Missing specialty baked goods since going gluten-free? This book has them all.
When I heard about this book, I asked the author if I could review it. (Full disclosure: We are Facebook friends but have never met in real life.) Having reviewed so many gluten-free cookbooks now (close to 100) I was curious to see what might be different here. The answer: a lot. This author was determined to create gluten-free baked goods that weren’t “good for gluten-free,” but were near-exact replicas of their gluten-containing counterparts. She has spent years perfecting the recipes, and if my tests and the photos are any indication, she’s done an incredible job. The title says it all: Gluten-Free Wish List: Sweet and Savory Treats You’ve Missed the Most
Layout and design:
The book is organized into the following chapters: 1) how to bake gluten-free, 2) breads and crackers, 3) muffins pancakes danish and other breakfast treats, 4) dinner, and 5) cookies bars cream puffs pies and other desserts. The interior design is clean, modern, and easy to read. My only critique, and it’s a small one, is that it would have made more sense to me to include all the base recipes—pie crust, puff pastry, etc—in one chapter in the beginning, as I found I had to jump around a bit to find what I was looking for.
Full-color, full-page photographs by Eva Kolenko are included every couple of pages, truly showcasing how close to original the recipes are. The photographer did a great job of illustrating texture in many cases, so you can see that the baked goods are light and fluffy (if they’re supposed to be) with beautiful crumb.
One-hundred recipes include hot dog buns, challah, flour tortillas, soft pretzels, four kinds of doughnuts, pastry snails, toaster tarts, calzones, NYC-style pizza, wontons, animal crackers and tiramisu. Recipes are traditional, using sugar, salt, butter, and eggs. All recipes include xanthan gum.
What I liked about the book:
Great layout, inspiring photos, and truly different recipes. I tried making the pie crust for Thanksgiving.
It shaped beautifully, withstood overbaking by 20 minutes (I screwed up the pumpkin pie filling), and made a delicious little hand pie without cracking. The book inspired me to try making puff pastry dough, something I had seen on The Great British Baking Show and decided to try for myself. Detailed step-by-step instructions took me through this challenging type of pastry. While the cheese straws didn’t come out perfectly (most likely my fault), the birthday girl said they tasted exactly like ones her mother used to make.
I also made the chocolate chip cookies, which were indistinguishable from regular chocolate chip cookies as far as I can remember.
I wasn’t so keen on:
As noted above, recipes are traditional except that they are gluten-free, so are not coded for food allergies or other special diets; nutritional analysis is not provided, which would be helpful for low-sodium eaters.
celiacs, gluten-free eaters who love to bake and are missing their favorite items, or skilled bakers who want to bake for a gluten-free loved one; gluten-free vegetarians
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 in every book; I tried four recipes in this book.