Book Review – The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread

The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread: More Than 200 Wheat-Free Recipes was a book that sounded promising, so I took it out of the library. There are definitely some good recipes in here, but the big disappointment was a lot of the recipes use odd ingredients and don’t seem to offer an alternative: most recipes use egg replacer (which contains potato starch if you are avoiding potatoes), many recipes use powdered milk, and some recipes call for nut meal (which is bad if one is allergic to nuts). There was no reasoning for why these ingredients were used, leaving it as a sort of magic instead of science. I tried a few recipes that call for egg replacer by substituting an egg and then using less water, and it seemed to work, but required a little bit of math to do.

I did make the cinnamon raisin English muffins, and they were a hit. The non gluten-free members of the household enjoyed them, and toasted with a little goat cheese I felt almost like I was eating a cinnamon raisin bagel. There is a foccacia recipe I would like to try, a few bagel recipes, a pita recipe, and some crumpet recipes, as well as a recipe for graham crackers.

The big hits from this were the hot cross buns, French bread (it came out a little flat when I did the subs, but it was very tasty and was great with French onion soup), and pizza crust. The pizza crust (modified recipe) has to be the best gluten free pizza crust I have tried, in that it is the closest to “real” pizza crust. The various other substitute crusts that I have tried are good, but they don’t taste like regular crust.

One thing that she does (which is annoying to just try one recipe but handy if you do a lot of baking) is offer a set of different types of mixes that you prepare, and then different breads are made from different types of mixes. This means some of the annoying measuring ingredients can be done ahead of time. None of the regular loaf breads seemed to appeal to me enough to try, but I probably will try them one of these days.

At the end of the day, if you are an experienced baker and don’t mind experimenting with substitution (or don’t have any issues besides gluten), I recommend this book, if only for the pizza recipe.

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