- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Page Street Publishing (September 13, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1624142036
- ISBN-13: 978-1624142031
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 20.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours Paperback – September 13, 2016
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“Alanna has rescued gluten-free baking from the pasty, gritty clutches of white rice flour! Her recipes have a pastry chef ’s sensibility, but they overflow with the generosity and warmth of home baking. This book will make you run to the pantry to see what you can bake first, whether you happen to be gluten free or not.”
―Megan Scott and John Becker, bestselling authors of Joy of Cooking and JoyOfCooking.com
“Alanna is such a gifted baker, recipe writer and food photographer. For gluten-free eaters who love to bake, this cookbook is a must.”
―Dana Shultz, author of Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking and MinimalistBaker.com
“I want to eat everything in Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s beautiful book, Alternative Baker. And the best news? With these gorgeous gluten-free recipes created by a former pastry chef, I can! I’ll be baking these treats with delight.”
―Shauna James Ahern, author of Gluten-Free Girl Every Day and GlutenFreeGirl.com
“Like alternative baking pioneers Kim Boyce and Alice Medrich, Alanna Taylor-Tobin shows that treats baked with off-the-beaten-path flours aren’t just a boon for the gluten free, but taste richer, more distinctive and often just plain better, too.”
―Kristen Miglore, author of Food52 Genius Recipes and Creative Director of Food52.com
About the Author
Alanna Taylor-Tobin is a classically trained pastry chef and founder of the popular recipe website The Bojon Gourmet. Her recipes, food styling and photography have been featured in the New York Times, Food and Wine, Food52, The Huffington Post, GFF: Gluten-Free Forever Magazine and Williams-Sonoma.
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Top Customer Reviews
In a slight departure from what feels like normal, the discussion of each individual gluten-free flour, where to find it, what brand Alanna tested her recipes with, how to store it, how to use it, and it's nutritional impact is at the back of the book. The cookbook jumps quickly into recipes after a brief intro and a how-to-use-this-book list of the "easy", "intermediate", and "advanced" gluten-free flours and associated recipes.
Each recipe is accompanied by a photo of the finished product and a cute little header about where the recipe stems from. I've found several recipes that I'm extra excited to try because Alanna references them as being inspired by some of my favorite places in SF: Plow in Potrero Hill (Millet Skillet Cornbread with Cherries and Honey), Josey Baker Bread (Nut and Seed Loaf), and Tartine (Buckwheat Pear Galettes). Aside from an astonishing array of various gluten-free flours, Alanna's desserts rely on (delicious) ingredients like butter, creme fraiche or sour cream, cream, buttermilk, yogurt, maple syrup, and brown sugar. There are some (4) vegan recipes and one recipe I noticed labelled lactose-free. Many of these recipes could be adapted to specific dietary needs as necessary, but it may take a fair amount of trial and error for perfectly-created recipes like the pie and tart doughs.
The section on pies/tarts spans what feels like a third of the book, so if you aren't a huge fan of pies and/or making your own pie crust, that may not be an ideal proportion. However, I would strongly encourage everyone to give it a try. There's a very detailed two-page photo spread on making the perfect gluten-free pie crust, and the variety of pies is outstanding. I've already learned something new just from my quick read of Alternative Baker - maybe if I position my pies lower in the oven I'll have less trouble with soggy crusts. That seems like a "duh" idea now, but I'd never considered it.
These recipes range considerably in amount of time and energy required to prepare them. Plenty can be accomplished in under and hour, and some, like pies with fresh pie crust, will take more planning ahead. While I can do the math in my head, I do wish there was some indication at the top of each recipe for expected prep time.
In buying this cookbook, you are purchasing about 6 repeat recipes that are available on her blog (maybe more as time goes on). It's all upfront as celebratory posts gearing up or after release of this cookbook. In her blog posts she says they are from the book or slightly adapted from the cookbook. At first I thought I noticed even more and was a little disappointed, but spot-checking seems to indicate I was mistaken.
So far I've made only the blondies (with white chocolate, coconut flour (to avoid the weird texture of the flakes - hurray!), and cashews). They are fantastic, and any one, gluten-free or not, will love them. I'm looking forward to testing a lot of other recipes - I'm excited about at least 2/3 of the 140 recipes included in this cookbook.
We were able to source most of the specialty flours right here on Amazon, so for a baking adventure of this magnitude ingredient acquisition was totally manageable. You’ll want to avoid substituting in an all purpose GF flour, as the flours are carefully chosen and are often the star of the show.
Thanks to Alanna, I’m going to be baking and eating way too many sweets. Maybe a bread cookbook next?