This is a traditional banana-walnut bread recipe that was renovated to be gluten-free for one of my readers. This is why I became a food blogger, to help people with requests like this.
I have a neighbor who just gave birth to twins and is gluten-free. She is coming home from the hospital and I wanted to bring over my favorite go-to recipe for my grandmother’s banana bread, but need it renovated to be gluten-free.
I bought King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour but it came to my attention that I might also need to add xanthan and/or guar gum to the mix to help it rise and not separate. How much xanthan and/or guar gum do I need to add to this recipe? Some websites said to use 3/4 tsp of xanthan gum for every cup of flour. I have also read that mixing the two gums makes the best recipes. What measurement combination do you think will be best for this recipe? The recipe is as follows:
Grandma Myrtle Goode’s Banana Bread Recipe
Pre-heat oven to 350°
1st large mixing bowl, cream and set aside:
½ C. butter
1¼ C. sugar
1 t. vanilla
4 very ripe bananas (if frozen, thaw first)
2nd mixing bowl, stir dry ingredients together:
2 C. GF flour blend
½ t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1½ t. xanthan gum (renovation)
1 t. baking powder (renovation)
½ C. chopped walnuts (optional)
3 t. cinnamon
Add this last ingredient at the end of Step 4
⅓ C. oil
Slowly add all the dry ingredients from the second mixing bowl to the creamed ingredients in the first mixing bowl. Add the oil and mix.
Pour into muffin tins or a bread loaf or cake pan.
Bake as follows: Muffins cook for 15-19 minutes depending on your oven. Bread or cake pans need approximately one hour and 15 minutes. Test with a toothpick in the center for doneness. If it comes out totally dry, they are cooked through.
Enjoy warm or after they have cooled wrap and freeze to be enjoyed later.
Traditionally this recipe bakes into a very dense and weighty bread that is incredibly flavorful and moist. I usually make it in huge batches so I can freeze any leftovers to enjoy with my tea or coffee at breakfast or as a snack. As dense and weighty as this bread is, I and my many guests have NEVER commented that is chewy, tough, or sits in your stomach like a lump. So my impression is that the dense weightiness is part of what makes this recipe so amazing. (I don’t know if that helps or not, just thought I would mention it.)
Thank you in advance for your help with this recipe.
The renovation: What a lovely and thoughtful gift to make for your neighbor! What I would suggest is pretty simple (noted above)… Add 1-1/2 teaspoons of xanthan gum and 1 additional teaspoon of baking POWDER to the dry ingredients. See my tip here about baking powder. Everything else stays as is… use the GF flour mix in the same amount as the original recipe. It should come out great!
The result: The second attempt to make the converted banana bread was a success!! On my first try, I had received so many different suggestions from various gluten-free recipe conversion sources on what to add that I averaged everyone’s suggestions. I also played around with the baking time—resulting in a flatter, half-baked bread. The half that did cook successfully had good texture, was very moist (as usual), and tasted delicious; but I need it to rise a little more to match the traditional recipe.
The picture is the result of my second attempt at this recipe. I ONLY followed your conversion recommendations and the recipe rose just like normal. I cooked the bread at the traditional temperature for the regular length of time and everything came out perfectly!! My husband, who is a harsh critic of store-bought and friends’ home-baked GF goods was skeptical to try it. But he said that it tasted wonderful—no difference in taste, texture, and density from the traditional recipe, which is a great compliment.
Thank you Stephanie for getting back to me so quickly with your conversion suggestions. Your suggestions were spot-on and resulted in a converted recipe I will be sure to make again and again as well as pass on to all my GF friends/family. Thank you for helping open a new chapter in my baking life: gluten-free. I am excited by future possibilities.
Readers should note that this recipe is not vegan or sugar-free, but sounds amazing! I will let you know if I convert it further.