If there’s one thing that should be engraved on my tombstone, it’s this: Olivia Jakiel, Best Banana Bread Baker Both Sides Of The Mississippi™.
It’s what all my dating app bios say, what my coworkers tell me, and of course, what my mom brags about to her friends.
Another thing you should know about me is that I am an equal opportunity bread consumer. I freakin’ love ALL bread. Baguettes, croissants, white bread, marble bread, sourdough bread, bread rolls, hot dog buns, cinnamon raisin bread, focaccia bread, Olive Garden breadsticks; you put it in front of me, I’ll devour it. Challah at yo’ girl.
So imagine my utter disdain for life when I recently found out I am gluten intolerant. I generally stick to a low-carb diet (read: meat and veggies) and cook almost every meal myself, so I wasn’t getting sick on a daily basis, but I had noticed a pattern of getting violently ill after consuming anything with flour, wheat, etc. I saw my doctor, and she confirmed the bad news, and my first thought was, It’s the end of the world as I know it. No more fresh-baked bread, no more fun in the kitchen, no more gluttonous days of literally baking a loaf of bread for the sole purpose of eating all by myself.
I absolutely love cooking and making up my own recipes, and I’ve really gotten into baking the past year or so. Banana bread was my first venture into homemade dessert breads from scratch, so it holds a very special place in my heart. I started with a basic recipe I found online, and after a few trial-and-error runs, I perfected my own version of banana bread, along with a ton of variations as well. I’ve even perfected savory quick breads, which, if you haven’t made zucchini, bacon, cheddar, and jalapeño bread, what the heck are you doing with your life?
However, since my gluten sensitivity diagnosis, I have yet to attempt to make a gluten-free version of my famous banana bread; mostly because I’m afraid it won’t live up to the original version. With the holidays right around the corner, though, I figured this would be the perfect time to test my gluten-free baking skills and try making a loaf of delicious, gluten-free banana bread.