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The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook: Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking Recipes. Paperback – March 1, 2014
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Even ultra-experienced gluten-free cooks and bakers will learn something from this thoroughly researched, thoughtfully presented volume. It begins with an introduction to the science of gluten, strategies for replacing wheat in recipes, troubleshooting suggestions, and helpful evaluations of commercial brands of gluten-free flour blends, sandwich bread, and pasta. The editors advise against using more brands than they recommend. Each entry opens with an explanation of "why this recipe works" and many include additional tips and variations. And the recipes cover the dishes gluten-free eaters are most likely to crave. There are breakfast recipes, including lemon ricotta pancakes and buttermilk waffles; entrees, such as spaghetti and meatballs, fried chicken, and cheese quiche; and breads: multigrain sandwich bread, dinner rolls, and English muffins. Of course there are desserts, too, from oatmeal-raisin cookies to deep-dish apple pie. The simplicity of the dishes belie the innovation contained in this book--it's a necessary addition to any gluten-free cookbook collection. --Publishers Weekly
About the Author
America’s Test Kitchen is well-known for its top-rated television shows with more than 4 million weekly public television viewers, bestselling cookbooks, magazines, websites, and cooking school. The highly reputable and recognizable brands of America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated, and Cook’s Country are the work of over 60 passionate chefs based in Boston, Massachusetts, who put ingredients, cookware, equipment, and recipes through objective, rigorous testing to identify the very best. Discover, learn, and expand your cooking repertoire with Julia Collin Davison, Bridget Lancaster, Jack Bishop, Dan Souza, Lisa McManus, Tucker Shaw, Bryan Roof, and our fabulous team of test cooks!
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I watched ATK on TV since I was in college when I first starting cooking my own meals. I love the how to chips and the science behind all the recipes. I discovered I am gluten sensitive about six months ago and I wanted some REAL TASTING bake goods. I bake often for friends and families. The thought of never baking again, was depressing. I borrowed several GF cookbooks from the library to test run some recipes before purchasing ATK's How Can It Be Gluten Free . So far, my whole family loved the bake goods from this book.
I have a few notes before I get to my favorite recipes:
1. You do have to understand you will need to make your own GF "flour mix" but the upside is, there is only ONE FORMULA for everything in this book. Another book I tried had five mixes and I haven't been able to gather all the items needed for that book.
2. You must read the intro to each recipes at least once. It gives you important information. Sometimes, you must read tips of similar recipes to get all the info. For example, under Chocolate Chip cookies, there is a tip on how to make your own frozen cookie dough.
3. If you want real tasting box pasta, read the test kitchen recommendation. IT IS SO GOOD!
4. Bread recipes need a standing mixer. Most recipes mix by hands. Some call for a blender or a food processor.
I bought the book for the bake goods so those are the recipes I tried multiple times with success:
Banana Bread: My husband brought a loaf to work and they are asking for more.
Lemon Pound Cake: Brought it to a party and no one suspected.
Applesauce Snack Cakes: THE BEST and EASY RECIPE in the BOOK. My twins would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Chocolate Chip Cookies: Moist and Chewy. Brought it to several parties and everyone love it.
Chewy Sugar Cookies: Perfect texture, maybe a bit lack in favor but my kids love it.
Classic Sandwich Bread (which I also made hamburger buns): Taste better than anything store bought but it does dry out fast.
Dinner Roll: My husband loves it with lots of butter, but it already has a lot of butter in it!
Cheddar Cheese Bread: If you miss a good cheesy bagel taste, this is a similar in flavor. The texture is slightly crumbly. Yeast Free.
Multigrain Sandwich Bread: BEST BREAD recipe that I tried so far, moist and flavorful. It kept moist for four days in an airtight glass container.
Recipe tried but need to try again:
Oatmeal Cookies: I thought they were dry. When it ran out before the chocolate chip cookies which I thought was better. So what do it know.
Blueberry Muffins: They were pasty and pale but my husband and the neighbors thought they were pretty good.
Brazilian cheese Bread Roll: They have a Asian Mochi like texture. My family did not find it appealing so I ate most of it myself.
I am yet to tried the pie crust and pizza crust recipe but soon, I hope. It will be Thanksgiving before you know it.
I've so far flipped through many recipes and reviewed the recipe for sandwich bread and pizza crust, and am looking forward to trying both out this weekend. What I love about this book is the science and testing for each recipe is recorded with the recipe so you know why certain ingredients are added or omitted. Then if you want to adjust a bit you can do so with the knowledge of why a recipe is built the way it is.
The big bonus in this book: there is a recipe for a gluten free flour mix, but weights and measurements for two other popular store bought flour mixes are provided for each recipe. If you've ever tried to buy ingredients for a gluten free flour mix in a regular grocery store you know it can be tough to find some, but easier to find pre-packaged mixes, so this is a huge bonus.
The only drawback I can see is for someone who is not a more seasoned cook/doesn't enjoy cooking, some of the recipes are advanced. The directions are always easy to follow, but the outcome can vary depending on your take on the directions. For instance, instructions are provided on how to measure flour for the gluten free flour mix. Part of the instructions include tapping or lightly packing the flour as you scoop it into the measuring cup. My tap vs my husband's tap are completely different levels of pressure, and would result in slightly different flour mixes which could vary a recipe enough to be noticeable. Luckily weights are included, which is the best way to measure baking ingredients, but there are other directions included that could be taken differently.
Really looking forward to trying many of the recipes in this book! If you have a gluten intolerance and love to cook, this is a must buy book! Or if you're fed up with the yucky pre-packaged gluten free foods, give some of the recipes in this book a try.
UPDATE: The sandwich bread recipe in this book makes THE BEST gluten free sandwich bread I've ever had. I don't have to eat gluten free, so I know what real sandwich bread taste like, and this is pretty darn close in taste. It's right on the money with texture, not gritty or dry at all, and only a bit denser with a nice, crisp crust. Plus its a really easy recipe. Most of the ingredients are easy to find even at your local supermarket. The powdered psyllium husk was the hardest to locate. Check your grocers health supplements aisle, or stop by a vitamin shop. It's used as a laxative. I ate two pieces of this bread on the same night and didn't have any issues, so don't worry about accidental laxative effects. Also, the only 4.5" x 8.5" loaf pan I had is glass, and that worked great.
UPDATE 2: I continue to try recipes in this book and haven't had a bad one yet. I haven't delved heavily into the baking section other than making several loaves of the sandwich bread (which is still amazing), but I did try the arepas recipe which was great. The Almost Hands-Free Risotto can be found in back issues of Cooks Illustrated and likely in their other cook books, and is fantastic as always.