[personal profile] literally
Yeah,  I'm still at the bookstore. :P

 So this doesn't look like a bad book, but it's clear the author doesn't understand why yeast would be used in yeast breads, there are thousands of years of tradition in this affecting the texture and flavor of these baked goods, so bragging that almond flour recipes don't need it displays a lot of ignorance on her part, if not outright disrespect for culinary traditions.

[ETA: Claiming that any particular type of flour (unless it's made to be self rising) doesn't need leavening ingredients for baking is just bullshit in general. How do books like this become popular?]

 Secondly, agave nectar has been shown to be very bad on the liver, why promote it as a healthy sweetener? It's also usually not too good for the texture of many kinds of baked goods either.

  I am also skeptical about her claims about how almond flour doesn't need binders like gelatine or guar gum at all, it would of been nice if she discussed her history of baking in far more detail in order to help explain why she came to this conclusion. I am reminded more of raw vegan recipe collections that claim to be just like the real thing, and in my experience, it really does not.

 Still, almond flour does seem to have potential, but sorghum flour has been highly underrated in the gluten-free baking community in my opinion, and I have doubts about the texture of the goods should I choose to use almond flour alone.

 I might buy this used. It might be useful for inspiration, but I would certainly change the recipes, and use butter instead of oil (why must so many people who write these gluten free books assume they're all a bunch of semi-vegetarians?).
[personal profile] literally
Gluten Free Gourmet Desserts & Baked Goods by Valerie Cupillard.

 I'm leafing through it right now, and while some of the ideas don't look bad, I really don't care for the gratuitous use of rice flour in these recipes, and even worse, where are binders like xantham and guar gum? Not all of these recipes contain eggs, so how do the end products stay together? And what the hell is with the essential oils (and essential oils sure as hell are not the same as nut and seed oils!)? Last time I checked you use those things for cosmetics, not ingestion. And then there is this crap about some detox diet, which I am sure is discredited somewhere-which the author decides, for God knows what reason, to base most of this book on.

 I'm only half tempted to buy it used, if only to rip off ideas in order to make much better products, but I'm not sure if it's even worth it.

Cooking

Oct. 14th, 2010 06:56 pm
[personal profile] literally
 Apologies for being lazy about the upkeep of this community. 

 Anyway.

 I've been thinking of the subject of cooking this holiday season, and I find myself recommending a book I still have yet to buy, but is still essential in many community college Culinary programs-Professional Cooking. Why? It's not like it's gluten-free anyway, and besides this is for professionals. But don't let that deter you, electronic scales aren't that expensive anymore, and you can easily divide recipe sizes in to halves and quarters. What's important about this book is that even though it wasn't written for the home cook and why I need to eventually get a copy is how it focuses on the importance of the basics of cooking, how to handle and work with meats, grains, veggies, and other ingredients. ie, many things you will not find out about in the latest copy of Cook's Illustrated and Fine Cooking. I don't think anyone really needs the latest addition of it though, and it's not hard to find used editions on Amazon. Personally I would avoid any edition more than two generations old.

 Speaking of having yet to buy, another book I have yet to get, Harold McGee's On Food And Cooking. This, unlike those pop cooking mags, is the real deal. This is the real food chemistry, and it actually teaches you about food without being condescending to the reader. I checked it out from a library years ago and was highly impressed about the detail that was put in to it. It's a shame there aren't more books out there like this, but at least it is available. 

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