It seems that it's hard to have it all. When I'm looking around for easy, tasty gluten-free loaves, they usually rely quite heavily on eggs. When I'm looking at vegan loaves, they often use soy, wheat or nuts. What's the answer? Give up on bread if you want to feed a mixed crowd or a sensitive eater who can't have several allergenic ingredients? No way!
When I was working on what feels like my life's work (though really only 6 years), Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- and Gluten-free Vegetarian Recipes, I fooled around a lot with different kinds of breads. One of the easiest and most effective options I found was to make a "beer bread." In the upcoming Welcoming Kitchen book, I have two different breads that use gluten-free beer to create the rise. In the spirit of one of my favorite times of year, Apple Picking Season, I wanted to create an apple-y loaf. Instead of using gluten-free beer for this one, I went for a hard cider. Fermented apple cider is naturally gluten-free (though you always need to check the label to ensure that there are no additives you can't tolerate). To build on the apple flavor of the cider, I added a diced apple to the batter.
The folks at King Arthur Flour sent me a sample of their Glutenfree Multi-purpose Flour to try. I got it yesterday, and put it into action in this loaf right away. My Aunt Nancy is gluten-free, but she also has trouble with sorghum, so this flour is a good option for her, because it is sorghum-free. It also doesn't use any bean flours, so it's a good choice for folks who need to avoid bean flours, too.
Note: Megan tells us that although a lot of the alcohol in the cider burns off in the cooking, some does remain. The kind of cider I used had 5% alcohol content when it was in the bottle, so I feel comfortable letting my kids enjoy a slice or two, but you should use your best judgment.
Gluten-free Apple Loaf
3 cups gluten-free multi-purpose flour (I used King Arthur Flour)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 12-ounce bottle hard cider
1 apple, peeled and cut into small dice
canola oil for pan
Preheat oven to 375.
Oil a standard loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, salt, sugar and baking powder.
Stir in cider.
Add diced apple, stir until incorporated.
Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake 50 minutes or until crusty.
Cool on wire rack before slicing.
Kim and Megan