25 January 2012

Best Cookbook EVER

So my mother told me a cookbook is worth the $ if you get 1 great recipe from it. Funny really becuase I remember a photographer friend of mine saying the same thing about film... it's a good day if you get 1 great shot per roll (back when they used rolls). Anyway. I guess by my mom's standards I have found the best cookbook in the world. This is fitting since SHE got it for me for Christmas.  
As you may recall we've gone Gluten Free here at the Lewis house. My oldest is gluten intolerant and we are doing a 3 month elimination diet to see what difference it makes in him. We are in week 4. I have been busy looking at GF web sites and through GF cookbooks. You know what I've found? Once you get the hang of cooking by weight.... you don't need a GF cookbook to cook gluten free. You just need a GOOD cookbook and a scale.  This is it.

FLOUR by Joanne Chang.

Go buy it. NOW.

So far I have made 6 things and every single one has turned out beyond fantastic. Seriously.
The first thing I made was her pumpkin muffins. I made 2 batches. One exactly as the recipe reads and one using my GF flour mix.

Side note on the GF Flour mix.  I got the basis of my recipe from The GlutenFree Girl.  She recommends using a 70/30 ratio.  70% GF flours, 30% GF starches.  My mix varies based on what I have in the house. 

Today for example my mix is comprised of 100grams each of the following:

Almond Flour
Amaranth Flour
Brown Rice Flour
White Rice Flour
Buckwheat Flour
Millet Flour
Sorghum Flour
Tapioca Flour / Starch
Potato Starch
Corn Starch 
When I run out of that I’ll probably change it up a little.  I have friends who use only Brown Rice Flour for the 70%.  That’s the beauty of cooking by weight.  You can use whatever floats your boat.

So back to FLOUR……
In my side by side taste test of Joanne’s pumpkin muffins not one person could tell the difference.  That included all 3 of my kids, the husband, grandma, grandpa and granny.  Not bad huh?  That gave me the confidence to go ahead and make the other recipes the first time using my GF flour.  She has all ingredients listed by weight which makes converting them to GF super easy.  Literally all I do is change whatever flour she calls for into GF flour and TA DA…. GF baked goods.  All the rest of the recipe stays the same.  So for example if she calls for 410 g all-purpose flour…. Use 410 g GF flour.  Isn’t that easy!  No need to added Xanthan gum or anything. 
Here is a sampling of a few of the things I’ve made so far.

FLOUR's Banana Bread

FLOUR's Pumpkin muffins.  I've made a lot of pumkin muffins in my time... these are amazing.

Basic Blueberry muffins.

Cornbread muffins with Jam.  My kids BEG me to make these.

Basic Chocolate Chip cookies.

Makes you want to bake doesn't it?  I think the next thing I'm going to try from FLOUR is the coffee cake or maybe the midnight chocolate cake.  Wanna come over?

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