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The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook by…
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The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook

by America's Test Kitchen

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This is now my favorite gluten free cookbook. The product reviews alone made it worth the price. I tried their recommended pasta (Jovial) and they were right--fantastic. The recipes are easy to follow and deliver great taste and texture (especially the breads). This is the happiest I've been with a gluten free cookbook since my Celiac diagnosis years ago. ( )
  ShanLizLuv | Sep 7, 2014 |
I first borrowed this cookbook from the library to see if it was worth buying. In many ways the book is "A day late and many food-sensitivities short". Why did it take them so long to attempt gluten-free cooking and baking? Many of us have moved beyond just gluten-free and now try to cook and bake foods that are free of most of the more common allergens.

Still I do appreciate the ATK approach . . . these recipes are certainly well-tested, which can't be said of many cookbooks these days!

I did find a couple of aspects of the book rather disappointing:
(1) if they had read even a few GF Baking books they would have learned about Superfine Brown Rice Flour from Authentic Foods and used it in their blend . . . it solves all the "grittiness" problems they and everyone else complains about in GF baking
(2) they provide no suggesions for dairy-free options in the many recipes that use dairy products (and many folks who are GF are also DF). On top of that, they even include dairy (milk powder) in their flour blend . . . so no so helpful for vegans or folks avoiding dairy.

Even so, there was enough valuable information in the book that I went ahead and bought myself a copy. I'll be exploring how/whether it is possible to get good results with their techniques when you also have to be dairy-free, corn-free, and mostly soy-free. ( )
  LucindaLibri | Jun 30, 2014 |
I don't know about you but I want to serve more gluten free meals. I don't believe that anyone in our family has an intolerance for gluten, but I do think the American diet is a little gluten heavy.

There are two reasons I haven't implemented my plan previously. The first reason is simple and not really a huge contributing factor. Truth is, I'm an little timid to get started. I've always cooked and baked with flour and the idea of ruminating off into new, unexplored territory is a little intimidating. The second reason though is the biggest problem. And that is that when I stand up and wander about the kitchen, thinking about what to make for dinner, my mind goes blank and I can't think of something gluten free to make. (Stupid I know, but I'm being honest.) THAT'S WHY I LOVE this book from American's Test Kitchen. It's there to give me ideas for every meal, and it serves to give me 'idiot proof' instructions that give me confidence.

WHAT YOU GET -- Ingredients and what not
****************************************
At the beginning of the book there is a section about what Flour actually does in cooking --think Alton Brown science approach-- and then there is a discussion of what the Kitchen folk had to look for to overcome the lack of flour stickiness.

You don't need to read the above material but I thought it was interesting. What I do suggest you read is the section on EVALUATING COMMERCIAL FLOUR BLENDS. On this page they compare Bob's GF Baking Flour with King Arthurs's, Pamela's and others.

THEN they give their own formula. And using White Rice flour, brown rice flour, potato and tapioca starch with a little nonfat milk powder --we can make our own blend.

What's really cool is that they then show us a muffin made with their GF flour mix and King Arthur's and Bob's. They don't look the same.

From there they compare other ingredients and even store bought bread. I appreciated this a lot.

WHAT YOU GET -- Recipes
****************************************
THE GOOD
I love The American's Test Kitchen recipes. They start off with a section about "Why This Recipe Works". I like this because it helps me figure out if it's a recipe I want to try right away.

Then there's the instructions. They are VERY thorough. Though I've cooked for decades, when I try something new I prefer to be 'over-taught' rather than to have to guess what a procedure should feel like.

The Variations that they offer are great. If I see something that my kids aren't crazy about, I'll look there for substitution ideas.

Finally, I like the Smart Shopping tips. This are suggestions for what to look for quinoa, for example, or rice. If there is a name brand they like, they aren't hesitant to use it.

THE NOT SO GOOD
My husband and I are currently on a diet. And what I never noticed before is that there are no calorie estimates. I know I can calculate them, but I never noticed that the Test Kitchen doesn't include an estimate. It would be good to have a vague idea so that I could easily eliminate items that are high calorie.

~~

I really like this cookbook. It has recipes for all occasions and it has a lot of advice on what to buy and how to prepare. The color photos of the finished foods are scrumptious, and I love that there are variations for all the recipes so that if I want to substitutions I don't have to wrack my brain.

The only downside I've found to this book is that there are no calorie estimates. Obviously not a problem for most folks, but if you are on a diet, it makes for a little extra work. ( )
  PamFamilyLibrary | Apr 24, 2014 |
ATK cookbooks never fail to impress me. Some of the recipes, like waffles and crepes, I actually like better than my traditional wheat-based ones. ( )
  nicole_a_davis | Apr 8, 2014 |
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Successful gluten free recipes require more than just new ingredients. The cooks at America's Test Kitchen tried thousands of recipes (most were pretty awful) to figure out the secrets to making favorite foods without gluten. This landmark book tells what works, and why, so you can successfully prepare lasagna, fried chicken, and fresh pasta in your kitchen. And, the cooks at America's Test Kitchen have reinvented the rules of baking to produce amazing cookies, cakes, breads, biscuits, and more.… (more)

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