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    Brandy’s GFCF Pumpkin Berry Spice Bread

    March 11, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    Last week in my GFCF meal plan, I said that if the muffins turned out well enough I would post the recipe. Well, the muffins turned into bread, which turned out not perfect, but well enough that the recipe is worth posting. Especially since I can tell you what I would do differently next time.

    If there is one upside to learning to cook GFCF, it’s that I am learning to be more flexible and creative in the kitchen. I am a rules person. I follow rules whenever there are rules, and I am occasionally known to fret if there aren’t rules for fear that there really are rules and I’m just ignorant.


    There are very few rules for GFCF cooking, and some of the rules I refuse to follow because they make the recipe cost more than I am willing to pay for it.

    Take, for instance, the use of guar gum or xanthan gum. The “rule” is that, for every cup of gluten-free flour, one should use 1/2 teaspoon of one of the gums. This will make your bread rise better. I, however, have yet to break down and buy these items because I can’t stand the price tag.

    Therefore, we eat heavy, flat bread. It still tastes fine, I promise.

    This is proof that you can be a rule-follower while not actually being a perfectionist.

    Moving ever onward, please note that there will be no GFCF meal plan this week. I have many excuses. Want me to list them?

    1. I liked last week so much I basically reworked it for this week.
    2. I really needed to get rid of two of the chickens I had in the freezer, but who wants a meal plan full of chicken variations?
    3. London broil was on sale and I just have too much compassion to make you all jealous of our menu. And then there is, most importantly…
    4. Grace is coming for a visit! This means that my parents will be watching children part of the weekend while Si and I join Grace over and Kimberly and Dominic’s house for a lot of food containing gluten, dairy, preservatives, and especially Red 40 {which we all know really makes everything taste better}.


    See why I’m not posting a meal plan?

    So on to the recipe:

    Brandy’s GFCF Pumpkin Berry Spice Bread
    2 cups sorghum flour
    1 cup rice flour
    2 cups water + 2 Tb vinegar OR lemon juice {this is the “acid agent mixture”}
    1 can organic pumpkin {Trader Joe’s was having a sale…}
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup olive oil
    3 eggs
    1 tsp nutmeg
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp cloves
    3 tsp baking soda
    1 cup berries, chopped

    1. 24 hours in advance, soak flours in the water + acid agent mixture. Leave in a warm place. The longer this soaks, the better it will rise. Not that it will actually rise well. We really do this to make the bread more digestible and therefore less allergenic. This is very healthy for normal people, too.

    2. Preheat oven to 350.

    3. In a large bowl, combine all the other ingredients except berries. I know there is usually all this dry bowl/wet bowl/mix together stuff, but when you are soaking the flour in advance, everything starts out wet, pretty much. The important thing is to add dry ingredients slowly as this will prevent them from clumping together. This is extra important with baking soda. I often sift baking soda into the mix to make sure it isn’t clumping.

    4. Once all other ingredients are fully mixed together, fold in berries.

    5. Pour batter into two loaf pans. Cook on 350 until tester comes out clean. This will take somewhere around 1 hour 15 minutes.

    What I’d do differently next time: This bread was good, but there were complaints that it wasn’t quite filling enough and it wasn’t quite sweet enough. The latter problem can {obviously} be solved by adding more sugar, but I think doubling the amount of berries would be just as effective and much more healthy. A couple options for making it more filling is to pack it with protein, a habit I have with my breads in general. Replacing about 1/4 cup of the rice flour with almond meal would be a good start. Alternately, I might have taken 1/4 cup of walnuts and ground them in a coffee grinder, simply adding them to the batter before folding in the berries. I have never noticed this throwing off a recipe. I wonder what it would taste like to add the almond meal and the walnuts? Hmmm…

    Did any of you do any baking last week?

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  • Reply Kimbrah March 12, 2008 at 5:55 am


    On Sunday I made GFCF donuts and GFCF pizza. On Monday I made GFCF Sweet Potato Muffins. Today I made GFCF Pumpkin Muffins. Tommorrow I will probably make GFCF Scones or biscuits. I haven’t decided yet. I have been in a baking mood! 🙂

    I am going to have to try out your recipe, too. Maybe on Thursday 🙂


  • Reply Brandy March 12, 2008 at 3:08 am

    Hi Lydia,

    I look forward to seeing your recipe! I am sure I’ll link it to my sidebar when the time comes. We love hazelnuts around here, so I will be sure to try it!

    Thank you for your prayers, too. I will try to post an update tomorrow. There have been a couple developments in the last few days that we hope will be helpful.

  • Reply Lydia March 12, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Hey Brandy,

    I just wanted to let you know that I tried making a new dessert recipe yesterday using brown rice flour. I don’t know much about gluten-free cooking but I was thinking that rice four was gluten free. I thought you might enjoy seeing the recipe. I haven’t posted it yet but I plan to later this week. The recipe also has hazelnuts, eggs, brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla and flour but I think you could easily adapt it for a gluten free diet. You will have to let me know if it would work.

    Thanks for commenting on my recent post. I hope to share more of such links in my upcoming posts.

    I am thinking and praying for your family with the homeschooling battles raging around you.

    God bless,

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