The Ultimate Gluten Free Tea Bread with No Added Sugar

It is generally accepted that the amount of “added sugar” we consume should be limited. This is a challenge when doing gluten free baking as most recipes rely on “added sugar” for various reasons, including:

  • Adding Flavour,
  • Adding structure
  • Attracting and retaining moisture
  • Prolonging freshness

The recommended maximum daily amount of “added sugar” a 4-6 year old should have is 19 grams (5 teaspoons). Fortunately “intrinsic sugar” as found in fruit and vegetable is not included in the limit, nor is the sugar in dried fruit (although there is some debate over that).

I have now had several attempts at making a gluten free tea bread with no added sugar. This version is generally accepted as the best.

Tea Bread

Ingredients

  • 180 ml tea (traditional or fruit)
  • 200g sultanas (or other dried fruit)
  • 45 ml oil
  • ~300g of ripe bananas (I used 3)
  • 25g teff flour
  • 25g UK cornflour/US cornstarch
  • 60g GF flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • pinch of salt
  • 40g ground flax seeds (linseed)
  • 2 eggs beaten

Method

  • Put dried fruit and oil in a bowl, pour over hot tea, allow to cool.
  • Heat oven to 160 C fan (180 C conventional), prepare a 2lb/900g loaf tin (grease and line with parchment/greaseproof paper).
  • Blitz the banana in a food processor or mash with a fork.
  • Sieve flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, salt. Add the flax seeds. Stir well to ensure mixed.
  • Combine flour mixture, cooled fruit (including any excess liquid), mashed banana and beaten eggs to create a smooth thick batter.
  • Pour into lined loaf tin.
  • Bake for about 75 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the top starts to brown, cover with tin foil.
  • Cool in the tin, store in a cake tin or slice and freeze. Should keep for a few days – if not eaten.

Testing

I have tried this on the family both adults and children – it was very well received. The grown ups liked it for the texture and taste, the children just asked for seconds. So I am now calling this version “The Ultimate Gluten Free Tea Bread” and the bonus is there is no added sugar. I think I will be making this often.

Note

In hot weather this can start going mouldy in less than a week, so it is good idea to freeze any left overs.

Gluten Free Chocolate Mango Loaf – no added sugar

I have adapted my Chocolate Loaf, to use mango instead of pear, I have also adjusted ingredients so there is no added sugar (the original loaf used maple syrup – which does count as added sugar).

**Note having tasted it we decided it was ok – but the recipe needs work ***

Ingredients

  • 100g gluten free plain flour
  • 30g UK corn flour
  • 60g teff flour
  • 2 rounded tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp each of: gf Baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and xanthan gum
  • 60g ground flaxseeds
  • 200g ripe mango
  • 175g natural yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 70 ml vegetable oil
  • 50 ml milk

Method

  1. Heat the oven to fan 160 C (conventional 180 C )
  2. Grease a 2lb/900g loaf tin, and line with baking parchment/greaseproof paper
  3. Sieve the flours, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and xanthan, add the flax seeds and stir well.
  4. Blitz the mango to a puree. Then add to the flour mixture.
  5. Beating the flour mixture add all the other ingredients (one by one).
  6. Bake for 60 minutes, until the top is firm and springy. If it feels liquid inside it needs cooking longer – if necessary cover the top with foil to stop it over browning.

I used thawed frozen mango.

Testing

When the cake came out of the oven it had risen more than previous loaves.

The cake was definitely edible, but seemed more like a bread than a cake. I am not sure if it was the mango that didn’t add sweetness as other fruit does, or the complete lack of sugar. So the is going down as a version not to be made again!

Gluten Free Tea Bread No Added Sugar Take 2

Having made a gluten free tea bread with no added sugar. I decided to try and make it with slightly different ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 200 ml tea (traditional or fruit)
  • 200g currants/sultanas (or other dried fruit)
  • 45 ml oil
  • ~350g of ripe pears (I use 2)
  • 25g teff flour
  • 25g UK cornflour/US cornstarch
  • 60g GF flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • pinch of salt
  • 40g ground flax seeds (linseed)
  • 2 eggs beaten

Method

  • Put dried fruit and oil in a bowl, pour over hot tea, allow to cool.
  • Heat oven to 160 C fan (180 C conventional), prepare a 2lb/900g loaf tin (grease and line with parchment).
  • Blitz the pear including the skin, but not the core.
  • Sieve flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, salt. Add the flax seeds. Stir well to ensure mixed.
  • Combine flour mixture, cooled fruit (including any excess liquid), mashed banana and beaten eggs to create a smooth thick batter.
  • Pour into lined loaf tin.
  • Bake for about 65 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the top starts to brown, cover with tin foil.
  • Cool in the tin, store in a cake tin or slice and freeze. Should keep for about 1 week – if not eaten.

Testing

Just tried it – and quite acceptable – I suspect there was more tea than needed. Next time I’ll take that back to 180ml. The pear seemed to work well, not sure whether to try mixing with banana. I might also increase the quantity of flax seeds to about 60g.

Gluten Free Chocolate Loaf

Having read easy gluten free, I was introduced to new ingredients including ground flaxseeds, my local supermarket didn’t appear to have them, but I asked in Waitrose and was directed to the Free-From section – where I found Linwood’s at some £5.75 for 425g. I have since found out Waitrose sell Linseed (which is the same thing) for £2.25 for 500g, but that appears to not be milled – this needs more investigation…
I added some of these flaxseeds to my No Added Sugar Gluten Free Tea Bread, and then I decided to adapt one of the muffin recipes in the book (Blueberry Muffins) to a chocolate loaf. My recipe is quite a long way from the original, so here it is:

Ingredients

  • 130g gluten free plain flour
  • 60g teff flour
  • 2 rounded tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp each of: gf Baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and xanthan gum
  • 20g ground flaxseeds
  • 2 ripe pears ~ 170g peeled
  • 125g natural yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 70 ml vegetable oil
  • 70 ml maple syrup

Method

  1. Heat the oven to fan 160 C (conventional 180 C )
  2. Grease a 2lb/900g loaf tin, and line with baking parchment/greaseproof paper
  3. Sieve the flours, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and xanthan, add the flax seeds and stir well.
  4. Peel the pears and remove the centres, blitz. Then add to the flour mixture.
  5. Beating the flour mixture add all the other ingredients (one by one).
  6. Bake for 60 minutes, until the top is firm and springy. If it feels liquid inside it needs cooking longer – if necessary cover the top with foil to stop it over browning.

The bottle of maple syrup said it contained 63g sugar per 100g, so 70 ml probably contains ~100g added sugar. So it probably is ~5g added sugar for a child size slice. Maple syrup is not as bad as white sugar, but still it would be worth experimenting to see if this can be reduced.

I peeled the pears, but I think that it would be worth trying to blitz with the skins, the centres would still need removing.

Testing

I tried this with the family and everyone liked it. The little ones wolfed their slices down. A definite success.

Gluten Free Tea Bread No Added Sugar

Having made Gluten Free Tea Bread several times with a small amount of added sugar, I thought the time had come to try it with no added sugar. I had bought some ground flax seeds, and decided to try adding that instead of sugar, the mixture was a bit stiffer than usual so I added two tablespoons of milk.

Ingredients

  • 160 ml tea (traditional or fruit)
  • 220g currants/sultanas (or other dried fruit)
  • 45 ml oil
  • ~170g ripe bananas (1½ medium bananas)
  • 25g teff flour
  • 25g UK cornflour/US cornstarch
  • 60g GF flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • pinch of salt
  • 20g ground flax seeds (linseed)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tbsp milk

Method

  • Put dried fruit and oil in a bowl, pour over hot tea, allow to cool.
  • Heat oven to 160 C fan (180 C conventional), prepare a 2lb/900g loaf tin (grease and line with parchment).
  • Blitz the banana to mash (or mash with a fork).
  • Sieve flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, salt. Add the flax seeds. Stir well to ensure mixed.
  • Combine flour mixture, cooled fruit, mashed banana, beaten eggs and milk to create a smooth thick batter.
  • Pour into lined loaf tin.
  • Bake for about 65 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the top starts to brown, cover with tin foil.
  • Cool in the tin, store in a cake tin or slice and freeze. Should keep for about 1 week – if not eaten.

Testing

I have made two tea breads, one with this recipe and one with a small amount of added sugar. I am going to see if I can get the family to do a taste test. I’ll add their comments later.

My two loaf tins are not identical, but are similar sized 2lb/900g tins. The “no added sugar” version is the lighter coloured one on the right. They were cooked together in a fan oven.

Comments from testers (added 16/4/2019)

The family liked both tea breads, and there were no adverse comments. The children were still asking for it after both had run out.

However I thought the version without any sugar was less moist than the one with. I am going to tweak ingredients in an effort to improve.

Gluten Free Tea Bread Later attempts

This is a revised recipe I have tried several times, and all loaves where eaten with no complaints. I have reduced the sugar to 20g, and used more banana ~170g – depending what is in the fruit bowl that is about one and a half bananas. Once when we had some pears going soft I used them instead and that worked fine.

Ingredients

  • 160 ml tea (traditional or fruit)
  • 220g currants/sultanas (or other dried fruit)
  • 20g brown sugar
  • 45 ml oil
  • ~170g ripe bananas (1½ medium bananas)
  • 25g teff flour
  • 25g UK cornflour/US cornstarch
  • 60g GF flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs beaten

Method

  • Put dried fruit, sugar and oil in a bowl, pour over hot tea, allow to cool.
  • Heat oven to 160 C fan, prepare a 2lb/900g loaf tin (grease and line with parchment).
  • Blitz the banana to mash (or mash with a fork).
  • Sieve flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, salt. Stir well to ensure mixed.
  • Combine flour mixture, cooled fruit, mashed banana and beaten eggs to create a smooth thick batter.
  • Pour into lined loaf tin.
  • Bake for about 65 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the top starts to brown, cover with tin foil.
  • Cool in the tin, store in a cake tin or slice and freeze. Should keep for about 1 week – if not eaten.

This version has 20g of added sugar, which is about 1g for a child sized slice.

Gluten Free Tea Bread Third attempt

This is a revised recipe I have tried. It was a definite success with everyone who tried it. My husband thought it was similar to the original tea bread – but welcomed further experiments. Mr 4 and Mr 1 both ate their slices with gusto.

Ingredients

  • 160 ml tea (traditional or fruit)
  • 220g currants/sultanas (or other dried fruit)
  • 40g brown sugar
  • 45 ml oil
  • ~100g ripe bananas (1 medium banana)
  • 25g teff flour
  • 25g UK cornflour/US cornstarch
  • 60g GF flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs beaten

Method

  • Put dried fruit, sugar and oil in a bowl, pour over hot tea, allow to cool.
  • Heat oven to 160 C fan, prepare a 2lb/900g loaf tin (grease and line with parchment).
  • Blitz the banana to mash (or mash with a fork).
  • Sieve flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, salt. Stir well to ensure mixed.
  • Combine flour mixture, cooled fruit, mashed banana and beaten eggs to create a smooth thick batter.
  • Pour into lined loaf tin.
  • Bake for about 65 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the top starts to brown, cover with tin foil.
  • Cool in the tin, store in a cake tin or slice and freeze. Should keep for about 1 week – if not eaten.

This version had a larger banana so I reduced the sugar to 40g. The children accepted very thin slices so they had less 2g added sugar per slice. Next time I will try more banana (or dates)and less sugar.

Gluten Free Tea Bread Second attempt

This is the revised recipe I have tried. It is close to my traditional tea bread and I am pleased with the texture.

Ingredients

  • 160 ml tea (traditional or fruit)
  • 220g currants/sultanas (or other dried fruit)
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 45 ml oil
  • ~80g ripe bananas (1 small banana)
  • 50g teff flour
  • 60g GF flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg beaten

Method

  • Put dried fruit, sugar and oil in a bowl, pour over hot tea, allow to cool.
  • Heat oven to 160 C fan, prepare a 2lb/900g loaf tin (grease and line with parchment).
  • Blitz the banana to mash (or mash with a fork).
  • Sieve flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, salt. Stir well to ensure mixed.
  • Combine flour mixture, cooled fruit, mashed banana and beaten egg to create a smooth thick batter.
  • Pour into lined loaf tin.
  • Bake for about 60 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the top starts to brown, cover with tin foil.
  • Cool in the tin, store in a cake tin or slice and freeze. Should keep for about 1 week – if not eaten.

I got 16 slices from this loaf – meaning there is ~3g added sugar per slice.

For my next experiment I want to try reducing the sugar – maybe omitting altogether. I also want to try using dates instead of banana.

Edited later

I froze some of this cake and yesterday tried it with family.

The children ate it all up.

The grown ups later discussed the quality, and the general view was it was too crumbly. It was like that before I froze it – so a result of the bake. There was a divided view about whether the level of moisture – some preferring the amount in the first experiment and some preferring the one. I have searched the Internet and there appears to be three possible solutions to the crumb problem:

  • Adding Xanthan gum – but I am already using that.
  • Adding more egg
  • Using starch (such as what we in the UK call Cornflour – Corn Starch in the US)

So before reducing the sugar significantly I think I should try replacing some of the flour with cornflour and/or using more egg.

Gluten Free Tea Bread First attempt

Having tried a few recipes recently I wanted to try and make a GF Tea Bread with less added sugar.

The resulting tea bread was quite edible – but definitely too moist. I hadn’t realised that it was possible to get OK GF bakes that are too moist so that in itself is a success.

Mr 4 requested no orange bits next time – so no mixed peel.

My aim next time is to keep the sugar low but make the mixture less moist. Maybe a cross between this and Victoria Hall’s ‘Malt’ Loaf recipe

Ingredients

~250g ripe bananas (1 1/2 large bananas)

160 ml tea traditional or fruit

200g currants/sultanas (or other dried fruit)

25g mixed peel

50g brown sugar

45 ml oil

50g ground almonds

60 g GF flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

pinch of salt

1 egg beaten

Method

Prepare a 2lb/900g loaf tin (grease and line with parchment)

Heat oven to 160 C fan

Blitz the bananas to mash

Heat dried fruit (not bananas), tea, sugar and oil in a large pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Sieve ground almonds, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthin gum, salt. Stir well to ensure mixed.

Combine flours, cooled fruit, mashed banana and beaten egg to create a smooth thick batter.

Pour into lined loaf tin.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the top starts to brown, cover with tin foil.

Gluten Free Boiled Fruit Cake

My friend gave me a recipe for a GF boiled fruit cake. I followed the recipe exactly and the cake produced was well received – it was delicious and moist. The quantity gave a 9″ round cake (8″ square) The ingredients called for 160g sugar, and the cake would easily serve 16 adult portions, the grandchildren were given smaller slices so the cake is 5-10g added sugar per serving.

I am thinking of trying halving the sugar and adding some dates (cooked and blitzed, like in the ‘malt’ loaf), but I certainly want to keep that delicious moist taste.