Cinnamon Tea Bread or Muffins

   The past few weeks have been an endless circle of baking and modifying a recipe after Rita challenged me to enter a healthy Christmas cookie recipe contest. My initial reaction was ‘isn’t that an oxymoron’? Nevertheless I started brainstorming and baking. One experiment was enough to convince me not to desecrate chocolate in this manner. So then the burden fell upon the much-loved gingerbread cookie. After quite a few versions and gracious friends nibbling and ranking them the recipe was written and submitted. It met Rita’s greatest hopes in that this delicious cookie is built from mostly nutrient dense gluten free flours and that it is also egg free and dairy free. She has friends that will benefit greatly from this combination. She and I also came up with an appropriate frosting/filling to make the basic recipe more festive. Even though the cookies are good I am so burned out on gingerbread right now. There are leftover cookies in the freezer so that in a few months I can think about a crumb crust for pumpkin cheesecake. And I will write all about it then.
   Quick bread recipes are versatile in that you may bake them as a loaf or divide into muffin cups for individual portions. This cinnamon bread recipe is my most happy accomplishment right now that I have been anxiously waiting to post. It is adapted from Erin McKenna’s Cinnamon Toasties recipe that she demonstrated on the Martha Stewart show and can be viewed on Martha’s website. I use tapioca instead of arrowroot and add ground flax seed as well as increase the xanthan. It can be made diabetic friendly by using a sugar substitute designed for baking – my choice is Lakanto but there are others available that are less expensive and locally available. The result is a firm loaf that slices beautifully. Small peanut butter sandwiches made with thin slices of this bread are a satisfying, healthy treat for breakfast, lunch, or snack!

Ingredients:
1 cup garbanzo flour
1/2 cup potato flour
1/4 cup tapioca
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup sugar or sugar substitute for baking
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup store-bought unsweetened applesauce
1 cup hot water + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract +
1/4 teaspoon orange extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325*F. Spray or oil a large loaf pan.

In a large bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients. Sift together several times so that they are completely combined. The various dry ingredients have different nutrients and baking properties and they all need to be well blended before the liquid is added.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together oil, applesauce, and orange extract. Then add the hot water to the mixture. 

Add the oil/applesauce mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and even it out across the pan and into the corners.
 
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the loaf to remain in the oven for at least another 30 minutes. It will be toasty brown on the outside. Test with a cake tester just to be sure it is completely done. Let it cool completely on a wire rack or in the oven before unmolding. Then wrap it in a tea towel so that it does not dry out. When it is completely cold you may wrap it for storage.

This is an excellent keeper but after a day store it in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it.
Note: This loaf sinks slightly in the middle upon cooling but is definitely cooked all the way through.

Mom

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