Most helpful positive review
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2012
As someone who has made many a gluten free recipe I was excited to get this book.
If you are new to gluten free anything this is probably the best book I've seen on the who, what, why and how of gluten intolerance and how to bake for it. If you're an old hand at gluten free, you'll probably learn more reading this and would recommend it still.
Let me say after reading it, as with all gluten free books, you need to realize you're going to have to spend a bit of money on making the flour mixes.
The popular flours are sorghum, potato starch, tapioca, sweet rice and brown rice along with a few others. This book is no exception. Some of these can be hard to find locally, and now that the gluten free way is exploding through the food world the prices are going up. Also, regardless of any book you have to fine tune recipes for your weather, quality of products and altitude.
Why do I say this? I'm not trying to turn you from this book, honestly I think it's the best out there on information and wealth of recipes. For me though, I find myself baking on occasion to try something out, the rest of the time I buy mixes or GF cookies already made. It's just cheaper than storing pounds of flour mix. If you love to bake and you are gluten free, then go for it!
The first half of the book is the who, what and why.
Chapter 1: The challenges and rewards
Chapter 2: Why Bake Gluten Free?
Chapter 3: Understanding the Rules of Baking
Chapter 4: Unique Issues of Gluten-Free Baking
Chapter 5: Building Flavor and Structure without Wheat
Chapter 6: Understanding Dough
Chapter 7: Nutrition, Health, and the Gluten-Free Lifestyle
Chapter 8: Keeping a Gluten-Free Kitchen
Chapter 9: Converting Favorite Recipes to Gluten-Free
I like that they recommend you weigh your flours rather than use a measuring cup. This is chemistry dear readers, these flours are not wheat and to get them wrong means iffy results.
The second half is 150 pages worth of recipes. While I would have liked all of the mix recipes to be at the front of the recipe section (because some recipes combine mixes together) I can live with it where they are, it's just bothersome.
Example: white flour mix - first recipe in the book contains: tapioca flour, potato starch and sweet rice flour.
Their cake mix - a few pages later contains: sugar, white flour mix, whole-grain flour mix, baking powder, salt and butter.
So you need two mix recipes to make a third recipe. Annoying, but normal for the GF way.
Their range of recipes is amazing, cakes, brownies, pancakes, muffins, scones, quick bread, rolls, pizza dough (that one's big for me).
Not all of their recipes require the mixes. Their very lovely peanut butter brownie requires almond flour, sweet rice flour and xanthan gum. (xanthan gum is pricey, but a little goes a long way).
The recipes I've tried out of it came out well for GF baking.
5 stars. Overall the best and most informative gluten free book I've seen on the market - and it's all about baking! I would recommend this to all my friends as the first book (and maybe the only) on GF baking. Well done.