Now, in the past, I have been contacted by publishers asking if I would like to review their company’s newly released gluten-free cookbooks. The answer is always a quick “YES” because I love looking through new cookbooks. I actually love looking through them even if they are not gluten-free cookbooks, because you can get a lot of great ideas and inspiration from them. THIS cookbook though, the Gluten-Free Baking book by Donna Washburn & Heather Butt, is one that I asked to review. I saw this book in the store right when it was newly released, and I wanted to give it a try.
I know a lot of people on a gluten-free diet that don’t want to bake because they think that there will be so much waste if they are baking only for themselves. This book helps in that respect, because it contains 250 small-batch recipes. That means that the recipes will bake 6 muffins, or 2 mini-bundt size cakes, or an 8-inch round pizza crust. It isn’t baking so much that it won’t get eaten before it goes bad. It is also good for those that like their gluten-free goods to be fresh. I know I prefer eating muffins when they are fresh, instead of 5 days old, and when you bake a batch of 6 muffins or cupcakes, you get just that.
But…are the recipes any good? Well, yes, they are! I made a few recipes from this book to test them out, and really enjoyed the Oatmeal Dinner Rolls (page 97) and the Classic Banana Bread was a-maz-ing! Best banana bread I’ve had in a very, very long time! And, with other recipes like Maple Walnut Cake, Chocolate Hazelnut Dessert Bread, Lemon Meringue Slices, Everyday Biscuits and Mocha Angel Food Cake, there is sure to be a recipe for everyone’s tastes.
I like the layout of the book as well. In the beginning of the book is all the “How To” basics of gluten-free baking, describing the flours, sweeteners, baking pans, etc. The book itself is not colour, but there are 3 colour inserts in the book, with mouthwatering pictures of some of the enticing recipes. Each recipe also includes the Tips, Variations, and Nutritional Value.
Here is the Classic Banana Bread recipe. I still have a few bananas in the freezer, and just may need to bake another loaf of this today. I really think that baking it in the smaller loaf size gives better structure to the loaf as well.
Classic Banana Bread
Source: the Gluten-Free Baking book by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt
- 3/4 cup mashed bananas
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/3 cup low-fat soy flour
- 2 Tbsp tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp GF baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
5 3/4- by 3 1/4-inch mini loaf pan, lightly greased
- In a large bowl, combine bananas, milk and vinegar. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- In a bowl or plastic bag, combine sorghum flour, soy flour, tapioca starch, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- Add egg yolk and oil to banana mixture and, using an electric mixer, beat until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan. Let stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Check to see if loaf is getting too dark and tent with foil if necessary. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature of loaf registers 200 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Let cool in pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.
Variation: Stir in 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans at the end of step 3.