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You can do this using donf-editor.

Make sure you have dconf-editor installed: sudo apt-get install dconf-editor

Then open dconf-editor, and navigate to: org -> gnome -> desktop -> background

Once there, you can change the value of "picture-options" to "stretched" or whatever you want, using a popup menu. While there you can change other settings like the background color.

It's a bit cumbersome but at least it's a way to do it via some kind of UI. I honestly don't understand why the Gnome project removed so many necessary features from its main settings.