This gluten-free banana bread is made with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour, bananas, eggs, buttermilk, sugar, and pecans. And it lacks nothing in that customary banana bread oh-my-god-I-can’t-stop-eating-this deliciousness.
This is not the classic banana bread recipe of your childhood. It is, however, quite similar in many ways. Like the loaves your mom made from her batter-splattered recipe and turned out of her dented metal loaf pan, it’s certainly moist and banana-y. It’s ridiculously aromatic. It presents a terrific use for those bananas you picked up on sale that are now forlornly browning on the counter. It’s got a familiar ingredient list that calls for pantry staples including butter, eggs, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, and not much else. It’s quite a sight to behold. And, in the words of the talented baker who created this banana bread recipe, it is “divine right out of the oven with melted butter, supreme when toasted with a little butter and honey, and sinful with your favorite cream cheese frosting.”
Sound familiar? This really quite lovely banana bread recipe ingeniously calls for roasting the bananas whole prior to incorporating them into the batter. The technique sort of intensifies the banana-y flavor. (Clever, huh?) Although truth be told, we consider this step to be optional—especially those days when you want as little time as possible to elapse between the anticipation of banana bread and the actual incarnation of said banana bread.
Yet this banana bread is quite different in one important way. It’s gluten-free. Because of that, it simply can’t possess quite the same texture or mouthfeel as the loaf to which you’ve grown accustomed. It’s just a little denser, a little crumblier. We don’t think that’s such a bad thing. Not at all. Though it may not be quite the same in taste and texture as you’re accustomed, trust us when we say it’s the same in terms of temptation. Because perhaps what’s more important than what goes into a recipe is what comes out. Karen Morgan, who created this gluten-free banana bread, recalls that when she first tasted this bread, it inspired her to believe that “maybe, just maybe, life was going to be beautiful once again.” We don’t know how to improve upon that.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Gluten-Free Banana Bread
- 4 very ripe bananas roasted (recipe follows)
- 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for the pan
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup chopped pecans
- Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and mix on low speed until blended. Add the butter and continue to mix on low speed until blended. Add the eggs, increase the speed to medium and blend until smooth. Reduce the speed to low, immediately add the buttermilk, and gradually bring the mixer up to high speed. Continue to mix until the batter is light and fluffy, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Stir in the bananas, vanilla, and pecans just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
- Bake the banana bread for 1 hour, 15 minutes, or until a knife or wooden skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the banana bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the pan and then carefully turn the loaf onto the wire rack. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. If serving the banana bread with cream cheese frosting—an act we heartily endorse—then let the banana bread cool completely before slicing. (Any leftover bread ought to be wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 5 days.)
To Roast BananasPreheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange the bananas in a row on the prepared baking sheet. Using a paring knife, make 6 small slits in the top side of each banana peel. Roast until the peels are black and bulging, with juices oozing from the vents you created prior to roasting, about 15 minutes for regular-size bananas. Remove from the oven and let the bananas cool completely on the pan. Hold one of the roasted bananas over a bowl and begin peeling the roasted banana. The flesh of the banana should fall out seamlessly. Holding the peel of the banana over the bowl, run your fingers or a spoon along the interior of the skins, as you would a squeegee down a window pane, to extract the caramelized juices. Mash the bananas in the bowl with a fork or a potato masher until no large clumps are visible.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
While this wasn’t my favorite banana bread ever, this was the best gluten-free banana bread I’ve ever eaten. The recipe is easy to follow and creates a texture to regular banana bread that’s nearly spot on— without requiring fun with molecular gastronomy to achieve the results. My co-workers were big fans, too.
We’re into muffins and cupcakes as they’re easy to store and a treat for the kids, so I made these as muffins, using King Arthur gluten-free flour mix. I roasted the bananas (as well as the pecans), and found that the roasted bananas made the flavor jump, and also sweetened the bread quite a bit. For future reference, I think 3/4 cup of sugar would be better for me. I froze the rest of the muffins so I can have them for longer than the five days. I am new to gluten-free baking, and this was a good choice.
WOW! As one who has friends and family who are gluten intolerant, I’m always on the the search for what I call “crossover recipes,” AKA food that I can serve that will delight all of my guests—those without allergies and those with sensitivities included. This recipe is fabulous.
Originally published April 06, 2020