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The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook Paperback – March 1, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,062 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


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

This book has been tested, written, and edited by the test cooks, editors, food scientists, tasters, and cookware specialists at America’s Test Kitchen, a 2,500-square-foot kitchen located just outside Boston. It is the home of Cook’s Illustrated magazine and Cook’s Country magazine, the public television cooking shows America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen, America’s Test Kitchen Radio, and the online America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: America's Test Kitchen; First Edition edition (March 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936493616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936493616
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,062 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a subscriber to Cooks Illustrated for years now. I've always adjusted their recipes containing gluten for my Celiac husband, and avoiding their baking recipes has been disappointing. So I was thrilled to see this cookbook in my Amazon suggestions.

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.
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A word of warning to those who have multiple food allergies/intolerances or are vegans: this cookbook relies VERY heavily on the use of dairy products. Casein (dairy protein) has a similar structure to gluten according to my daughter's doctor, so he has recommended she avoid it as well as gluten in order to avoid her body cross-reacting.

The pictures are great and the test kitchen tips are very useful. I've been cooking GF for over 2 years now and learned a bunch of new information from this cookbook.

-Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes (pg. 37) These were lighter than other GF buckwheat pancake recipes I've tried, probably because of whipping the egg whites. That does, however, make the recipe rather time consuming.
-Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes with Pear-Blueberry Topping (pg. 39) These were really tasty but a pain to make.
-Cranberry-Orange Pecan Muffins (pg. 49) Letting the batter sit as suggested *DOES* improve the texture of the muffins. Great tip!
-Almond Granola with Dried Fruit (pg. 61) Insanely good!
-Fusilli with Kale-Sunflower Seed Pesto (pg. 107) I was a bit dubious about this because I'm not a huge fan of kale but it was actually surprisingly tasty.

Partial Successes
-Millet-Cherry Almond Muffins (pg. 51) Split decision on these. I thought they were tasty but did not like the crunch of the millet. My kids LOVED these.
-Millet Porridge with Maple Syrup (pg. 63) Bland as written. I added some peaches and then it was good.
-Hot Quinoa Breakfast Cereal with Raspberries and Sunflower Seeds (pg. 65) Okay, but I wasn't crazy about the taste of the sunflower seeds with the other ingredients.
-Penne with Sausage and Red Pepper Ragu (pg. 115) A little bland as written.
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Format: Paperback
If you want to avoid gluten and you love white bread, you'll love this cookbook. I have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, but, even before I identified this condition, I didn't eat white bread. My husband and I love reading Cook's magazine. (We think of it as "food porn" because of the emphasis on sensory gratification in the writing of the articles.) Even so, it never occurred to me that their starting point for recipes would be an attempt to mimic the blandness of white-flour recipes. For decades GF diets relied on rice flour, but now there are so many alternatives that not only have flavor but some nutrition as well. ATK dismissed sorghum flour for "its earthy flavor that made these blends taste more like whole-wheat flour."

Okay, given this bias, did they at least come up with a decent multigrain bread for those of us who prefer this style? No, not really. The best they could do is a "multigrain sandwich bread" using their white-flour blend but adding a small amount of a hot-cereal product. It's as if they chose to ignore most of the GF product advances of the past 5-10 years. Faced with a need to add protein to their flour blend (to provide structure, not nutrition), they added milk powder or powdered egg whites. This eliminates a whole subgroup of folks who have issues with dairy as well as gluten. Why not try other flours, such as almond, coconut, millet, amaranth, etc.?

I think that some of the scientific discussions might prove useful, but when I want to make satisfying breads, I'm not going to start with white rice flour as the default. I am sorely disappointed in the narrow focus of the ATK's experiments with gluten-free cooking. Generally I prefer Carol Fenster's recent cookbooks using a sorghum flour blend, but I also look for recipes online and in other cookbooks that combine high-protein and high-fiber flours.
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