The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook, review

I was at the library a couple of weeks ago, just cruising for good cooking or quilting or whatever books. I like libraries. They are soft and quiet yet involve a sort of hunting mind-set. Looking to bag just the right book, sometimes finding an unexpected  treasure, like I the several I found. One was a book on southern cooking from an old grannie who ran a boarding house and restaurant in Georgia for decades. I am making her pickled watermelon rind recipe to take to our southern themed graduation party in a few weeks. Then I thought I would look for a gluten-free baking book of some kind, just for kicks. There was not much to choose from actually. But I did indeed find a treasure! I ‘bagged the big one’.

 Now Cybele Pascal, the writer, doesn’t know I am making a plug for her book. I really doubt she would mind though.

The best way I know to ‘check out’ if a book is all it’s cracked up to be is to visit your local library and check it out.

“But what if my  library doesn’t carry it?” Well, here in the states, or at least in California you can look up a book online and order it to be sent to your local library instead of driving all over to different library locations. I have purchased several excellent baking books using this test-it-out method.

What about this book? Well, as you may know, no one in my family has any food intolerance, (except I won’t tolerate liver, unless it is attached to a living body and I am not expected to eat it.) But I bake for some people who do and I find it just plain interesting! I am amazed at how creative people get when they are suddenly told they or their loved ones  cannot eat the normal food they are used to sharing. This book gives you wonderful looking recipes that have no wheat or gluten, no eggs, no dairy, no nuts, no soy, even no sesame (which I never heard of someone having a problem with).

If you don’t have a problem with eggs, just use eggs in the recipe instead of the egg replacer, which by the way, I just saw at Mother Market yesterday. The one she recommended in the book is called Ener-G and I found it there. I didn’t buy it because I don’t need it, but its good to know it’s there if anyone I know ever needs it.

If you don’t have a problem with dairy, just use butter instead of what she replaces it with. You can pick and choose according to your dietary needs.

The book includes 2 recipes for your own gluten-free mixes, one for all around baking and one for bread. The all-purpose one is very similar to the one I already make, which put her up a notch in my esteem of the book.

She talks about how to stock your pantry, how to bake allergen-free in general then different chapters on how to bake muffins, scones, biscuits, cookies, cakes, cobblers and lots more.

I would recommend running to your nearest library to check this book out, then if you really love it, buy it! If you have food allergies, this is a must have on your book shelf. (or Kindle shelf??)

Happy Monday!


One thought on “The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook, review

  1. We share a kindred love of libraries and I too take books out of the library to test run them before I pull the moth eaten sock out from under the bed (wrestling the dog as he loves a good game of tug and his favourite place is under the bed waiting like a crocodile to terrorise your ankles…) and liberate my coinage for mass consumption of the literary kind. The same dog likes to eat library books thus keeping them in nice pristine copies of the most expensive books. Here’s hoping that your dog doesn’t follow suit!

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