Now HERE's a comprehensive primer on Gluten Free flours, and not a moment too soon. Part 1 of this 2 part series starts out discussing the relative merits of weight (grams) vs. volume in baking and explains the pros and cons. Chapter One gives you an overview of the flours and starches which were analyzed for this book, when to use them, what to substitute for them and the likely results of that substitution; then goes on to recommend specific brands. It gives an overview on making your own Gluten Free flour mixes and includes a short biopic on Gluten Free Yeast breads as well. There's an over-view of more than half a dozen sweeteners that details their best uses as well as their pros and cons. Then there's a section on how to replace gums, eggs, dairy and corn, i.e. cornstarch, baking powder, vanilla and powdered sugar and that's just the first chapter!
There are individual chapters on: ALMOND Flour; QUINOA; AMARANTH; GARBANZO BEAN, COCONUT and MILLET Flours.
These chapters are full of helpful hints and tips on the individual flour as well as mini interviews with some of today's best known alternative cooks. In fact, there's a tip on treating QUINOA that is worth its weight in gold. The chapter on Almond Flour interviews Elana Amsterdam from Elana's Pantry, the author of 2 books on the subject.
The chapters go on to give you sample recipes. In the Almond Flour chapter that includes:
Italian Style Flatbread
Blackberry & Lime Cobbler
Fig Newton-style Cookies
Chocolate Mint Graham Crackers
Molasses Spice Cookies (yum, I made these)
Ice Box Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
Coconut & Lime Pound Cake
The ingredients and instructions are ON THE SAME PAGE. I hate cookbooks that break them up.
Does the book stop with analyzing the flours and giving delicious recipes? Nope. Chapter 8: Make Your Own Gluten Free Vegan Muffins and Quick Breads gives you a template to make your own using the flours and flavorings YOU choose.
Chapter 9: Frostings. Seriously, this is one book that keeps on giving. There's Whipped Cashew Cream; Caramel Cream; Berry Syrup; Homemade Powdered Sugar; Marshmallow Crème. Marshmallow Crème?
Yup. There's Dairy Free Buttercream; a recipe for Coconut Cream Cheese; Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting; Coconut Strawberry Cream Cheese; Chocolate Glaze; Nut or Seed Butter Frosting; German Chocolate Cake Frosting and last, but hardly least, a recipe for a Simple Soft (dairy free) Caramel candy.
There are so many well tested recipes in here you won't even know where to start. English Muffins anyone? Soft Pretzels? How about some Buttermilk Biscuits, Whisky Brownies, Garlic Cheesebread, Artisan Sandwich Bread, Italian Herb Crackers, Challah, Scones, Cinnamon Raisin Bread, Blueberry Buckle, Cranberry Orange Cake (I can attest to this one as well), Vegan Pizza Crust, Popovers, FUNNEL Cake, Apple Fritters or Baked Doughnuts? And no, that is NOT ALL. My fingers are tired.
If there's anything else you could possibly want from a Gluten Free primer, buy Part 2, it'll be there.