quick and easy to make up.  It tastes good as-is, but is totally open to variations.

No-Grain Quick Bread Squares
(makes 8 x 8 square pan)
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup arrowroot flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole milk (or almond milk)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (or other good fat)
3 eggs
3 T. maple syrup or honey
Lay a square of parchment paper in the bottom of an 8 x 8 square baking dish or cake pan.
Combine flours, baking soda and salt, and stir to blend.  
In a separate bowl, combine milk, oil, eggs and sweetener and whisk to combine.
Make a 'well' in the center of dry ingredients and add wet ingredients.  Whisk to combine until all dry ingredients have been moistened.
Pour into prepared baking dish, spreading if necessary.
Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.  Test for doneness with a knife or toothpick inserted into center.
Let cool slightly and cut into 9 squares to serve.
Ideas for savory bread squares:
Decrease sweetener slightly (keep in mind wet to dry proportions) and:
Add a cup of grated cheese to batter.
Add diced green chiles (drained) to batter.
Add some savory spices to the dry ingredients, such as chili power and cumin or a selection of herbs.
Add minced garlic and/or onion.
Add some salsa or a bit of chopped chipotle pepper
Mix in some chopped black olive and feta cheese crumbles
(you get the idea - take it from there!)
or top with any of  the above before baking.
Ideas for sweet snack cake squares:
Increase sweetener slightly and add:
Dried fruit bits, raisins, nuts, etc.
dark cocoa powder 
chunks of dark chocolate
Sweet spice blends - gingerbread seasonings, etc
Bits of fresh fruit, such as apples or bananas
etc, etc, etc.
I am looking forward to experimenting further with this!  If you have any ideas for how to use it, please do add them to the comments!
As a side note - I am totally sold on the blend of almond flour, coconut flour and arrowroot as the key to making grain-free breads that aren't unduly dense.

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