Spiced Peach and Carrot Bread (GF)

Although rare, Houston has experienced a bit of rain this week. We have been in an awful drought and desperately needed the rain. In lieu of the stormy weather, Charley and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to stay indoors and finally bake the Spiced Peach and Carrot Bread we had been talking about. We had seen this recipe in the July issue of Cooking Light magazine and ripped it out for a later date; this rainy day.

A day doesn’t go by without my mind wondering about Charleston and what my friends are up to in my faraway second-home. I found this recipe even more appropriate since it won first place in the side-dish category in South Carolina’s 2009 Annual Peach-Off contest.

Both my mom and I recently had to adjust our diets to gluten and wheat-free. We adjusted the recipe accordingly, using King Arthur’s AP gluten-free flour and xanthan gum. The bread could not have come out more perfect! I totally forgot it was gluten-free and we gobbled up every morsel of the first loaf within 24 hours. Guilty.

Spiced Peach-Carrot Bread
. 3/4 cup chopped pecans
. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (*GF flour + 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
. 1 cup sugar
. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
. 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
. 1/2 teaspoon salt
. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
. 1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped fresh, ripe peaches (buy local if you can!)
. 3/4 cup freshly grated carrots
. 2/3 cup vegetable oil
. 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool 15 minutes.
2. Stir together flour and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl; add peaches, next 4 ingredients, and toasted pecans, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.
3. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
** We used 2 smaller loaf pans and baked for 50-55 minutes **

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