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Easy Gluten-Free Baking Spiral-bound – March 16, 2009
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"Mmmmm...these baked goodies are DELISH!" --Rachael Ray, author; host of the Rachael Ray Show; Food Network star
About the Author
Elizabeth Barbone is the founder of GlutenFreeBaking.com and an alumna of the Culinary Institute of America. With her solid professional baking background, Barbone is known for creating gluten-free recipes that taste just like their wheat counterparts. In addition to creating recipes for GlutenFreeBaking.com, Barbone travels the country speaking to celiac groups and teaching gluten-free baking classes. She lives in Troy, NY.
Top customer reviews
I'd say two things cause this book to stand out above the competition. First, the recipes are obviously exceptionally well tested. Second, these recipes are carefully calibrated to produce foods that very closely resemble the classic baked goods most Americans were likely familiar with before a gluten free diet. If you're craving chocolate chip cookies, pancakes, or chocolate cupcakes, this book will give you versions that, frankly, no one would guess lack wheat. The author herself is not gluten-intolerant, so she eats and compares 'regular' versions and gluten free versions. I think this perhaps gives her a leg-up in reproducing wheat based foods so exactly, without letting wishful thinking or shifting taste buds influence her judgments. There is even a chapter devoted to replicating store-bought products like twinkies, oreos and graham crackers. Although this book would be perfect for a family with celiac children, or all-american tastes, the basic recipes and techniques are so well-tested that it would be very useful to the celiac gourmet looking for help adapting the base recipes in his or her favorite creations. [The author also has a paid web site with more well-tested recipes and some product reviews. Although somewhat expensive, I have ultimately found this to be a good value given the quality of the recipes.]
The 'classic american' focus of the book is it's main virtue, because most celiacs will be craving just these kinds of foods. However, this is not the book to turn to if you are looking to make healthy, low-calorie, or 'whole-grain' type recipes, multi-component five star restaurant style desserts, or want to experiment with the newest, most unusual or health-food-store type ingredients like stevia, amaranth flour, or mesquite. Most recipes use some combination of white rice flour, cornstarch, sweet rice flour (and also xanthan gum)-- i have often substituted brown rice flour with great success, just to avoid a totally refined sugar/starch bomb (and I have found that purchasing finely ground rice flour does make a difference for products like cakes). Otherwise, most of the ingredients are pretty standard ones: butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder, cinnamon etc.. There are occasional uses of ingredients like shortening and jello (in poke cake), but not very often. Except for those who object to refined products like sugar and cornstarch, it's hard to imagine a gluten intolerant baker who wouldn't find this book extremely helpful.
One thing that I love about these recipes is that they come out every time. The author has tested every recipe 30-40 times before publishing. My one daughter doesn't eat dairy, so I have exchanged coconut milk for regular milk in some recipes and organic palm shortening for butter, and the recipes are still fantastic. There is a wonderful recipe for sugar cookies that actually roll out and taste great. I have made these and brought them to baby showers, birthday parties, and church events, and people always say the same thing to me. The comment on how pretty the cookies are and how great they taste. Many, many people have told me that their experience with iced sugar cookies is that they look great and taste awful--not these cookies--they taste as good as they look!
Although the book is called Easy Gluten-Free Baking, there are also recipes for main dishes like meatloaf and chicken and pizza. Our family favorites from this book are: No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls, Classic Chocolate Cake, Molasses Crackle Cookies, Chocolate Pixies, Rosie's Pumpkin Bread, Applesauce Bread, Snowball Cookies, Pie Crust II, Sugar Cookies, Thin Crust Pizza, Chicken with Apple Cider and Onions, Meatloaf and Cod Cakes.
The original review was written about the first edition of this cookbook which contained both main dishes as well as baked goods. The current edition only includes baked goods and will not have the recipes I mentioned like meatloaf and cod cakes.
The classic yellow cake recipe in this edition is excellent--it's a true, moist yellow cake. It's new to this edition.
Her brownie recipe is one of the best I've ever tasted. However, I substitute half brown sugar along with the regular sugar. Makes it even more amazing.
The only gluten-free pizza crust I've ever fallen deeply in love with comes from Upper Crust pizzeria in Santa Fe, NM. I think about getting a part time job there just to know the recipe. Yeast breads are just plain hard to replicate. I rarely make them myself.
I did a steady gluten free diet for around a year, then just decided I could have a little arthritis for the sake of good taste. So I got rid of all my other gluten free cookbooks EXCEPT this one. That's saying a lot.
I thank Elizabeth Barbone for going out there and figuring it out for the rest of us. She does it well considering....