If you have a gluten intolerance (Celiac’s), wheat is out of the question as far as your diet goes. And when wheat goes out, so does a whole category of foods: baked goods. Wheat flour is the basis of the vast majority of cakes, cookies, breads and other bakes, so it’s no surprise to hear that the inspiration for this book was to give those who avoid gluten a chance to fill this void with wheat free versions of much-missed treats. Gluten-Free Baking Classics covers a wide variety of baked goods, from cookies and cream puffs to pies and breads.
The book works off a couple of specially designed gluten free flour mixes that have been tested and retested to produce recipes that avoid the three most common pitfalls of gluten free baking: sogginess, crumbliness and graininess. At first glance, this method might seem to be inconvenient because creating the mix adds a bit of work to the production of the recipe, or it might seem gimmicky because all the recipes are tied to it, but the truth is that gluten free baking is tricky by nature and when you want to try an come as close as possible to recreating “regular” baked goods, you can’t really skip any steps.
Aside from the flour mixes, the recipes are very simple and call for ordinary baking ingredients (with the exception of xanthan gum, a gf binding agent) and flavorings – and once you have the mixes on hand in advance, of course, all the recipes will be much faster to pull together. Roberts gives tips for serving, baking and even suggests specific brands in some cases that she has found give a better result. For a peek at some of her recipes before buying the book, take a look at the recipes listed on the Food Philosopher website, which include some of the flour mixes along with the recipes for cookies and breads.
What do you think?