Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 1, 2000)
Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #75,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #25 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Wheat Free #51 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods > Gourmet #104 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Baking > Bread
I've had this book on my shelf for a while, always putting off baking some gluten-free bread partly because most gluten-free recipes come out disastrously and partly because I take the easy way out and buy a loaf of rice bread at the local health food/WF store.The other day I was having a rice-bread shortage so I thought I'd try a recipe, "Basic Featherlight Rice Bread," from the cookbook. Good thing I gave it a try. That was the best, most delicious gluten-free bread I have ever tasted. The texture couldn't be more perfect, crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle, qualities that I miss and long for from regular bread. It tastes very delicious. It also doesn't necessarily need to be toasted, as most gluten-free breads require to make them more palatable. The bread was actually very easy to make. The batter is much like cake batter, thus no worries or guess work in the kneading department. I had only filled the loaf pan barely to the quarter mark, and after about an hour the darn thing rose to the top edge of the pan. I was shocked. There was one ingredient that I had to omit, the egg replacer, since I didn't have any at hand and I really do not know what it is anyways. The bread came out perfectly regardless. I also substituted the xanthum gum with guar gum since it is significantly cheaper...Bette Hagman organizes her recipes according to how much bread you would like to make, from small, medium or large. This was extremely helpful since I didn't want to go too overboard. She includes instructions for bread machines as well. She gives a lot of different suggestions for flour mixes that you can use. I personally prefer the rice/tapioca/potato starch mixture, so I most likely will ignore the other suggestions.
There are so many "Gluten Free" cookbooks available today that offer gluten free versions of just about anything you might want to cook and eat..but most are just regurgitated standard recipes, who needs a gluten free version of something that is naturally gluten free anyway..it's a big waste of money. NOW, BAKING is a totally different story...this does require completely different recipes.To bake successfully without using Gluten laden flour requires tossing out a standard recipe almost completely and finding a mixture of several other ingredients to achieve the resulting effect of just the ONE missing component, not easily done for us standard cooks.Baking isn't like cooking...it requires more exacting measurements to produce an edible product. Yuck, have you ever baked a recipe and left out an ingredient by accident? Yup, forgetting that ONE little thing...gave rise to a hockey puck instead of a fluffy biscuit.After reading alot of the reviews about the recipes in the cookbook I am left to surmise that there are alot of people either not reading the recipes correctly or just not bothering to follow them at all....you WILL get a gummy product if you dump an entire packet of gelatin into ONE batch of bread, your yeast won't respond as well to liquid that isn't warm enough, and adding more of one ingredient when you run out of the one you need won't yield the same results. "rolls eyes"To blame the cookbook or author for one's own inability to put together a recipe is kind of lame...sounds more like a case of blatant stupidity if you ask me.I have all Ms. Hagman's books, as well as just about every other Gluten Free cookbook available(so, listen, I have a thing for cookbooks, get over it).
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