The World's Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bread
OK, I know this sounds like a really bold claim, but I really think it's true. And in addition to being gluten-free, it's also dairy- and sugar-free. Funny enough, if I had read the title of this post on somebody else's blog a few years ago, I would have just kept on scrolling. Because there's NO WAY, I would have told myself, that a pumpkin bread without gluten, dairy, or sugar could have any taste at all. But as I've experimented with healthier baked goods over the past few years, I've realized that my preconcieved notions are often totally false. Not only have I managed to create recipes that taste just as good as the original version, but they have the added bonus of leaving me feeling energized rather than in a total sugar coma. So. Let me introduce you to the world's BEST gluten-free pumpkin bread. (I'm seriously not exaggerating...try it for yourself!)
I mentioned in my last post that we are doing an #octoberwellness challenge, taking the month to focus on eating lots of whole foods: vegetables, fruit, legumes, and lean protein, and cutting out processed foods, refined sugar, and most gluten and dairy. Of course I couldn't imagine October with no pumpkin bread (horror or horrors!) so I set out immediately to develop a really good gluten-free pumpkin loaf.
I started by using my pumpkin madeleine recipe, which I love, and just started tweaking: I swapped out the flour for almond meal, the canola oil for extra-virgin olive oil, and the sugar for pure maple syrup. Also I didn't have cloves so I used allspice. I made the first batch in 3 mini loaf pans and they wouldn't quite set in the middle, even after 35 minutes of baking. I cooled them and we did a taste test – the flavor was great, but the consistency was too mushy to my liking. Another friend also tried out the recipe and agreed that it needed less oil. So for round two, I reduced both the olive oil and maple syrup by half and baked it in one regular 9x5" loaf pan for just under 55 minutes.
The result was perfect. Even though it doesn't rise as much as traditional pumpkin bread, it's wonderfully dense, incredibly moist, and the flavor is everything you could ever want in a pumpkin spice bread. It's slightly sweet, but not cloyingly so, and the spices add a wonderful warmth. Case in point: the bread only lasted a day! We've eaten it for breakfast, dessert, and with afternoon tea. I am seriously obsessed.
I hope you all enjoy this bread as much as I have! It's now going to be a fall staple around here – and I love that after eating a slice or two, I feel great. Let me know what you all think!
P.S. How gorgeous are these photos by my new intern Olivia Funk? She's just 18 and is a total pro![recipe:best-gluten-free-pumpkin-spice-bread-recipe]
(Photos by Olivia Funk)