When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Gluten-Free Lemon Coconut Loaf

Yesterday I decided it was time to use those lemons I got on sale.  I referred to “125 Best Gluten-Free Recipes” by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt.  As I have mentioned in other articles, I’m not a baker.  I don’t want to be a baker.  I in fact loathe the complexity, chaos and clean-up associated with baking.  With that said, being wheat and 15 other foods intolerant, I have to bake if I am going to have anything to snack on other than what has become my favorite food:  ice.

The Glazed Lemon Coconut Loaf recipe can be found on page 71 in the quick bread section.  I have been experimenting with quick bread recipes, and although this is not as nutritionally beneficial as I would like, so far it is my favorite because a) by the light and moist consistency you cannot tell it is gluten-free; b) it didn’t require a pre-made “gluten-free flour mix;” and c) it uses simple ingredients, allowing bakers to add nutritional ingredients without drastically altering the outcome to the negative.  In an attempt to reduce the sugar content, I halved the amount of sugar and elected not to make the glaze.  Because of that, I probably should have reduced the amount of lemon zest, but it’s still tasty.  My quest, however, may be different than yours – I’m just looking for a quick in-between-meals snack in case my stomach starts to growl.  I’m not in the market for sweets.  Next time I plan to add walnuts or pecans and more coconut.  I can even imagine blueberries or chopped apples working well with this recipe.

Ingredients for the Lemon Coconut Loaf

Ingredients for the Lemon Coconut Loaf

 Glazed Lemon Coconut Loaf

Preheat oven to 350 (please see note below).  Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup            brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup       potato starch
  • ¼ cup          tapioca starch
  • 1 cup            granulated sugar (I used ½ cup raw, organic sugar)
  • 1-1/2 tsp     xantham gum
  • 1 tbsp           GF baking powder (Clabber Girl is GF)
  • ¼ tsp           salt
  • 2 tbsp           lemon zest
  • ¾ cup          unsweetened coconut(reduce sugar 2 tbsp if sweetened)
  • ¾ cup          milk
  • ¼ cup          vegetable oil
  • 2                     eggs
  • ¼ cup          freshly squeezed lemon juice

 Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup           GF sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ cup         freshly squeezed lemon juice

 Note:  I keep the flours and starches in the refrigerator.  The two starches tend to come out in clumps and can be hard to measure.  I have learned to pour more than what I need into the measuring cup and then spoon the overage back into the container.  Otherwise it can get somewhat frustrating and very messy.

 In a large bowl, stir together brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, zest and coconut.  Set aside.

  1. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer or whisk (I used a whisk), beat milk, oil and eggs until combined.  Add lemon juice while mixing.  Pour milk mixture over dry ingredients and stir just until combined (a spatula will work).  Spoon into prepared pan.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  (This, I believe, is one reason why the bread is so light.  Don’t skip this step.  Preheat your oven now).
  2. Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes or until a cake tester (I used a toothpick) inserted in the center comes out clean.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare Lemon Glaze.  In a small bowl, stir together confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice.  With a wooden skewer, poke several holes through the hot loaf as soon as it is removed from the oven.  Spoon the glaze over the hot loaf.  Let the loaf cool in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes.  Remove from the pan and let cool completely on a rack.

The authors list a variation of substituting orange juice and zest for a sweeter and milder flavored loaf.  I may try that next time. 

Lemon Coconut Loaf, Right out of the Oven!

Lemon Coconut Loaf, Right out of the Oven!

I have to say, out of all the GF recipes I have tried so far, this takes the cake.  (Okay, sorry, really bad pun).  There was no labor intensive creaming butter or heavy batter, clean up was a breeze, there were no leftover ingredients (partial cans or flour mixes) and it tastes great.  I will definitely make this again.

Footnote:  If you still have lemons left over, you can try the Lemon Garlic Chicken recipe on page 110 of “the Best Gluten-Free Family Cookbook” also by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt.  It’s a simple recipe using common ingredients found in non GF homes.  I marinated for a lot longer than they recommend and the chicken came out tasty and extremely tender. 

For other Gluten-Free cooking and lifestyle tips, check out www.celiacchicks.com

K.S. Brooks is a guest blogger for celiacchicks.com, a novelist and photographer.  ©2009

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