At least, that’s what I thought at first. It seems easy enough to adapt standard meals like salads and meat dishes to be gluten-free without owning several special cookbooks, but gluten-free baking is trickier. Each cookbook author seems to have slightly different ideas on the best methods and ingredients. (Much the same as in regular baking, I guess, where every cookbook author has discovered the best way to make pie crust or the exact combination of ingredients to make the perfect chocolate cake.) The problem, too, is that every cookbook author has developed a different blend of flours as a stand-in for all-purpose flour, so you may end up with different flour mixes around and have to be good about labeling them or you will forget which is which.
Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts has us covered for family standards like oatmeal cookies, brownies, sugar cookies, gingerbread men, sour cream coffeecake, blueberry muffins, apple crisp, cheesecake, banana bread, and much more. If you miss homemade bread, this book has you covered there, too, with recipes for Irish Soda Bread, focaccia, dinner rolls, sandwich bread, whole-grain bread, etc. There’s pizza crust, bagels, eclairs, and really just about every classic recipe I thought to look up, except for date squares. Carrot cake, cinnamon rolls, cranberry nut bread, pumpkin bread, etc. Her extensive introduction to gluten-free baking ingredients, methods, and what to stock your new pantry alone is worth the price of the book for a home baker learning to bake gluten-free.
Also, who could resist a come-on like this highlighted quote from an article in Gourmet Magazine about the “perfect chocolate chip cookies” you can bake from the recipe in this cookbook?
“We were captivated by [the] perfect chocolate chip cookies…and we dare anyone to detect that they weren’t made with traditional wheat flour.” — Gourmet
Gluten-Free Baking Classics is a revised and expanded 2008 edition of the book first published in 2006, with 42 new recipes. You can check out the author’s style, baking background, and g-f creds at her Web site, My Gluten-Free Table.
I made the recipe for Orange Juice Bread for a March event, and followed the directions to keep it chilled until slicing. It was a lovely tea bread, quite sweet and moist. I froze leftover slices and defrosted them on Easter morning and it was just as good! (Explanation for the exclamation point – Finding make-ahead gluten-free recipes is still exciting!) We substituted it for the biscuits that never got made that day, and its light, citrus flavor went well with a meal of springtime foods.
Happy Weekend Cooking!
Gluten-Free Baking Classics
Roberts, Annalise G.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this cookbook as a gift from my husband (who’s doing so well on his low-carb diet that I’ve been hard put to find occasions to try out these recipes.)