Top critical review
138 people found this helpful
Good, but more excited for the sequel
on July 8, 2012
I would give 3.5 stars if possible. It would be a 5 star except for the major con, listed and explained below:
- very, very good basic recipes (tortillas, bagels, naan, etc)
- primer to gluten-free lifestyle
- a few good medium-difficulty items
- inconsistent directions (see comments below) between cookbook and website, for the same or similar recipes
I love Nicole's website and have successfully made several recipes from it to date. Her basics are pretty good, and very easy, less fussy versions of other recipes. For example, the bagel recipe doesn't have any eggs in it, so I have made two batches already and it's a VERY simple recipe. What I was looking for in a cookbook was a good collection of simple, straightforward, reliable gluten free recipes for the basics. Hers work.
HOWEVER - and this is a big however - some of her technique and other commentary is inconsistent between the book and her blog. For example, on her pretzel recipe, she tells you to chill the dough and roll it out "with wet hands." However, when she makes pretzel bites on her website, which uses the same dough, she comments that the dough is "very wet," and so she tells you to add a little flour - and not to wet your hands, but flour them. I tried rolling out pretzel dough with wet hands and was very sad with the results; I checked the website, curious to see pictures, and found out I was doing it wrong even while following her directions. In the same recipe, she tells you to dip the pretzels in a baking soda bath; on the website, you boil them - which as I'm looking at my pretzel bites I just made (from the book), would have been a very helpful extra step as they did not brown very well.
So, in summary, using her cookbook in conjunction with the pictures and other helpful information on her blog would be the best way to get your $ out of the book. The ingredients are spot on, just use the blog for the pictures, technique, and tips. Frustrating, since I bought a book so I could NOT take the computer into the kitchen, but still very good recipes all the same.
I'm hoping the next cookbook will (a) have some better pictures and (b) some updated instructions, as the author seems to have learned a lot since she wrote the first one!
** A note to those saying that the recipes only work with better batter: not true at all. I use a home-made blend, recipe from KAF, ingredients bought at our local grocery. WEIGH your ingredients. A cup of her flour is 140g; just put 140g of whatever flour you use instead. Works great.