Most helpful critical review
102 of 105 people found the following review helpful
Gluten Free Greatness Turns to Disappointment
on 11 January 2011
Just after i got this book I reviewed it and gave it 4 stars, on the basis of appearance, the breadth of recipes and testing a couple (pecan and treacle bread and the shortcrust pastry) This appeared to be a great book for those who want to/have to avoid wheat/gluten but love baking and eating the results. It has a comprehensive range of recipes from several breads (not requiring a bread machine), large cakes, pancakes, yorkshire puddings, small cakes, biscuits and even one for shortcrust pastry which is one thing i have struggled to make since ditching the gluten.
However my review has been downgraded to 2 stars following further use.Either the recipes haven't been tested properly and/or the finished book has not been checked for accuracy. The roast hazelnut cookie recipe is missing a liquid ingrediant completely - i tried adding milk but the end result was tough and disappointing - another reviewer suggested adding an egg.... The cooking time for the pecan honey flapjacks is wrong too- it needed at least 30-40 minutes in a fan oven not 15-20 minutes as stated.
Generally more guidance is required with some of the recipes some of which feature ingrediants many regular bakers will not be familiar with such as xanthan gum. For example, the shortcrust pastry recipe doesn't mention at what stage any filling should go in and it doesn't state whether or not cooking times and temperatures refer to a fan oven or not. I have been cooking for years but this is the first time i have come across recipes where i have to guess the cooking times and missing ingrediants. Whether this relates to just the 2 recipes I mentioned or not remains to be seen....
Finally many, but not all of the recipes make use of Vickery's own GF flour blends - one for bread and 2 others for cakes/biscuits so if the idea of purchasing 3 or 4 types of flour and mixing them up yourself does not appeal, then this book probably isn't for you. These flours (including soya, potato, rice etc) should be obtainable from health food shops although i am struggling to track down tapioca flour....