My kids have a lot of food allergies. Really, you don’t want to know how many. This book has been useful for me not only for recipes of *what* to bake, but also for teaching me *how* to bake. I was never a baker before my kids were diagnosed with food allergies. I never thought twice about using white flour and eggs for cookies. Then my son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies, but wheat wasn’t among them. While I had a lot to learn, my baking wasn’t too different. Just use Ener-G egg replacer and a milk alternative and the rest of the recipe would be fine. But then my daughter was born. My sweet girl had hives on the first day of her life, and so began my real food allergy challenge.
Suddenly I had to figure out how to make my own bread with gluten free flours and starches. Many gluten free recipes wouldn’t work because of her long list of other foods she’s allergic to. I had to substitute for the substitutes. My rolls could pass as hockey pucks. My breads never rose properly. I was baffled at what I was doing wrong. People have told me that baking is an art, but it seemed like you would have to be Picasso to pull off allergen-free baking!
Then I opened Learning to Bake Allergen-Free. It has recipes, of course, and they’re really good recipes. Equally as important for me, though, is that it has explanations. How to get your bread to rise correctly. Why you have to use xanthan or guar gum. What to do if Ener-G egg replacer isn’t an option (hello, corn allergy!). The first section of the book is dedicated to how to replace certain ingredients. The second section is full of recipes and “Crash Courses” on different baking topics. She also talks about the many gluten-free mixes on the market and how to use them
The first recipe I tried was Basic White Bread. It was good! So good, in fact, that my son kept snatching pieces of it off the counter while it was cooling – something he usually reserves for cookies! Other recipes vary from pizza crust to muffins to scones to cakes.
If you are struggling with food allergies or intolerances – one or many – this book is definitely worth your time. And if you really just need somebody to talk to about it, come find me in the children’s room!
reviewed by Jessica