Monday, February 2, 2009

My favorite cookbook: Gluten-Free Baking Classics

My copy is looking a little worse-for-wear.

Annalise Roberts' "Gluten-Free Baking Classics" is a great cookbook. I checked out every GF cookbook I could find in the public library after my son was diagnosed, and read all the reviews for GF cookbooks on Amazon, and this is the only book I've bought. I have not been sorry, I bake extensively out of this book. This book has made feeding my son and my family SOOOOO much easier. I recommend it without reservation (and if you read her reviews on, you will see that I'm not the only one). There are very few baked goods that I can think of that aren't in this book (maybe pumpkin cookies and peanut butter cookies). UPDATE: Annalise just emailed me to say that there is a new pumpkin cookie recipe on her website. I'm all over that -- 2/5/09.

This book is well written with clear instructions that even a beginning baker can follow. She depends on two basic flour mixes, a rice blend for most goodies, and a millet/sorghum blend for bread, neither use bean flour. She does recommend a specific brand of rice flour, Authentic, because it is ground finer than most other brands. But I have a hard time finding that brand, so most of the time I use Bob's Red Mill brand, and most of her recipes turn out just fine. Occasionally, I notice a little grittiness when I use BRM on some recipes. I also had a hard time finding millet flour, I had to order it by the case from Sunflower Farmer's Market, but it is worth it. I also like that her mixes are half whole grain.

We've tried a lot of GF recipes and mixes, but Annalise Roberts' recipes are among the few that really taste like the wheat version. And because she doesn't use a bean flour in her bread mix, her breads don't have that funky after-taste. My celiac son loves PB&J sandwiches on her bread, my non-celiac husband is partial to her pizza crust and chocolate chip cookies, and I love her hamburger bun recipe, it is so much better than the (wheat-flour) buns that you can buy in the store. We have also enjoyed the cornbread recipe, the blueberry muffins, the vanilla cupcakes, banana bread, pumpkin bread, buttermilk pancakes, dinner rolls, stuffing, and chocolate fudge cake. I even made a GF Boston Cream Pie for my birthday, yummy!

I got it for about $12 on Amazon, but if you want to try some of her recipes before you buy her book, she has her sandwich bread, and quite a few other recipes on her web site, I also e-mailed her with a question and she e-mailed me right back. I'll repeat myself and say: I would recommend this book without any reservations.

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