I’ve been experimenting more with wholegrain flour blends lately, using different combinations and ratios of wholegrain flours and starches to find my families preference for flavours and textures. There are so many different wholegrain gluten free flours available and they all have their own unique characteristics. I think I will always be learning about flour blends. But with all experimentation, there also comes trial and error, not to mention a lot of patience. I have lost count with how many inedible and barely edible baking flops I’ve had over the years. But with each baking flop, I’ve learnt an important lesson of what will and won’t work.
When developing a recipe, it is really important to take notes of exactly what ingredients and method you used. Write down any flaws, you feel were relevant for example too dry/crumbly, too moist, flavour is too strong etc. That way when you re-make the recipe again, you can make the changes required, whether it’s adding in a little more xanthan gum, increasing or decreasing the fat content or substituting with another flour etc.
I use a folder which I keep the different recipes I’m working on. Each recipe has its own plastic sleeve which I keep all the relevant notes, from the first time I attempted to make it and all the other pieces of paper with changes I’ve made since. When I re-make a recipe, I make one change to it each time, so I know if that change worked or not.
I did have a couple of issues with this loaf sinking and being sticky in the middle after it had cooled down, even though the skewer seemed to come out clean when I tested it. I’ve made this fruit loaf quite a few times and each time I had to tweak the recipe slightly to improve on the texture. I know an hour and 15 minutes seems like a very long time to bake this loaf, but it really does need that amount of time to properly cook all the way through.
We’re all enjoying this fruit loaf (except our youngest) for either breakfast or morning tea. It’s not too sweet and has a delicious light orange flavour, which works so well with the wholegrain flours and apricots, and the walnuts give it a lovely crunch. I choose to use organic sulphur free apricots, which is why they are dark brown in colour, instead of the usual bright orange.
Once the loaf is completely cool, cut it into fairy thick slices and individually wrap each slice in plastic wrap before freezing. I am very pleased with how well this fruit loaf freezes and defrosts.
Update: This recipe now includes ounce and cup measurements. To make the conversions easier I have increased the sugar by 4 grams and the tapioca starch by 2 grams and I have reduced the potato starch by 1 gram. For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.
175g (6.2 ounces or a heaped ¾ cup) dried sulphur free apricots
1 large orange
75g (2.6 ounces or a scant ½ cup) raisins
154g (5.4 ounces or ¾ cup minus 1 tablespoon) golden/raw caster sugar
100ml (6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons) coconut oil, liquefied
2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
50g (1.8 ounces or ⅓ cup) sorghum flour
50g (1.8 ounces or ⅓ cup) millet flour
50g (1.8 ounces or ⅓ cup) buckwheat flour
49g (1.7 ounces or ⅓ cup minus 1 tablespoon) potato starch
32g (1.1 ounces or ¼ cup) tapioca starch
25g (0.9 ounces or 2 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons) teff flour
16g (0.6 ounces or 2 tablespoons) sweet rice flour
2 teaspoons (10ml) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) xanthan gum
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) salt
50g (1.8 ounces or a scant ½ cup) roughly chopped walnuts
Place the apricots in a bowl and cover with lukewarm water and soak for 30 minutes, drain and roughly chop.
Preheat the oven to 160C, then grease and line a box sided loaf pan with baking paper or parchment. The size of my loaf pan was 23 x 12 x 7cm (9 x 4¾ x 2¾ inches). Tear off a piece of paper that is large enough to extend about 3cm-4cm up both sides of the pan.
Using a micro-plane grater, remove the zest from the orange, squeeze the juice from it once peeled and add enough hot water to make it 175ml.
In a large bowl, add the apricots, raisins, zest and pour over the orange juice.
Now stir in the sugar, oil and the lightly beaten eggs, before setting aside.
In another bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. Fold half of the flour into the apricot mixture until combined, before you add the rest of the flour. Now stir through the roughly chopped walnuts. This is quite a thick batter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth over the surface with a spatula. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Wait until the loaf is completely cool before cutting.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse
Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.
Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8