Before going gluten-free, I felt like a pretty competent baker — banana bread was easy-peasy, cakes were for fun on birthdays, cut-outs were a breeze. Scooping all-purpose flour and leveling it out, then dumping it into a bowl was a mindless task.
Just one flour. No worrying about a starch to flour ratio or the best flour blends for gluten-free baking.
But since I’ve been gluten-free, there have been plenty of flops. And to be honest, it’s not just my ego that’s been hurt, but my pocket-book too — gluten-free flours are expensive! So the year I attempted and tossed out not one but THREE different batches of Spritz cookies, I was less than jolly.
This week, I took advantage of the cooler temps and got into the kitchen early in the day. I had received a goodie box from King Arthur Flour and had garden fresh zucchini and maple syrup from State Fair to put to good use.
I thought the whole grain flour blend would be a good match for the muffins/bread I had in mind. I was assuming it was an all-purpose mix that would work cup for cup. (you know what happens when you assume?!) And I had glanced at the ingredients (all whole grain flours, no starches) but didn’t pay much attention and decided to just go for it and use it as an all-purpose kind of mix.
That was my first mistake.
I know that you need a blend of both flours and starches to make things stick together, but in my head I was thinking cup for cup, and should have taken a minute to just slow down and work out my ingredients better.
And I thought about just tucking this one away and not saying more about it, but this blog (as you all know) isn’t about the perfect baked goods or the clearest of photos. It’s about real life. Sharing my daily success AND battles.
I’d like to think of this little experiment as both.
The bread and muffins filled the house with a hurry-up-and-bake-so-I-can-eat-you aroma. Taste was spot on. But after they cooled? VERY crumbly and not dry-dry, but left a dry “feel” in the mouth after the first bite. (again, this is completely my fault and I have big plans for the remaining flours — adding some starch — and am so grateful to my new friends at King Arthur for their generosity)
I was so disappointed (in myself) that I didn’t even snap a photo of them.
I pulled a “baking flop fix” and turned that crumbly, dry bread into the best tasting French toast I’ve ever had.
Maple Nut Zucchini French Toast
2 slices maple nut zucchini bread (or ANY flavor quick bread that has become dry and/or crumbly)
splash of coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
pinch of cinnamon
Beat egg, milk, and cinnamon in a bowl. (make sure it is wide enough to put a piece of the bread into the mixture – I used a low, wide pasta bowl) Heat pan to medium and melt pat of butter or oil of your choice in the pan.
In the mean time, soak each side of your bread for at least 30 seconds, then transfer to pan. Cook first side until golden brown, then carefully flip and repeat on the second side.
Transfer to plate and top with butter, real maple syrup, and walnuts.
*This is for French toast for one. If you’re having breakfast with your honey or your family, just double the recipe for each person chowing down.
Enjoy it, knowing that you saved the day by not having to throw away a whole loaf of gluten-free goodness.
Do you have any other baking flop fixes to share? Like crumbly cookies make the perfect ice cream topping. Or semi-stale GF bread makes the best croutons. Share them below!