Alisa Fleming ~ My husband has been egg-free and dairy-free (with me) for quite some time now, but when our doctor recommended that he trial gluten-free … well, that put a wrench in things. You see, my husband adores baked goods, and over the years I had adapted to baking without eggs for him. I’d also become quite adept at gluten-free baking thanks to a wonderful group of free-from friends. I could even whip up gluten-free and vegan cookies without a problem, but taking the eggs, dairy, and gluten out of anything that is meant to be fluffy AND cohesive? Houston, we have a problem.
Enter The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread by Laurie Sadowski. Until I discovered her book, I didn’t anticipate baking bread products anymore for my husband, but Laurie has a gluten-, egg-, and dairy-free formula that works. I tested out a couple of the recipes and both results were stellar. In fact, I even started tinkering with one of the recipes, and couldn’t mess it up if I tried! You can see my recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Bread (pictured at left), which is adapted from this cookbook.
Here are a few details and personal observations on this cookbook:
- It isn’t a big thick cookbook, but it covers the topic of bread quite thoroughly. You will find ample bread recipes with good range, from sweet to savory and quick to yeast.
- It really is about bread. You will find a few sweet recipes, including donuts, scones, and muffins, but this isn’t an all-purpose baking book. Don’t expect to find cookies, cupcakes, and pies within.
- This cookbook is suitable for vegans, and I believe Laurie, the author, is actually vegan herself.
- Most of the recipes are soy-free, nut-free, and free of the top eight allergens. You might find a stray recipe or two using almond flour, but the author's guides make it fairly easy to adapt all of the recipes.
- Every recipe lists all of the ingredients. Some gluten-free cookbooks have a set flour mix that you whip up and then use in all of the recipes. Laurie mixes it up, and doesn’t use a set formula of flours. I prefer this way, but do expect to get familiar with a wide range of gluten-free flours and starches.
- It is filled with some very helpful information, tips, and charts. Even when not using the recipes in this book, I find myself referencing the flours chart often.
- ALL of the recipes require xanthan gum (or guar gum). If there is one that doesn’t, I couldn’t find it. Without eggs and gluten, a suitable binder is required, and that stuff binds like nobody’s business. I don’t blame Laurie at all for using it, it’s a great product, but doesn’t work for everyone (read on).
To give you a taste, some of the additional recipes in The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread that I had marked to bake include the:
- Double Chocolate Muffins
- Apple Chai Scones
- Millet Molasses Bread
- Basic “Buttermilk” Biscuits
- Buckwheat Tortillas
- Maple-Raisin Bread
- Breakfast Cinnamon Rolls
- Garlicky Pull Apart Rolls
- Wholesome Flax Bread
- French Bread
Unfortunately, I’m not sure how many more of these recipes I will make or at least taste-test myself. Though they are surely delicious, it seems that “gums” like xanthan gum and guar gum do not agree with my digestive system. I’d noticed not feeling great after eating certain gluten-free products in the past, and with the amount of xanthan gum used in these recipes, it became evident that it was the gums. Apparently this is a fairly common issue, but many people, like my husband, are okay with gums. If you are, and want to bake some gluten-free, vegan bread then I highly recommend The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread.
This cookbook is available to purchase here on Amazon.
This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of the best-selling book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications and a recipe creator for the natural food industry with an emphasis on dairy-free living and other special diets.