There is a new bakery in New Westminster, BC that caters to those of us who have to, or wish to eat gluten-free. Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery also sells its all purpose gluten-free baking mix in retail packaging for baking at home. Unlike many of the mixes I have looked at, Cloud 9 adds high-fiber buckwheat flour to its mix, which is a positive step away from most GF mixes made up solely of rice flour, tapioca and potato starches. Cloud 9 also include xanthan gum in their mix, which saves having to remember to add this critical component of GF baking. The darker colour and interesting flavour of buckwheat flour is perfectly suited to this old recipe of my Mom's, so I decided the timing was right to try the cup-for-cup substitution claim to convert yet another family tradition. And it worked beautifully - the loaf was delicious, the texture light and it rose in the pan just like the original used to do. I am sold...
This recipe is oil free, and vegan with the substitutes I use.
I have discovered some amazing California (sour) dried apricots at Galloway's Specialty Foods. They are quite tart and I love them in this loaf.
Mom's original recipe called for white granulated sugar. I really prefer this cane sugar - it gives the loaf a crispy brown crust and tastes wonderful.
Gluten-Free Apricot Loaf
1 ½ cups California sour* or Turkish dried apricots, cut into halves or thirds
1 cup water
Bring apricots and water to boil in small saucepan, turn heat down to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Drain any liquid that remains.
Sift together in a bowl:
2 ½ cups Cloud 9 Gluten-Free Baking Mix ™
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. sea salt
1 cup Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar
1 beaten egg or egg replacer
1 ½ cups milk or replacement of your choice (I use almond milk)
Fold in apricots and ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts. The batter should be medium-thick without being dense. Add more flour if you think it is too runny or a bit more milk if it is too thick.
Pour into 8”x4” lightly greased and floured loaf pan and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Test with food thermometer to make sure it registers 200° in the center of the loaf.
Turn out of pan to cool on a rack.
Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery here
Diane Zwickel lives and knits in South Surrey, B.C. Canada