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101 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book out there
I'm not a celiac, but I am allergic to wheat, so for many years, I have sought out gluten-free recipes for the breads and pastries I've been deprived of. After trying countless recipes turning out crumbly cookies, hard, dry bread, and odd-tasting pastries, I found Gluten-Free Baking by Rebecca Reilly, the best book out there. The results of these recipes taste as good...
Published on May 10, 2002 by ramblin

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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Treats for Special Occasions Only
I bought this book because it was so highly recommended by others I met on a gluten-free trip - and there are breakfast treats I may try when the family comes to visit (muffins, scones, coffee cakes, etc.). Lots of elaborate desserts too, which I might try for a pot-luck if I ever get tried of baking cheesecakes or carrot cake. But that's all the cookbook gives you...
Published on February 28, 2008 by SJP


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101 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book out there, May 10, 2002
By 
ramblin (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
I'm not a celiac, but I am allergic to wheat, so for many years, I have sought out gluten-free recipes for the breads and pastries I've been deprived of. After trying countless recipes turning out crumbly cookies, hard, dry bread, and odd-tasting pastries, I found Gluten-Free Baking by Rebecca Reilly, the best book out there. The results of these recipes taste as good as (no kidding) the ones served at a high-end pastry shop.
No wonder, since the author was trained not only at Le Cordon Bleu, but also at Le Notre Patissier, the leading pastry school. She has the experience of running her own restaurant, cafe, and catering businesses as well as teaching others how to cook. She'd been exploring gluten-free baking for her clientele even before her son and daughter were diagnosed as celiacs! All these credentials add up to a well-tested, easy-to-understand, and enlightening collection of recipes. But the highest recommendation comes from my wheat-eating friends, who really DON'T realize that anything is missing or "weird" about these treats, something they've never been able to say about my past efforts, despite claims by the authors of those recipes that they'd never tell the difference.
Reilly's training allows her to explain how certain classic baking techniques can provide air and lightness to gluten-free recipes, which can otherwise suffer from the density of particular alternative ingredients. She reveals which ingredients can create elasticity and provide structure in lieu of gluten, so that readers can feel empowered knowing not only how to make these recipes, but also why they work. I gained so much confidence in baking that I even made the scrumptious Black Forest Cake, a labor I probably wouldn't have even attempted in my wheat-eating days. (By the way, it's totally worth the effort.) Amazingly, the recipes range from the simplest brownies to baklava, so there's something for all palates and skill levels.
With all due respect to Bette Hagman, author of The Gluten-Free Gourmet books and an undisputed pioneer in the gluten-free quest, I would love to see Reilly's take on yeast breads as well as on gluten-free cooking. I think there's enough of the gluten-free pie to go around, and all of us in the wheat-free community (and our friends) would benefit.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Celiacs rejoice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, October 15, 2003
By A Customer
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Yahoo!! FINALLY (and I mean finally), a book that makes eating a gluten-free diet a pleasure, instead of a chore. For those who have a real dietary threat due to wheat, and other gluten grains, this is a book that will give you some ability to have some control in what you eat, rather than be a slave to labels as well as remove fears from the unknown food. First of all, it looks like a regular cookbook instead of the usual anemic-looking, bland, thin-spined books that are out there; it looks like any other cookbook out on the store shelves. The colorful photography of the finished recipes make them look as good as they taste. With that in mind, the "Boston Creme Pie" should be your first recipe. For someone who has had to look at others enjoy "flour" desserts (cakes, pastries, cookies, etc.) while having yet another slice of fruit or an incredibly boring ricecake, this was a gift from heaven. And I believe that knowing that both the author, and her children, have this food intolerance, makes you believe in the cookbook even more. Add to the fact that she is a highly trained culinary chef, and you know that you have purchased the right book. I've only gotten to a couple of recipes, but this will become my bible for having some semblance of a normal diet. And Chef Reilly has made the effort and knowledge needed to create these dishes, incredibly easy and simple to follow. The information is all there. So, for all those celiacs who want to enjoy this part of life, open the book, pick a dish, and savor every bite!!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Treats for Special Occasions Only, February 28, 2008
By 
SJP (Eastern Panhandle, WV) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gluten-Free Baking: More Than 125 Recipes for Delectable Sweet and Savory Baked Goods, Including Cakes, Pies, Quick Breads, Muffins, Cookies, and Other Delights (Paperback)
I bought this book because it was so highly recommended by others I met on a gluten-free trip - and there are breakfast treats I may try when the family comes to visit (muffins, scones, coffee cakes, etc.). Lots of elaborate desserts too, which I might try for a pot-luck if I ever get tried of baking cheesecakes or carrot cake. But that's all the cookbook gives you. The chapters cover breakfast treats, cookies, cakes, icings, pies and tarts, puddings and cobblers, and cream puffs and crepes, and that's it - none of the day-to-day, like biscuits and corn bread and pizza crusts and such. (OK, she does suggest using a scone dough for pizza, baked in a parchment-lined pizza pan. It's that kind of book.) Lots of butter and other ingredients (like heavy cream) I try to avoid too - the non-celiac in the house is on a low-fat diet and we both try to eat sensibly. I still haven't decided whether to hold on to it or give it to a newly diagnosed fellow celiac who is still trying to gain weight. Fortunately I also own Annalise Roberts' book - Gluten-Free Baking Classics - which has the basic day-to-day along with the breakfast and other sweet stuff (everything I've tried has been fabulous, from the carrot cake to the cornbread to the first really good bread - her French Italian bread - I've been able to make in 15 years of gluten-free cooking). If I ever get bored with that book, I might learn to appreciate this one. It does seem to have more recipes in each category - and if you already have the basics covered and are looking for a variety of more elaborate treats to try, it might be the book for you.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, October 21, 2005
Rebecca Reilly is a Cordon Bleu trained chef. She used to be the owner of two restaurants, a catering business and a cooking school, all in Portland, Maine. She has also received a diploma from Madeleine Kamman's Modern Gourmet Cooking School in Boston. She was also the host the television series New England Kitchen. Upon the discovery that she and her daughters are gluten-intolerant, she became a private caterer and a nutritional consultant.

One of the major reasons why I liek this book so much is that Rebecca Reilly is a trained chef. She understands the basic science behind a recipe, the texture one is looking for, and is able to troubleshoot to find the required results she needs. This, coupled with her and her daughters' gluten intolerance, make her the ideal person to write a cookbook on Gluten-Free Baking.

There are some delicious photos of some of the baked goods that you can produce by following this book. The recipes are easy-to-understand, and Reilly provides sufficient information on the suitable substitutions for wheat flour. She, also, wants you to feel creative and independent once you are armed with the knowledge on how to bake for yourself.

Some of the wonderful recipes you can find in this book are: Blueberry Scones, Boston Cream Pie, Almond Butter Cookies and Black Forest Cake.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet tooth?, September 23, 2006
This book is full of information, great pictures and recipes for some baked goods no one else has attempted.

However, I have found a couple recipes that are not good at all (the scone pizza crust was awful and did not work as she printed it (I do believe there may have been an omission of xanthan gum in the recipe).

The raspberry muffins are great, but I modified the recipe substantially to add extra nutrition and did not use sweetened coconut. Same goes for the apple muffins- yum.

I have made many of the recipes including the creme puffs/eclairs which turned out fabulous. My whole family ate all of them in one sitting... some of us hadn't had a creme puff in years. The blueberry scones are also quite tasty ( I cut out some of the sugar) and look and taste much like a "real" scone. The pudding is delicious (again I cut out some of the sugar and used vanilla bean instead of the extract). Her pie crust turns out well too. It is a pity there are no bread recipes. It would be nice to see what she would come up with.

This is a wonderful addition to your library, even though it has a couple kinks in it. Definitely recommended.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely a God-send, February 8, 2006
I love this book. It gave me such hope when I was first diagnosed four years ago. I held it to my heart and rejoiced. Up to that point I thought I was doomed to a pretty boring culinary life. This book really helped me to learn how to make wonderful gluten free desserts for my family. I am celiac, and I also have a celiac son and daughter who LOVE anything I make from this book - as do any non-celaic family and friends.

Some people remark that the items taste "too sweet" - really they are made to resemble traditional recipes when you need them They don't shriek "health food"! I love health food - but where does a celiac go when you sometimes want something absolutely delicious - for a treat or a special event? This book opens up the possibilities. Rebecca still looks healthy and trim - and she is a mother of two kids - so she must have found a balance somewhere. Sometimes when things are DELICIOUS you don't need or want to overeat them. Also most of her recipes use brown rice flour in her blends - so that is pretty healthy. In other words - in traditonal recipes you could never get this good flavor if you used whole wheat flour - but she gets a refined taste while using a healthy dose of brown rice flour.

I learned the deeper secrets of good gluten free bakig from this book. I now experiment - but i also use her recipes 'straight up'. I also sometimes use stevia whne I want to cut back on sugar in recipes. The trick is to only replace some of the sweetener with stevia - even up to 75%. Then use "normal" sweetener for the rest, and you won't get the bitter after taste of stevia.

Finally - it gave me heart that her introduction was not some long lament on "what celiac can do to you" but rather it was a lovely chapter on her love of cooking and its place in a joyful home.

Thank you Rebecca Reilly...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best!, March 13, 2002
By 
"sahme" (ME United States) - See all my reviews
My son is allergic to gluten and two others of us in the family are sensitive to it. For the past year I have purchased many cookbooks and the most difficult task for me has been to bake muffins, cakes, cookies which were appealing to my son. Though several books were very good, this one is the best! I have made three recipes so far and they are all hits in this family. My son is also allergic to eggs and so far none of the recipes rely as heavily on eggs and other GF cookbooks. The book is also informative and her list of resources is invaluable!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important to have despite drawbacks, August 8, 2010
By 
jumpy1 (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gluten-Free Baking: More Than 125 Recipes for Delectable Sweet and Savory Baked Goods, Including Cakes, Pies, Quick Breads, Muffins, Cookies, and Other Delights (Paperback)
As some of the reviewers mentioned there are some duds in this book. The oil crust, for one, was awful. As was the plum coffee cake -- I wonder if every recipe was actually tested. The way she gushed over the coffee cake and how horrible it actually was, it makes no sense! And my GF desserts are known around as being excellent -- clearly some of these reviews on Amazon are from people who tried one recipe and it worked so they wrote a 5-star review talking about how Ms. Reilly went to the Cordon Bleu -- well, credentials mean nothing to me when I'm brushing my teeth to get rid of the taste and texture it leaves behind and destroying all traces of the rest so no one eats it inadvertently! And some of the cookies/muffins are just amateur compared to Annalise Roberts. So, why the 3 stars? When I started cooking GF over 2 years ago I found Annalise Roberts's books to be the ones to produce the most gourmet results. But also found that they rely heavily on the starches and lacked the nutritional content of baked goods with gluten flours. 20 lbs larger, I stopped baking! But I still couldn't bear to give up muffins etc. So I revisited Rebecca Reilly's Gluten-Free Baking recently in search of recipes with higher protein and found them - she does use less starch in a lot of her recipes as well as soy flour, almond flour etc. So far I can recommend her banana breads and pumpkin cookies, and am at least glad to be learning more about making higher-nutrition GF baked goods. After all, the more you know about what doesn't work, the more you know about what does, right?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100+ recipes for baked goods for gluten-intolerant dieters, April 11, 2002
Over 100 recipes for baked goods for gluten-intolerant dieters presents a wealth of information for those who struggle to balance the desire for baked goods with an allergy to gluten. Recipes call for different types of flours, from almond flour and potato starch to flax meal: usually all that's needed is access to a good health food store to successfully reproduce these baked goods.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book RETURNS the JOY of Baking to the GF House!, April 19, 2005
By 
Kate Chan "Kate" (Pacific Northwest) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Oh how my husband and I *love* to bake and cook together. Until six years ago, when I was diagnosed with CD and we both went GF (the whole house is GF). We struggled with the dense and pasty doughs, breads, muffins, pancakes, and pastas. I had practically given up on decent tasting foods and had fallen in a depression and withrdrawal. I began sticking only to heavy foods (meats, etc) that satisfied my hunger, but have done nothing for my health or happiness. When this book showed up, I was doubtful. But her credentials, explanations, recipes, and FAITH in GF cooking turned that all around. THANK YOU FOR THIS EXCELLENT RECIPE BOOK! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE - WRITE MORE!!!
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