Fall somehow compels me to cook, bake and consume pumpkin. My friend Kellie (aka Zeb) is also a pumpkin lover, but cannot tolerate gluten. While catching up on one of my fav food blogs, I spied a recipe for pumpkin biscotti–and a grand culinary convergence occured in my kitchen! In the back of my mind, I remembered a gluten-free flour mix that could be substituted one-for-one in place of wheat flour….I just knew I could use it and make the pumpkin biscotti gluten-free!
First, I needed to make the flour blend. In Gluten Free and Easy, the author, Robyn Russell shared a blend she spent years developing: 2 cups white rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch (produces a tender, moist crumb), and 1/3 cup tapioca flour (lends a springy texture, promotes browning and makes a crispy crust). I made a double batch and stored it in a canister.
You can find the ingredients for the rice flour blend at natural foods stores and larger supermarkets. While you’re there, pick up some xanthan gum (pricy but goes a long way); it’s a great gluten substitute–holding particles together in baked goods, and helps keep them moist. (NOTE: I’ve been told Natural Grocers Bulk flours are made in a facility that also processes flour with gluten. If you have a high level of gluten intolerance, be sure the flours you select are clearly marked gluten-free.)
- 2 1/2 cups rice flour blend
- 1/2 cup almond flour (the inspiration recipe used 3 cups of whole wheat flour, I wanted to get some of that whole-wheat nuttiness and texture, so instead of substituting one-for-one, I used almond flour for part.)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie filling.)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped (The original recipe had walnuts; Mom just sent me fresh pecans from New Mexico, so I just had to use some!)
Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
Add rice flour blend, almond flour, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, cloves and ginger to the bowl of a mixer (or large mixing bowl). Mix until thoroughly combined.
Add eggs, vanilla and pumpkin puree. Mix well.
Add pecans and continue mixing for a few minutes, scraping down the blade as needed, to be sure pecans are distributed evenly and the batter/dough has an even texture.
Using your hands, form the dough into a loaf on the baking sheet (think biscotti in your head for the proper width). The dough will be sticky, and your loaf will not be perfect. No problem–the biscotti will be yummy! I promise!
Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and firm in the middle. Cool for 15 minutes.
Transfer loaf to a cutting board, and using a serrated knife, cut 3/4 inch slices. Lay them on their sides and return to the baking sheet. Reduce temperature to 300F and bake an additional 30 minutes or so–until they are as dry as you like, and golden brown. Flip them over about half-way through the baking time.
(I cut off the rounded ends of the two end pieces so they would lay flat and ate them….shhhhh!) Your kitchen will be smelling all pumpkin-spicy wonderful!
Cool completely on wire racks. This will also help dry the biscotti.
Now. Go put on your flannel jammies (you know, your favorites–the ones with the cowboys on ’em) and a big pair of wooly socks. Pad on out to the kitchen and brew yourself a cuppa; maybe sprinkle it with a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. Set out some of these yummy biscotti. Dip. Crunch. Sip. Yummy! Not too sweet, nice texture, just the thing with your coffee.
Pack some up and share the taste of fall with your pumpkin-loving friends; maybe drizzle them with melted white chocolate?! I’ll be making these again soon–they’re super easy and don’t seem to last long!