Amazing gluten-free baking book from the owner of Blackbird Bakery in Austin, TX
Last November we went to Austin, TX to visit my mother-in-law. We didn’t have time to do any of the fun foodie things Austin has to offer. Except that it turns out that the brand-new bakery from Karen Morgan happened to be five minutes away from Mom’s care facility. So of course, I visited the bakery every day on my lunch run.
That’s why I can wholeheartedly recommend this baking book if you are serious about gluten-free baking: The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free: 125 Savory and Sweet Recipes Using 6 Fail-Proof Flour Blends. I tried cookies, toaster pastries, quiche, cupcakes, and pizza from the bakery. Everything was absolutely dead-on, no-way-you-could-tell-it’s-gluten-free. Karen Morgan is a lovely person who helped us out with a charity event a few years ago, and it was wonderful to get to meet her in person.
Layout and design:
The book is organized by the six tried-and-tested flour blends, each providing perfect results for biscuits, donuts and fritters, pie and pasta, cookies, cakes and muffins, and bread and pizza. Some books will give you one or two flour blends, and if they test their recipes like crazy and have years of experience, the results are also fantastic. Morgan has taken a different approach, creating specific flour blends that behave differently, and I love her explanations of why each blend works for the type of end product you want. The book is beautifully designed (although solely in sans serif typeface, which makes it a tad harder to read). I find that light type on dark backgrounds is also a bit difficult to read, but very few pages are designed that way.
Full-page, full-color photographs every two or three pages by Knoxy Knox are just beautiful, as well as showing the perfect texture of the baked goods.
Recipes include crepes suzette, chicken-fried steak, hush puppies, creamy almond Danish, chess pie, vanilla wafers, chocolate mayonnaise cake, chewy New York-style bagels, and challah. Recipes use sugar, dairy, and eggs.
What I liked about the book:
Inspiring, beautiful, and dependable results from the recipes. Morgan’s fun personality and Southern background shine through.
I wasn’t so keen on:
Recipes were not coded for special diets; nutritional analysis is not provided, which would be helpful for low-sodium eaters.
Celiac, gluten-free, vegetarian diets
Not recommended for:
Migraine, paleo, vegan, or low-sodium diets
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, took photos, and described my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (extremely-low-sodium for my Meniere’s Disease and trigger-free foods for migraine relief), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice.