22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2011
So far I have only used a few recipies from this book, but it is worth buying if only for the pastry and pancake recipies. The pastry is to die for and as good as any I have ever made. The pancake recipe is also great for toad in the hole. Tapioca flour is hard to come by and if not used in great quantities sub either Dove or Glebe plain GF flour. I did this in the pastry receipe and could have wept at being able to make a decent pie instead of the ones that would normally need a chain saw to cut through the crust. Here I speak as a retired home economist. It is great to find a book that has been well researched, ok there has been found the odd error, but this happens in all books even though it should have been sorted before publication. Yes I feel that more savoury would have been useful, anyone else feel another book could be in the pipe line. Bread is always going to be an issue, but as the Gf problem becomes more recognised and not thought of as a fad I feel that this will also be resloved.
Going back to the book I feel it is well worth buying and even if you only find a few recipies that you like, they are more than you had before.
103 of 106 people found the following review helpful
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....
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2011
Thoroughly recommend this. I got it for Christmas and I have to say it's refreshing to have a GF book dedicated to baking. There's a good range of recipes -focaccia, breadsticks, biscuits, small cakes, big cakes, fancy coffee cakes. I've made some of the recipes already and am impressed with the textures - the biscuits are soft and the cakes are moist. (sounds like not much to ask for but if you've tried other GF biscuit recipes before, you'll know how amazing this is!...)
The ingredients are all easy to get hold of - i.e. in supermarkets (unlike the American GF recipe books I have, like babycakes, which ask for special bean flour and liquid/fruit sugars). Also, I'm pleased the recipes work well with Doves Farm GF plain flour mix.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2010
Thank you Mr Vickery, this book like your first one, just what i have been waiting for, a wide range of excellent, simple to prepare and tasty recipes.It also tells us where to get the ingredients and tells us how to make a selection of different pastries. GO BOY. THANK YOU.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2010
This seriously good book is a must for Coeliacs and their families everywhere.Before buying this book, i had purchased the first one, Seriously Good Gluten Free Cookery, and found it really helpful with information and recipes. Cakes and pastry that don't crumble, wow, a wide range of recipes, you can't go wrong with it.It is just a shame that its sometimes hard to get such ingredients as tapioca and potato flour, but stick with it. M&S gf flour is a good substitute!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2012
I was so looking forward to trying out these recipes and even had my husband join me - his first experience of baking.
Such a shame I picked the recipes I did!
The Roast Hazelnut cookies obviously have a misprint. I can only assume that the ingredient of 30g of margerine was the problem.
Luckily, being an experienced baker I realised that the lack of fat was the problem and I 'upped' it to about 90g, so that the biscuits were at least edible. In retrospect, I wonder if it was meant to be 130g margarine.
The recipe for Sweet Potato Thins - were another example of inaccuracy. The yield is said to be 8-10 biscuits - this is way out - and even looking at the illustration and the instructions makes it obviosuly wrong. Also - they are the most boring bisuits I have ever made! On the positive side - the colour of these little biscuits was quite nice!
I hesitate to try any more of the recipes and wasting any more ingredients after such disappointing results.
Something has gone seriously wrong here with the editing and proofing of this book.
In my own book (here comes a plug!) "Afternoon Tea At Home Made Simple" - I spent an incredbile amount of hours testing and editing etc. and this is what I would have expected from Phil.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2010
Another fantastic book by Phil Vickery and a must for everyone who is gluten intolerant/coeliac. A few recipes use oats so I am not able to make them for myself but will be doing so for family and friends. Phil Vickery at his very best - again!!!
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2011
I have just tried baking my first recipe from this book; have been so excited to finally find a book that makes sweet recipes with decent flour mixes instead of 'gluten-free flour' (horrible stuff). HOWEVER, my first recipe was nearly a disaster.
There appears to be an error in both the ingredients and the instructions. The receipe is on page 47, Hazelnut Cookies. I followed the instructions to the letter and wondered why I ended up with a dry mixture that I couldn't possibly 'spoon out' as instructed. I added more butter. Still no luck. I added xanthum gum, in desperation. Still no luck. I added water. A gluey mess. Husband looked at recipe and announced it was clearly missing an ingredient - probably egg. Added an egg - voila! Finally had a mixture that resembled biscuit dough. God knows what I've done to it with my additions before I added the egg, but hopefully it has been saved (yet to try it; still baking).
VERY disappointed! Tried to contact Phil Vickery directly through the internet - no luck. He should probably be aware of this.....Am somewhat nervous that there will be more errors within........Hopefully not, cos the recipes look brilliant.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2011
My Dad bought me this book for Christmas as I asked him to find me a gluten-free baking book with some typical English recipes. I have lived in Germany for over twenty years, but have only recently discovered that I can't eat gluten. The cookbooks I have got so far are either American or German, so I had no decent recipes for scones or other typical British baked goods. This book is almost what I was looking for, but not quite, hence only four stars. It does have a recipe for scones - but savoury ones!!!
These are the things I like: the photographs; the gluten-free flour mixes which he has put together, rather than what you often get in GF cookbooks, which is a particular product recommendation (great when you live abroad and can't get it!); the recipes are detailed and sound like they might work. I am looking forward to trying the recipes (or adaptations thereof) and have already bought the ingredients for one of the flour mixes.
Many other reviewers mention that tapioca flour is difficult to get hold of. I got mine via a gluten-free online specialist supplier, but here in Germany, many coeliacs recommend that you go to an Asian specialist shop and look there (say, a shop which has Thai or South-East Asian cooking ingredients) as tapioca starch is often used in the cuisines of South-East Asia as a thickener or for coating fish and meat.
The one weird thing about his recommended flour mixes is that the potato flour he recommends is practically unobtainable. He doesn't even include a list of stockists or anything!!! I ended up buying a potato flake mix which is meant to be used to make instant mashed potato!!! It works fine, actually, is 99% flour and makes a great mix. I get it here in Germany, so I don't know whether you can get the same kind of unflavoured instant mashed potato flakes in the UK these days. If you can, get some and make mix A: it's great for waffles, for example!
The main things I don't like about the book are the emphasis on sweet things - I would have liked to see more savoury baked goods, such as pies or quiches. The one sweet thing I was looking for - as I have mentioned - was savoury, i.e. the scone recipe!!!
The second thing that I find rather disappointing, along with a few other reviewers, is the dearth of bread recipes. This is practically the Holy Grail for coeliac sufferers, the quest for a decent loaf of bread, or bread rolls, which don't have wheat in them, but still taste OK and can't double up as lethal weapons in their spare time. And there's one recipe for bread, if I recall correctly. Luckily, I have found some good recipes and flours here in Germany, particularly on a coeliac website, but I would have expected a few more bread recipes in this book. I think the main problem here is that Phil Vickery - no offence to the fella, of course - is not a coeliac sufferer himself. If he was, I bet he would have offered us a ton more bread recipes. It's a pity that Coeliac UK didn't manage to find a REAL coeliac sufferer who can also bake bread to come up with a cookbook. I bet there are a loads of people in the UK who have been baking decent GF bread for years who could have done that job. For bread recipes I shall have to stick to the German cookbook I bought - written by a woman who has lived and baked with coeliac disease for about twenty years, I think - and the various gluten-free blogs and forums.
Update: 9.12.12: I've tried out another recipe today and have discovered that it is yet another one with a major ingredient missing!!! I tried the recipe for Bonfire Parkin. I have never made it in my life before and only eaten it once, so I was unaware that the recipe needed eggs. There are none listed in the recipe, however... I now have a crumbly mess and am not sure how I can rescue it. GRRRRR. I don't really blame Mr Vickery entirely, as there must have been some editing staff responsible for checking the recipes, but, if there were any, they obviously had no clue about cooking otherwise they would have checked with Mr Vickery to ask him if it really was the case that the recipes in question didn't contain ANY eggs!
So, all in all, we have a cookbook for coeliacs with only ONE recipe for bread; at least two recipes with a major ingredient missing; a recommendation for a flour mix with no indication of where you are supposed to get the ingredients.
This is not what a good cookbook should be like.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2010
Another excellent addition to the GF cook-books which will appeal to the sweeter toothed Coeliac. This is the one to have. This book is so good that I have ditched many of my earlier cook-books. The use of xanthan gum is perhaps a tad too heavy. Chestnut flour is a pricey additive as he says substitute cornmeal. Though my favourite is ground almond. hey ho the GF pork pie recipe remains very elusive.