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Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by Healthline.com and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread (Vegan, Too)

Fall is here and I love it! The crisp cool air, the longer shadows, the colorful leaves. But most of all, I love the smells.

Pumpkin Bread for  Two

Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread for Two

Every time I walk into a Starbucks coffee shop I want a slice of their yummy-looking pumpkin spice bread that smells so heavenly because of all those wonderful spices. 

But there are only two of us in my house, so a full-size loaf is too much. Many of you have said you agree with me: you don’t want to bake a standard-size loaf that will spoil before you can eat it all. And, some of you tell me you don’t have enough room in your freezer.

So here is my small-batch version that can be egg-free (vegan), if necessary. But first, a little background on small-batch baking.

Small Batch Baking for Small Households

Today, more Americans are living in small households, such as 28% of the 115 million “solo” households in 2011, compared with 26% in 2000. According to USA Today, the largest jump is among seniors who are part of the 77 million baby boomers that become “empty-nesters” when the kids leave home.

In my travels around the country, I meet other “family” configurations: two-roommate households, one or two members within larger families who must eat differently than the rest of the family, and so on.

The Importance of Precise Measuring in Small-Batch Baking

What I have learned from small-batch baking is that precise measuring is even more critical to success here than in standard-size recipes. Scaling a recipe that serves four down to two servings isn’t as simple as dividing everything in half. Far from it!

In some ways, small-scale recipes needed even more testing than regular recipes because there is a smaller margin of error. Lack of precision here or there can throw off the delicate balance between liquid and dry ingredients. So, when this recipe calls for 1/16 teaspoon of baking soda be sure to use only that amount which is half of 1/8 teaspoon. If you plan to do lots of small-batch baking, invest in a set of mini-measuring spoons so you can be precise.

What Do Those Mysterious Terms Mean?

In some recipes, you may see mysterious terms such as a “pinch” or “dash.” Here’s what those terms mean:

TAD = 1/4 teaspoon

DASH = 1/8 teaspoon

PINCH = 1/16 teaspoon

SMIDGEN = 1/32 teaspoon

DROP = 1/64 teaspoon

Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread for Two

Recipe by Carol Fenster, author of Gluten-Free Cooking for Two (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)

I always crave the pumpkin spice bread at coffee shops. Here is my small-scale version. Your kitchen will smell heavenly and this cute little loaf also make a great gift for a gluten-free friend. For an egg-free version, omit the egg and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water instead.

1 large egg, at room temperature

[1/2] cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

3 tablespoons canola oil

[1/2] cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)

[1/3] cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

[1/2] teaspoon baking powder

[1/2] teaspoon xanthan gum

[1/4] (rounded) teaspoon salt

[1/16] teaspoon baking soda (pinch)

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon chopped raw pumpkin seeds

[1] Place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Generously grease a 3 1/4 x 5 3/4-inch nonstick (gray, not black) loaf pan.

[2] In a small bowl, whisk together the egg (or 1 to 2 tablespoons water for egg-free), pumpkin, and oil until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice until well blended. With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually beat the flour mixture into the egg mixture just until blended. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds evenly on top, slightly pressing them into the batter with your fingers.

[3] Bake until the top is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the bread and cool on the wire rack for another 10 minutes. Use a serrated knife or an electric knife to cut into 6 slices and serve slightly warm or at room temperature

Makes one 3 ¼ x 5 ¾ -inch loaf; 6 slices

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Baking time: 35 to 40 minutes

Per serving: 165 calories; 2 grams protein; 8 grams total fat; 1grams fiber; 23 grams carbohydrates; 31 mgs cholesterol; 165 mgs sodium

 Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1 ½ cups sorghum flour

1 ½ cups potato starch

1 cup tapioca flour/starch

Whisk together until well blended and store, tightly covered in a dark, dry place.

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