Baking without allergens such as wheat, eggs, milk, soy, and nuts can be a challenge. And making it taste and feel like a “real” cookie, cake, or bread – why that’s the holy grail of allergen-free cooking! When I first started learning to bake without these traditional ingredients, I felt like an alchemist trying to turn lead into gold. It was daunting trying to figure out which alternative flours to choose, the ratios to blend, and substitutions for eggs and milk. Never mind xanthum gum! What the heck is that? Several years ago, there were few resources available to the novice allergen-free cook. However, through trial and error, and with the help of the meager allergen-free cookbooks available at the time, I have become a competent allergen-free baker. I love to experiment, so I am always looking for new recipes and ways to improve the taste or texture of my baked goods. (remember—holy grail).
Part 2 included many recipes for allergen-free versions of traditional cookies, muffins, pies, quick breads, and yeast breads. Yet, what I found most useful were the numerous baking tips and techniques Martin offers through out the book. Unlike cooking, where you can get away with a little more or less of an ingredient, baking requires a little more precision. How ingredients are measured, the order that they are mixed, and baking temperature and time can play a big role in how well your baked goods turn out.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who is learning to bake allergen-free. After reading the book, I thought to myself, “Oh, Man! Where was this book when I first started learning to cook allergen-free!” Even now, I have learned several new tricks such as making a whipped cream topping out of coconut milk.
Colette Martin's book can be found online at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Bake-Allergen-Free-Parents-without/dp/1615190538.