Confession: With the exception of slice and bake cookies and helping my mom out when I was younger (read: getting in the way and licking the beaters), I have never baked anything from scratch.
The day before Thanksgiving I was feeling adventurous and decided to try out Mina’s Purely Divine Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix and make a dessert for Turkey Day. I knew I would need an easy recipe for my first baking attempt, so I flipped through the Lagasse Girls’ cookbook, The Gluten-Free Table, to find a dessert that I thought I could tackle. I settled on their recipe for Grandma Cabral’s Banana Bread.
I braved the grocery store at 4 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving and somehow managed to be in and out faster than a normal trip. Feeling like this was a good start to my baking adventure, I headed home, pulled out my ingredients and got started. The recipe was easy enough and I had a lot of fun with the preparations. With the exception of putting my handheld mixer on too fast of a setting and subsequently getting covered in gluten-free baking mix, everything went smoothly and I was excited to see how the Lagasse Girls’ recipe would turn out.
With all my ingredients mixed and ready to go, I poured the batter into my loaf pan, popped it into the oven and anxiously waited the 1 ½ hours for it to be finished.
Once the bread passed the “toothpick test,” I pulled it out and was super happy with the way it looked. I let it cool, wrapped it up and brought it with me to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving dessert. I only told my parents that it was gluten-free because I was curious to see if anyone in my family would recognize the difference.
When it was time for dessert, everyone grabbed a slice of the bread and no one even asked if it was gluten-free! It was slightly denser than a gluten-containing dessert, but overall it had a great, moist texture. Somehow though, the bread was a little salty, but to be completely honest I’m not sure if I made a mistake with adding the salt to the mix or if the recipe calls for too much salt. From talking with the bakers in the family, it seems like halving the salt for the recipe would do the trick.
What I liked best about Mina’s mix was that it is super allergy-friendly. It’s manufactured in a dedicated gluten-free facility and has no corn, soy, dairy or eggs. Mina’s has a decent amount of other gluten-free baking products as well, with everything from cake mix to bread mix. I highly recommend giving their mixes a try for yourself. They can be easily ordered online at www.MinasGF.com.