Top critical review
Baked goods are empty starches - the gluten-free equivalent of "Twinkies"
on April 25, 2015
Check the labels on the gluten-free breads on grocery store shelves, and most list tapioca starch, potato starch, or cornstarch (maybe white rice flour) as their first dry ingredient. Until very recently, brown rice flour listed first was probably the best you could find in stores. Starches may have a long shelf life and produce a tall "fluffy" loaf, but are empty calories sadly lacking in nutrition and flavor.
And that's exactly what kind of baked goods Elizabeth Barbone's gluten free cookbooks offer you: pure starches, white rice flour, and sweet rice flour, with none of the bran found in brown rice flour or other whole-grain flours. I bought this book along with "Easy Gluten-Free Baking" in 2012 shortly after this one came out, and promptly returned both of them. When you give up wheat, you're giving up a lot of minerals and nutrients that won't be found in most of Elizabeth's recipes for breads, pasta, and baked goods.
The two cookbooks I rely on most for gluten-free are Artisanal Gluten Free cooking by Kelli and Peter Bronski (along with their cupcakes book, which I fix without the "toppings" as muffins) and 125 Best Gluten Free Bread Machine Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt. Analise Roberts also gets it and uses twice as much whole grain flours as empty starches.
Making fluffy loaves and baked goods with rounded tops is relatively easy with empty starches and white flour. What Donna and Heather have done is a much tougher challenge: to make great-tasting nutritious loaves with 25-35% starches and 65-75% whole grain flours. I haven't found anyone who's done it better. Same for Kelli and Peter. Their sweet potato cupcake (in their cupcake cookbook) is hands down the best muffin recipe I've ever tasted, wheat or not. Unlike Elizabeth's recipes, Kelli and Peter's artisanal gluten-free flour blend uses ~70% brown rice and sorghum flour and 30% cornstarch and potato starch, and I've substituted this into conventional wheat recipes for cookies and quick breads and couldn't tell the difference.
You CAN have great baked goods without sacrificing nutrition. You won't get it from most of Elizabeth Barbone's baking good recipes, though.