Gluten-free Zucchini Bread OR Rethinking Old Enemies
Millet flour and I got off to a bad start. A few years ago, when whole grain gluten-free flours started showing up in my area, I bought a bag, excited to bake with a new flour. But the flour was rancid. Really rancid. So while other whole grain flours worked their way into my pantry, I avoided millet because I still associated it with the smell of sour milk.
Recently, while standing in front of the ever expanding gluten-free section at the grocery store, I gave myself a little talking to about millet. I don’t avoid chicken even though there was that one time I got some bad thighs from the market. So why was I unwilling to forgive millet? I squared my shoulders and tossed a bag into my shopping cart.
And now? Well, I can’t stop baking with it. The flavor is surprisingly subtle for a whole grain flour. Most gluten-free whole grain flours bring attention to themselves. Brown rice flour tastes a little bitter; oat flour tastes, well, like oats; and sorghum flour often brings a nutty, grassy flavor to baked goods. But millet flour just sort of fades pleasantly on the palate.
So I went straight for millet flour when I decided to bake a loaf of classic zucchini bread. Prior to going gluten-free, the zucchini bread recipe I loved used bleached, white flour. I figured that millet flour would give me the benefits of a whole grain without stepping on the toes of the spices that I love to coax out in my zucchini bread.
The other thing I love about this bread is that it’s a one-bowl recipe. This means that if there’s lots of zucchini coming from your garden, it’s incredibly easy to turn that excess into moist, quick breads for friends!
Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread
- 3 cups unpeeled grated zucchini (about 14 ounces)
- 1 1/4 cups millet flour (6 ounces; 170 grams)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (5 1/4 ounces; 148 grams)
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour (2 ounces; 56 grams)
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxmeal (1 ounce; 28 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2 large eggs (about 3 1/2 ounces; 100 grams, out of shell)
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 1/4 ounces; 62 grams)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set pan aside.
- Place the zucchini on a large, dry kitchen towel. Cover the zucchini fully with the towel and twist both ends to the towel to wring moisture from the zucchini. Transfer zucchini to a large cutting board. Chop the zucchini roughly. (You can skip the chopping the zucchini if you’d like. It just helps the bread to have a more uniform texture with no long string of zucchini scattered throughout the baked loaf.) Set the aside zucchini aside.
- Whisk together millet flour, granulated sugar, sorghum flour, flaxmeal, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum. Add the water, eggs, and vegetable oil. Whisk until a thick batter forms. Switch to a flexible spatula and stir in the zucchini.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. A cake tester interested into the center of the loaf should come out clean. Allow bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out to a wire rack to cool completely.