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on December 3, 2013
I am rating this cookbook 5 stars. It is more involved than her previous 2 cookbooks but just as straightforward and easy to follow. One thing that jumped out at me is that the recipes in this cookbooks take time. For those of us who use her previous cookbook Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy: 100 Recipes for the Food You Love--Fast!that focused on quick and easy recipes that may be a shock. Good bread takes time. Many of the recipes in this cookbook are going to have a proofing time of 12 hours up to 5 days.

Another major difference with this cookbook is that she uses more than just a basic all purpose gluten free flour in most her recipes in this cookbook. She several different blends of flour: gluten free bread flour, high quality all-purpose gluten-free flour, make it simpler all purpose gluten free flour, basic gum-free gluten free flour, whole grain gluten free flour, and gluten free pastry flour. These seem easy to mix with just a couple of things added to your basic all purpose gluten free flour. Which flour blend you use depends on the recipe you are making. This was slightly disappointing to me because I could not jump right in and start making some of the recipes. I need to order a couple of things in order to make the bread flour. There are some recipes towards the back of the cookbook that do use a basic all purpose gluten free flour.

The cookbook is simple to follow with some photos. Each recipe does not have a photo but there are quite a few in the book. There are quite a few photos in the section of the book where she illustrates shaping the dough which I greatly appreciate. I have made the recipe for Glazed Yeast-Raised Donuts found in the book but I used Better Batter with not addition in place of the Gluten Free Bread Flour and they were delicious. I bet they would be even better if I have made the bread flour that the recipe calls for....oh well, what can I say I am a kitchen rebel!

The back of the book has some resources to help you figure out where to get some of the things mentioned in the cookbook. It also has a wonderful index which I find myself using all of the time in her previous cookbooks.
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on April 28, 2016
I have worked and reworked multiple recipes according to specific directions from this book. What I mean by reworking is not about my technique, I have been baking for quite some time, but on the different methods which Nicole suggests. She give you her ingredient list for her mock Better Batter flour and then to make bread flour out of it you will need to purchase modified tapioca starch from expandex and also unflavored whey protein isolate from NOW food brands. I made the purchase which costs me 30 bucks extra, pretty expensive.... I did several of her recipes so far and none have worked for me. What worked was the flavor and that was all, there was no softness in the bread what so ever. The breads will come out a bit soft of course but then as it stood in the counter the harder it got. I did the soft white sandwich bread, sour dough and english muffins. All of the recipes were precisely measured in grams and it was followed very closely on rise times. For instance on the sandwich bread alone I went from slow rise in the fridge of 12 hours to close to 4 days to see the difference and there was none except for flavor. I was able to have the bread rise to double the size in my proofing bucket and when it was ready I kneaded it a bit just like she describes in her video as well. The dough felt more like an actual wheat dough where it was spongy and so I put it in the exact size loaf pan she recommends and put it in my proofing box at 75 degrees and it rose to the top just like she said it would. I baked it according to her specs and sure enough the bread would come out very impressive, just like her pictures in the book. To me I love presentation with my food so to see a nice big loaf come out looking like that I was very exited. I waited till it cooled off completely and I noticed it was getting harder. I made sandwiches with them and found the bread to be to tough. It was edible but my stomach was not having it, I was having stomach pains because I could not digest it. I tried many times thinking the longer it sits the softer it might get, wrong... All it did was make it more tasty but still tough. I went as far as thinking perhaps its her recipe of all purpose flour being a problem, I bought the expensive flours that she suggests to buy and not Bob's redmill but it was still something I needed to double check on so I bought better batter flour and used the whey protein and expandex starch. I made the bread the same way and it came out the same way which was tough bread. I would love to do a video based on my technique and her recipes so that folks can possibly point out what I am doing wrong based on the average star rating for this book but I am very OCD so I always double check my measurements and temps of ingredients. My ingredients are all room temperature and water is never above 110 degrees and never below 105 and everything is measured in grams.
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on April 2, 2014
I am so happy to have this book. So far, I've made the garlic knots, the English muffin bread, and the cinammon swirl bread -- which looks unbelievably beautiful as I slice it up for breakfast. The recipes so far taste far better than any other breads I've made. I did have to send away to Montana for the Expandex, and order Whey Protein Isolate from Amazon, and in my excitement I also bought a bench scraper, a digital scale (how have I lived without it?), and little "proofing buckets." So there is a commitment necessary to make these recipes, but frankly, the pay-off makes it worthwhile. We have two celiacs in the house, and the whole household is gluten-free, so there is really no other option than to make our own bread and cake products (because what's in the stores is inferior and expensive). With this book, I am baking things of beauty, which fill the house with their aromas, greet me in the fridge as I peek at how the slow rises are going, and, not incidentally, are very enjoyable to make, now that the "secret ingredients" have me working with real, shape-able dough. If you want to bring your g-f bread baking up to a new level, this is the book that will make it possible.
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on November 16, 2014
This book has revolutionized my Gluten-Free life!! I gave up long ago on breads and rolls purchased at the Supermarket... terrible and dry. I tried several gluten free recipes for breads, and they turned out dreadfully. Better used as paper weights.

The one thing I truly CRAVED and could not satisfy was a good recipe for gluten free pizza! Those for sale are generally awful... and the recipes I tried were either an epic fail (cauliflower crust), or too dense. Nicole has two pizza recipes (one thick crust, and one thin crust) which are both delicious -- I love them in calzone, stromboli, or braid recipes!

Though not recommended for such, her Focaccia bread recipe is really the best thing EVER and is my go-to pizza dough!!! It is light and airy and I would choose it willingly even if I weren't gluten free! It is my Friday night pizza recipe!!

Several reviews have criticized the need for expensive equipment to make the recipes... Do not be misled! There is no need for expensive investment to make these recipes work for you! I did buy a $7 instant read thermometer... but honestly, I can't believe I didn't have one before. I also bought a digital scale ($15) and a set of plastic Cambro proofing buckets (I think between $15-20?), but that was it. I use a heating pad (plus towels) to proof my yeast or raise my dough. And though I do have a stand mixer (which is seriously helpful...), you could really do everything with a hand mixer.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The flour blends and techniques yield the best gluten free breads I've ever had (let alone created!!!).
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on January 26, 2015
This is the BEST book for serious bakers. I am very skilled at all types of yeast breads. Finding out that I was unable to eat gluten was heartbreaking....I am not exaggerating. In our family we can "ALMOST live by bread alone"! This book and really all of her books are awesome. But this particular book does require some sophistication on the part of the baker. So those that have had a bad experience--well, I say take with a grain of kosher salt. I bought all *4* of her cookbooks. Excited for #5 to come out!
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on March 13, 2014
This book promises to revolutionize your experience of gf baking and it delivers. In the words of my husband, when he ate the pizza, "ITS PIZZA!!!!!"

Getting all the stuff to make the base flour blend is definitely an investment but so far I have found it to be worth it.

I especially love that it's got a lot of egg free recipes, because we have an egg allergy in our household. The recipes are pretty dairy reliant but there are vegan / dairy free options.

Edit: after making a lot of the recipes in this book, I've found that with some but not all of the recipes I've had some of the same consistency issues that other people have described (dry brick before even cooked inside, no rise), and I've got a fix. I add about 1/4c full fat cottage cheese per cup of flour blend used in the recipe. If it's a non yeast thing I use equal amounts of buttermilk or milk instead. I had also been using UltraTex 3 instead of expandex and I found it works better if I make the flour with twice the amount Nicole suggests for making the blend with UltraTex 3 (10g per 140g of bread flour, rather than 5g, and doesn't seem to matter if you use 5g less all purpose or stick with the 105g). My results have been really consistently good using these two fixes.
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on February 25, 2015
There are some really great things about this book but a lot more not so great things. I love Nicole Hunn's website and books, but this one, was unfortunately, rather disappointing. Some of the recipes in here are real gems. For instance, my family and friends ADORE the biscuits from the book. I think that alone made it worth the purchase.

Unfortunately, I've been very unhappy with the bread recipes. I focused on the sourdough recipes and discovered pretty quickly that the bread flour mix she uses is a pain. The bread flour requires expandex tapioca starch (which apparently causes some people, like myself, digestion issues). It also requires a very specific type of protein powder that is manufactured in a facility (though not on the same line) as wheat. If you're very sensitive to wheat, it's best to avoid it. It doesn't seem to work with other whey proteins I've used, and both the powder and expandex are extremely expensive, which is saying something considering gluten-free flours aren't all that cheap to begin with. She does suggest a couple of vegetarian alternatives, but she says the bread is even more dense and heavy. I didn't try the vegetarian alternatives because what I was getting was already horribly dense and heavy. The flavor was good, but definitely not the texture. I've had more luck simply using her regular gluten flour blends and simply decreasing the total amount of flour by 10-20%. If you do something like that, it seems like the recipes are somewhat usable.

The other problem is the amount of time that some of the recipes require. As I mentioned above, the biscuits are great as well as quick and easy. Most of the breads take quite a while, however, so you're not going to be able slap something together. I recently acquired a copy of Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and I would say that would be a better purchase if you're looking at doing a lot of bread.
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on February 12, 2014
I have been cooking gluten free for over 4 years and I would not recommend this book for a newly diagnosed individual with Celiac disease. Even though this book holds the recipes for the BEST gluten free breads, the recipes are much more complicated than you want to start out with. Gluten free cooking requires a lot of new starches: tapioca, potato, rice, sorghum, etc. Then you get things like xanthan gum added to the mix and it seems very foreign. This book adds even more new ingredients (Expandex) and long processing times (3-5 days in the fridge) but it is well worth it. My husband delighted in our first loaf of bread with a crispy crust. Do I recommend this book? YES!!! But, be prepared to jump through some hoops to get the tasty gluten-free bread you have always dreamed of!
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on August 5, 2016
Unfortunately I have not been able to get anything in this book to turn out. Every time I try a recipe I am either missing something or the method just doesn't work (due to my location, ingredients, oven - who knows). I'm giving up. Sadly I purchased many specialty tools that were touted as necessary that I will probably never use again.
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on February 18, 2014
I am not the best bread baker. I love to bake but GF bread used to just annoy me because it had such a limited life, not to mention style. But now with Bakes Bread I can make all kinds of wild yeast, yeasted and no yeast breads that are as varied as what's out in the marketplace for gluten breads. The first time that successful crusty sourdough loaf came out of the oven was such big deal, we almost ran it around the neighborhood to show it off. But we ate it instead. All of it.
I read through the book a couple of times, and made a couple of loaves that were slightly dense because I added too much flour in the folding action, but once I found additional helpful tips and video on the blog, it was all good. Like any kind of bread making, I found it took practice and patience and now I'm much more confident and can tell when the dough looks just right. I keep the mother going in the refrigerator for sourdough loaves and if I want another quick loaf there are plenty to pick from in the book. I have plenty of cookbooks in my stash, but this one stays in the kitchen with just a few others I love as much. If you want truly good GF breads and have the inclination to take the time to learn how to do it, this book is it.
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