One of the perks of being in this particular blogosphere is recipe testing for other bloggers working on cookbooks or wanting to refine a recipe before posting. I always happily volunteer.
March 1st marked the release of Brittany Angell and Iris Higgins’ The Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guides, Parts 1 & 2. After months of testing and a week of teasing us on Facebook and Twitter with photos from the photo shoot, I finally get to hold the books in my hands. Part 1 just arrived late this afternoon while I was seeing my integrative doctor. Part 2 is still not available for now. But, they will be shipped if you pre-ordered as soon as they are ready. The guides will be available as ebooks as well once they are ready. I did buy my own books, but received a copy of the e-book for Part 1 from Brittany for review. This allowed me to read the book before I actually had it in my had. The wonders of the electronic world! The e-book has full color photos, but the physical books are in black and white right now. Do not let this deter you from these baking guides!
The books are not just full of recipes. They are chock full of information to help you convert recipes and create your own using different gluten-free flours. The go through profiles of each gluten-free flours, each with their own chapter, and then provide you with recipes highlighting the flour. They also go through unrefined sugars, dairy-free options, and gum alternatives. I went dairy-free halfway through the testing phase and I can tell you with confidence that the recipes work well both with dairy and with dairy-free substitutes. I can also tell you that with the information they learned in their experiments, I finally know what I need to do to make my coconut flour cake right. I already figured it was what I needed to do, but they confirmed it. Bonus. There is Q&A at the end of each chapter with experts on gluten-free baking like Silvana Nardone, Beth Hillson, Kelly Brozyna, and Elana Amsterdam. Just to name a few off the top of my head.
I enjoyed all the recipes I tested. Especially the Italian Style Flatbread. It happens to be the first recipe in Part 1. I loved it so much I nearly ate half the pan the first day. I’ve made it several times since. It went well with a meal of Caprese Salad, hummus, raw veggies, olives, and salami. Below are pictures of just some of the recipes I tested. From what I’ve heard from some of the other testers, they all enjoyed what they tested, too. I plan on making every single recipe from each of the books eventually. If you follow Brittany or Iris’ blogs, you know they put forth quality recipes and these baking guides are no exception.
Congratulations, my friends! You did an excellent job and did a great service for the gluten-free community!