This Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread is the most moist and delicious pumpkin bread you will eat this Autumn. Nutty with brown butter and encrusted with cinnamon sweetened pumpkin seeds for crunch, the alternative flours used not only make it gluten-free but deepen the flavour and give it a slight chew which is incredibly addictive. It’s also easy to make using a couple of mixing bowls and a wooden spoon for company.
You may begin to notice a bit of a difference in this blog and also my cake stall if you are planning on visiting me in the near future. Lately I have been completely converted to gluten-free baking. I feel it’s too early days to say whether the switch will be permanent but I’m finding working with alternative flours so exciting at the moment that I’m forging ahead with gusto.
I have spoken on my blog ad naseum about my relationship with gluten-free eating but I’ll just mention again, ignoring the groans, how it really helped my well-being, tiredness, bloating and daily nausea back when I changed my eating habits. However, this has been a contradiction to how I have always baked. I love to bake, I have great feedback from my cakes and indeed earn money from them. Even though about a quarter of my cake stall has always been gluten-free, I have been reluctant to convert to a 100% gluten-free business, knowing I would be leaving behind beloved recipes and perhaps alienating my customer base.
However, my baking indulgences have been veering more and more towards the use of alternative flours. I don’t mean the gluten-free all-purpose blends you can buy, which I certainly don’t sniff at as they are in constant use in my kitchen and used in several of my cakes. However, I think to rely on just that blend is reductive to the possibilities of gluten-free baking. I have been reading about, playing with and doing a great amount of tasting recently and have been astounded by the sheer variety of flours out there which all behave and taste utterly different.
A comment which really resonated with me came in the introduction to Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s new book ‘Alternative Baker’ where she talks about a conversation she had with her husband over a wheat flour cupcake. It wasn’t the gluten they had the issue with but the blandness of it. It’s true, baking with these ‘Flavour Flours’ as Alice Medrich terms them in her book of the same name adds further interest to the bake and by choosing complimentary flours in your recipe you can really add resonance to the flavour.
Now, not all of these flours are not readily available in your local supermarket, although times are a-changing, but they are easy to get hold of if you have no problem with ordering off Amazon, or you have an Asian supermarket or a particularly on the button health food shop nearby. The flours individually are not too much more expensive that regular old plain flour but since you will be buying more than one and you will probably have to add delivery on top of that cost then this way of baking doesn’t come cheap. However, cake is a treat so do think of it like that if you are balking at the investment, plus since you will only be dipping into each bag these flours will be good for several cakes. And the results are so worth it, it almost goes without saying.
The ones I have chosen to help me out with my gluten-free pumpkin bread are:
Sweet Rice Flour
Also called glutinous rice flour, it doesn’t contain gluten and is not the same as ordinary white rice flour. It helps to bind the other flours together, adding moisture and a slight chew to the bake.
This flour is bursting with an earthy nutty flavour. It has a great wholegrain texture which sits perfectly with the pumpkin and spices.
I have used the millet flour here for bulking out the flour mix. It doesn’t have a strong taste so doesn’t overwhelm the finished bake.
This adds lightness to the bake so the finished result doesn’t end up stodgy.
You may not have a gluten-free diet, but dismissing these flours as a fad would be a shame since they can add so much to a baking repertoire. Plus, now I’ve discovered them, you might be seeing a lot more of them on this blog. If you can, I urge you to give this recipe a try, I really hope you notice the difference in this pumpkin bread which is so much more than you could ever think possible rather than just another pumpkin bread recipe.