In episode 18 we learn how to make best gluten-free zucchini bread with this outrageously tasty and easy recipe! This gluten-free dairy-free zucchini bread is made with all purpose gluten-free flour, but tastes just like the ultra moist spiced bread you know and love! Join Melissa Erdelac, as she shares many easy, pro tips, plus the best ingredients and methods for success. This audio recipe for gluten-free zucchini bread will transform you into expert gluten-free baker.
Recipes and Resources Mentioned
- Cup4Cup All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
- King Arthur Measure-for-Measure Gluten-Free Flour (dairy-free)
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Hey everyone. I’m Melissa Erdelac, host of the Gluten-Free Recipe Challenge podcast and creator behind the gluten-free website, Mamagourmand. Here we take beloved recipes you thought you’d never enjoy again and transform them into easy copycat versions, just as good as the originals.
Guess what’s happening right now? Zucchini is taking over my life. It grows completely irrationally yet every year, I think it’s a great idea to put myself through its torment, over and over again. It goes from flowers to a small and reasonable vegetable to absolutely obscene in a manner of hours. And if you go on vacation during this time, forget about it. You will come home and there will be a massive zucchini where your house once stood.
So guess what we’re talking about today? How to win the war against zucchini in the form of gluten-free zucchini bread.
You’ll pretty much have to make a loaf daily to keep up. But luckily, this recipe’s easy and amazing. And here’s a pro tip. Neighbors will like you much more if you come over bringing zucchini bread versus just ditching some more garden zucchini on their doorstep.
Many of you listening may just swap out the gluten-free flour for a recipe designed around all-purpose flour. So you take a regular zucchini bread recipe and swap it out with gluten-free flour. I admit I’ve done that. So why mess around with one designed around gluten-free flour?
Well, Because obviously it’s so much freaking better. And after being disappointed by so many recipes, just swapping out the gluten free flour, I decided to create a recipe that didn’t have any of that denseness, that wasn’t undercook or sunk in the middle.
So basically, this recipe uses a few easy tricks to make a loaf that has a really light and fluffy texture. And has really consistent results every time. No one, and I mean, no one is able to tell this loaf from a traditionally baked one.
Plus it’s dairy free and you can also use the recipe and convert it to make muffins. To do that, I altered the recipe just slightly and the baking directions, so I will link to the gluten-free zucchini muffins as well if you’d rather make those.
To begin, you preheat your oven to 325, and this is different than a traditional zucchini bread recipe, which bakes at 350. I use the lower oven temperature because it makes for a gentler rise. And then there’s more time for the gluten-free flour to soak up that moisture and hydrate. Plus zucchini has a lot of moisture in it, which is usually why the disappointing recipes are undercooked or overly dense. If you extend the baking time at a lower temperature, it gives more time for everything to soak up and the liquids to evaporate.
You’ll also need an eight by four loaf pan and just grease that with some cooking spray. The eight by four pan is the best size. I’ve tried it with the nine by five and it works, but the shape isn’t as good. It makes like a flatter top. So if you use a eight by four, you’ll have that nice dome top. If all you have is a nine by five, go ahead and use it. You’ll just need to cook it about 10 minutes less.
Go ahead and start by grating your zucchini. You will need two cups, which is about one medium zucchini. If you have one of those freakishly, large zucchinis, you can still use it, but I would take out the seeds from it. Grate it on just a box grater or I use my food processor with the grater disc.
Zucchini has a lot of moisture, which is a benefit. That’s why we like to bake with it. It’s great for cakes or breads or muffins, but especially in gluten free baking it causes some issues.
We have to find that perfect balance of adding the zucchini for structure and moisture, but not overly saturating the crumb, making it dense and heavy.
So to do that, you are going to put the grated zucchini in a double layer of paper towels, or you could use a lint-free dish cloth and you want to soak up that extra moisture from the zucchini before you add it to the other ingredients.
Just because you soak up that extra moisture doesn’t mean that your bread is gonna be dry. There’s still plenty of residual moisture to keep the bread moist, but it keeps the crumb lighter and fluffier . So you have that moistness from the zucchini, but it’s not like overly saturated.
Go ahead and grate it and set that aside while you put together the other ingredients. In a large bowl whisk together one egg a half a cup of granulated sugar, a half a cup of brown sugar, a fourth of a cup of oil. I use canola oil, but that really makes some people angry. So use whatever damn oil you want and two teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Whisk that together. And then once that’s mixed, then you add in your slightly dried zucchini and just stir that. Next you add in the dry ingredients, which is one and one half cups of gluten-free flour. I use Cup4Cup, but it does contain milk powder. So if you can’t have dairy, then I would recommend King Arthur Measure for Measure.
Some baking recipes I really pushed the Cup4Cup for, but this is one that you can pretty much use any gluten-free flour and it’ll still turn out great.
Along with the gluten-free flour, you’ll need one teaspoon of baking powder, a half a teaspoon of baking soda, and one and a half teaspoons a cinnamon.
Go ahead and stir all those ingredients together until you can’t see any more flour pockets in the bowl. And then once you’ve finished, just pour that in the prepared loaf pan and spread it evenly. Personally, I like to add a little coarse sugar on top, just to give it a little crunchy, sparkly finish, but this isn’t necessary.
Bake it for one hour to one hour and five minutes. This has a long bake time. Usually zucchini breads have a long bake time, but being that it’s gluten free, you need to bake it a little longer, and plus it’s a lower oven. And you can check it by, I usually just kind of touch the top with my fingers, and if it bounces back, then I know it’s done. But you could also insert a toothpick in the center and it’ll come out clean . Cool it in the pan for 10 minutes before you take it out and cool on a wire rack.
So this recipe is just for your good old fashioned zucchini bread, but you can also add other things if you like to it, if you wanna doctor it up.
And if you do this, I recommend lining the bottom of your bread pan with a cut to size piece of wax paper and go ahead and spray the wax paper. That way if any of the mix ins fall to the bottom of the pan, they’re not going to cause the bread to stick to the bottom of the pan and be harder to get out.
Anytime I add anything to quick breads, I always just line the bottom with either a cut size piece of wax paper or parchment paper. And if you would like to add anything else, you can do chocolate chips, uh, chopped nuts or pecans or walnuts. You can add two teaspoons of lemon zest and swap out the vanilla extract for lemon extract. And then if you want, you could even add a lemon glaze to the top.
You could add one cup of fresh or frozen blueberries. You could use raisins, some shredded coconut, or if you wanna do a savory loaf, you can reduce the sugar by half and add in grated sharp cheddar cheese and a diced jalapeno, to make a cheesy spicy loaf.
Once it has cooled completely, that means several hours, then you can store your bread. It will keep at room temperature for three days if it’s really well wrapped. But generally, if I’m not going to enjoy it that day, I will slice it and freeze it, and you could freeze it up to three months.
It freezes longer and better if you freeze it unsliced. But if you want to freeze it to pull slices out as needed, then go ahead and slice the bread first and just make sure the air is out of the bag before you zip it close.
That’s all for today’s episode of the Gluten-Free Recipe Challenge. Remember, you could always find the full principle recipe on my show notes page.
And to get to that, just click on the link provided whatever podcast app you’re listening on. Or you could go to my recipe website, which is mamagourmand.com, and click on the podcast tab. The show notes page will include the full recipe, any of the tips I’ve mentioned, along with recommended ingredients.
Also, I’m looking for recipe ideas. If you have something that you’d like to enjoy a delicious gluten-free version of, make sure you reach out to me. You could DM me on Instagram and my handle is @mamagourmand. Or you can email me email@example.com.