Besides just the wonderful recipes, Laurie includes two very educational chapters at the beginning of the book about what it means to be vegan and gluten-free as well as an extensive look at the ingredients involved and appropriate substitutions. She even includes a table with all of the flours, their nutritional contents and weights per 1/4 cup. I cannot tell you how invaluable these chapters have been to me as I learn more about gluten-free cooking. You really must read these chapters before you try any of the recipes. It will save you a lot of heartache, especially considering the cost of many of these ingredients.
I bought this recipe book because a friend of mine struggles to find safe foods for her son to eat. His current list of allergies/sensitivities includes wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts and cashews. Needless to say, many breads, cakes and muffins are off limits. I’ve also been meeting more and more people who are adopting a gluten-free lifestyle for one reason or another. I have no intention of becoming gluten-free myself, but I am always open to trying new cuisines. I can say that I do not envy anyone who has adopted a gluten-free lifestyle. Not only are the ingredients much more expensive, but the boxed mixes I’ve tried don’t come close to the wheat flour versions.
The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread breaks through a lot of the misconceptions surrounding gluten-free baking by providing recipes for baked goods that are full of flavor and have a soft texture. Recipes include bagels, cinnamon rolls, English muffins, Polish Babka, apple spice cake, biscuits, foccacia, pancakes and the list goes on and on. So far I have tried the Rustic French Bread and Apple Spice Cake. The bread wasn’t pretty, but it tasted just like regular bread. The Apple Spice Cake was tender and had a lot of flavor. As one of my friends described it, it tasted like French toast with apples. If you are gluten-free, struggle with food allergies or have ever considered trying gluten-free, I highly recommend this book.
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