Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread Double Decker Review and Give-away

Once again, Julie and I are posting tandem cookbook reviews and giveaways.  Today, I'm super excited to write about Jennifer Katzinger's brand new Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread--Artisanal Recipes to Make at Home published by Sasquatch Books.
Since ditching gluten in '09, I've tried my hand at xgfx bread recipes several times, and until recently, I've found them to be mostly MEH at their finest, and at their worst, I've filled my trash can with their hateful hard brick bones. 

So when Julie waved a review copy of Gluten-Free Vegan Bread at me a few months ago, it immediately gave me a long face and a case of the uneasies.  Not just because it reminded me of my failed xgfx bread attempts, but also because I was already familiar with Katzinger's previous two books and wasn't their biggest fan.  While Flying Apron's Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book and Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays are both beautiful cookbooks filled to the brim with dedicated xgfx recipes, the bread recipes never really worked for more me or seemed appealing.

Julie prodded me to give this new book a chance, so I took it home and read it cover to cover.  I was immediately drawn into the introduction where Katzinger announces her new and significantly updated approach and philosophy to xgfx bread baking. 

The big differences in these new recipes are:
  • The addition of xantham gum (to help hold the bread together and to keep them from being too crumbly).
  • The addition of starch (to lighten loaves so they're not too dense or brick-like).
  • More affordable sugar (none of these recipes require cups and cups of maple syrup).
I was so excited to see these changes, but I was also enthralled with other elements of this book:
  • The use of a very innovative technique to achieve xgfx dough rise. 
  • The long baking times.
  • Soaked chia to add moisture and binding.
  • Super interesting bread varieties (yeasted, wild starters, flatbreads, batter and quick breads) along with very appealing grain pairings.
Once I committed myself to try a recipe, I was hooked with the results and then kept trying more and more.  So far I've baked:  Soft Millet Sandwich Bread, Light Teff Sandwich Bread, Cinnamon Walnut Loaf, Zucchini Bread, Kalamata Olive Bread, Russian Black Bread, Raspberry Rooibos Tea Bread and an adapted Banana Bread.

Every bread I've made has been delicious and varied from the one before it, although I've only tried a variety of the quick breads and yeasted varieties.  Also, a few of the recipes fall into the author's previous style and call for no starch or gum, and again I had a few issues with those, but when I adapted the recipes a bit with some gum, they worked great for me.

The first two breads I made with Julie at her house, and we opted for sandwich style loaves.

Cinnamon Walnut Loaf and Sweet Vee.
Soft Millet Sandwich Bread.
I've made the zucchini bread three times, since it's a great recipe and we also experienced a huge zucchini glut this Summer.

Zucchini Bread.
On my last go-round I was able to adapt the recipe easily for a bake-sale.  I spooned the zucchini batter into individual cupcake liners and topped them with a chocolate chip streusel topping.  They were brown, but they were good!

I swooned over the thought of baking Raspberry Rooibos Tea Bread for months, and when I got to it, it was a beautiful, tasty bread, but it crumbled like mad and broke into giant pieces when I tried to turn it out of the pan (again it contained no gum or starch and only teff flour).

I noticed the banana bread was very similar to the rooibos bread, so I decided to try to adapt it.  I added 3/4 teaspoon xantham gum and subbed in 1/2 cup of superfine brown rice flour for the same amount of teff, and it came out beautifully. 

Modified banana bread with chocolate chips.
Especially with the addition of chocolate chips, 'cuz OMG teff and chocolate together are magical.   Other favorites I made were the Russian Black Bread (I made this twice) and the Kalamata Olive Bread. 

Kalamata Olive Bread
The olive bread was one of the more complicated breads I made from this book ingredient-wise.  I thought it'd be a good recipe to share, since it offers a good feel for the sort of ingredients you might need to procure to use this book

Kalamata Olive Bread--shared with permission from Sasquatch Books
Makes 1 Medium Loaf
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, whole
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 envelope (2 3/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1 1/2 cups room temperature filtered water
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/3 cup flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons Sucanat
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and place a water bath on the bottom rack of the oven floor.  Lightly grease a sheet pan or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, garbanzo bean flour, millet flour, almond meal, flax meal, salt, and xantham gum.  Add the olives and gently mix.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), dissolve the yeast in the room temperature water.  Add the canola oil and Sucanat.  Just as the yeast begins to foam and feed on the Sucanat, about 3 minutes, add the combined dry ingredients with the olives.  Mix thoroughly but just until the dough holds together.  This will take just a few moments.  You can do this by hand with a strong arm and a sturdy spoon, or with your stand mixer and the paddle attachment pulsed on low speed.
  4. On a work surface generously dusted with brown rice flour, turn out the dough ad gently form into a batard shape.  Place on the prepared pan and score with one line that runs the length of the batard, just off center.  bake for 15 minutes.  Decrease the temperature to 425 degrees F and bake for 1 hour.  Decrease the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 45 minutes, until golden brown and crusty. (Total baking time will be 2 hours).
Here are some of my other favorite things about Gluten-Free Vegan Bread:
❤ If I was gonna be reborn a cookbook, this is what I'd want to be.  I love its size, lovely colorful cover, end flaps, heavy silky paper and it's organization and design.

❤ Each page contains a single recipe and there are gorgeous photographs throughout.

❤ Each recipe tells you how much of each flour and starch you need.  No commercial mixes are called for anywhere in the book and Laurie doesn't make readers mix up a flour/starch combo to use (and thus store) for the cookbook.

❤ The breads are yummy enough for gluten-eaters.

❤ A few of the recipes call for a small amount of date sugar or Sucanat, which I found easy to sub with good ol' unbleached granulated sugar.

Onto the FREE STUFF!  This giveaway is open to US and Canadian addresses.  To win your own copy of this book, simply post a comment to this review by midnight Pacific time on Wednesday, November 14th 2012 (please make sure to leave some sort of way I can get in touch with you), and I'll draw a random winner.

Don't forget, you can enter Julie's giveaway, too! 

Bee a Friend.
  • Title:  Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread:  Artisanal Recipes to Make at Home.
  • Author:   Jennifer Katzinger
  • Blog/Website:   None
  • Publisher:  Sasquatch Books
  • Photos: Color photographs throughout
  • Focus: xgfx and soy-free bread recipes
  • 5 Recipes to Intrigue: Pecan Cinnamon Rolls, Apricot Kuchen, Potato Rosemary Bread, Focaccia con Gusto and Orange Chocolate Bread
  • XGFXness:  All recipes are vegan, soy and gluten-free, and most recipes are also nut-free.  The most common flours required are:  sorghum, millet, quinoa, teff, arrowroot, tapioca and almond. 
Disclaimer:  I requested and received a free review copy of Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread  from Sasquatch Books.  No compensation or gift was exchanged for this review, and the opinion posted here is my own.
 
xo
kittee

99 comments:

  1. Wow those breads look delicious. Specially the soft millet sandwich bread. Yum!

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  2. everything looks great! i would love to win this book, as i have yet to try or make a gluten-free bread that is actually good.

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  3. Soft sandwich bread is one of the things I've missed most. Thinking of a hummus /veggie/sprout sandwich right now. Great review

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    1. hmm...for some reason, my name isn't linking to my blog. I'm over at veg-am.blogspot

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  4. Oh! This looks yummy! Been looking for recipes for bread that actually taste good! We are a gluten free family as we have noticed a huge change in my 3 year olds behavior when he eats gluten,

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  5. I had given up baking GF breads, but your blog post today makes me want to try again! I hope to be a winner, but if I'm not this cookbook is definitely going on my Christmas wish list this year! Thanks for sharing your review.

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  6. This Cookbook is Beautiful (the Raspberry Roobios Bread you adapted would be right up my alley-thanks for the tips) sandz4321@hotmail.com

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  7. This looks like a must-have book--and your shots are just mouthwatering. I will def try this olive loaf--anything with olives = goodness. Just popping by to comment...don't enter me bc I have no gluten issues and would rather someone who needs to be GF win.

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  8. This book has been on my "Must Buy" list since it first came out! I would absolutely love to add it to my collection, especially since I don't make bread nearly enough.

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  9. Wow, thanks for the review! I have now found a book to go on my Christmas wish list (if I happen to not win the giveaway). Her improvements from her prior recipes look like good changes! I need a variety of bread recipes- the one recipe I love that I have created is a pita flatbread, but other than that it is hard to get my loaves the right texture and rise.

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  10. ooo yeah, i could never make the breads in her previous books work right either. brick-like, even if they tasted really yummy. i'd love to give her new recipes a try!!!

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  11. This sounds really ground-breaking. I'd love to win this book and experiment with the recipes.

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  12. I'd love to get my feet wet in gluten-free baking with this book! Thanks for the review, Kittee!

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  13. Looks great, and I would love to win a copy, of course!

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  14. I've been looking for some good gluten free bread recipes. Thanks for posting!

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  15. Love this! I am both vegan and GF, and while I can make quick breads, I have yet to conquer sandwich-type breads and rolls -- I'd LOVE to try these recipes.

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  16. Oh, I want this book! Even though I'm only allergic to wheat, I suspect my husband does best on a completely gluten free diet. Bread is the final frontier for me, the only GF food I haven't completely conquered.

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  17. This looks amazing! And a good way for me to get excited about some gluten free bread baking for sure.

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  18. Oh joy! I am so happy for you and all gf peoples of the earth that finally there are some delicious bread recipes for you!!! I would love to make gf breads for all my family and friends. So exciting!! What a great review too Kittee... really well done. It's so good to get a total sense of the book, the recipes, how the book feels... you rule!

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  19. Winning a copy of this book would be so helpful for the many gluten free folks in my life!

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  20. ooh ooh exciting!
    starfivesother at gmail dot com

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  21. Bread is so expensive, I'd live to make own

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  22. All those breads look amazing! I'm not gluten free, but I am vegan and love experimenting with different flours. I would absolutely love to have this book. If I don't win it I will be adding it to my Christmas wish list!

    And thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  23. Thank you for the giveaway! I would love to win a copy of this book to either 1) Give to my mom or 2) From which to bake for my mom.

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  24. Oh my, that cookbook looks amazing! I must admit my xgfx attempts at bread have been somewhat lacking so far, so please enter me in the draw!

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  25. mmmm! looks awesome :> I must try do it ;)

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  26. Yes, please! (you can contact me at brandy at nightstand dot org)

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  27. Wow, that millet sandwich bread is killer looking! I've been making Gluten Free Girl's version from her 1st cookbook, but it's not vegan and I'd rather have a cruelty-free version to try. Definitely adding this book to my find-ASAP list!

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  28. I'm drooling over this book and can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Warm bread joy to all!

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  29. This book looks fantastic, plus Nov 14th is my birthday!

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  30. I'm a GF vegan and have yet to try to make bread.I'm sure this book would be very useful! Karen

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  31. I'm just starting to go gluten-free as I think the gluten is bothering my new baby. I really miss baking bread so I'm quite excited to see this cookbook. :)

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  32. Yum, the banana bread looks so moist and tasty!!

    beastbunny at hotmail dot com

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  33. The texture of the soft millet sandwich bread looks especially appealing. When the book first appeared on Amazon, I did the look inside thing and made a bread like the recipe you posted except no olives. It looked amazing but I thought it tasted like GF bread, and it got weird when confronted with sandwich ingredients. But, I'm still very interested in having this book and trying the other recipes, as well as trying the first bread again. I'd love to see a video of the author mixing the dough!

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  34. thanks for this giveaway!
    gkuroda(at)gmail(d0t)com

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  35. I really would love to try this book. I've been eating gluten-free for over a decade and I've forgotten what good bread can taste like. I haven't had very good luck making bread on my own. I need help!

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  36. OH MAN!!! Would I love to be able to bake awesome bread for myself!! This cookbook would make my life!

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  37. Another exciting giveaway? That's so awesome! And the breads look fantastic. gf baking really is another level of baking sciences!

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  38. Agree with the comment above!! That millet bread looks so moist! And the Kalamata Olive Bread sounds so delicious!! Thank you for providing this giveaway!!

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  39. Fascinating! I knew I recognized that picture from Flying Apron's GF&V book, which I currently have out from the library. I would LOVE to love GF baking but I am scared of it. For my first ever attempt I tried a "low gluten" approach with a recipe from FA and it was tasty but still very dense. Seems like she may have moved away from brown rice flour in this new book, which is interesting.

    That millet bread looks unbelievable, light, and perfect. I'd love to give it a go!

    XO
    Dawn
    http://veganfazool.blogspot.com

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  40. (oops didn't leave contact info earlier! Leslie amajorrecords at msn dot com)

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  41. oooooh. I'm just starting to play with gluten-free baking since my husband's eczema is apparently at least partially a wheat sensitivity... This looks promising!

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  42. This sounds so good and extremely helpful since I've never tried baking breads! Jenspassionparties@gmail.com

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  43. I'm not sure I need the book now that I have that olive loaf recipe . . . but why the hell not? =)

    Seriously, so excited for the olive loaf recipe!

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  44. This cookbook looks so good. Three cheers for recipes with xantham gum!

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    1. (PS: In case I win... My e-mail is (remove spaces) joyoliviamiller AT gmail)

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  45. Great review, I can't wait to get my hands on this book!!

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  46. I would love love *LOVE* to win this book!!
    It's been on my Amazon Wish List since it came out.
    bankruptvegan@gmail.com

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  47. I would love this book. <3
    sagewinna @ keyboardjockeys . com (no spaces)

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  48. Yum yum yum! I've been thinking all week--why don't I just bake my own gluten free bread?

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  49. Really intrigued by her rising method. I'd love to sample that soft millet loaf, it looks divine!

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  50. Luck be a lady tonight! I love to see you so excited about a book!!! xoxo Michelle

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  51. i'd love the book. its interesting to work with gf flours.. and the long bake time intrigues me!

    Richa- veganricha.com

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  52. Thanks for the review and the idea about cutting teff w/rice flour. I couldn't stand it any longer when I saw learned an Anadama recipe is included, so I ordered it. Do tell if you take that one out for a spin sometime!

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  53. These look wonderful! I hope I win so I can try out some recipes at home during Christmas for my dad, who has just gone gluten-free to clear up a bunch of mysterious symptoms (neuropathy, muscle stiffness and soreness, headaches). So far he's seen a huge improvement so we think gluten may be the culprit!

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  54. Do you know I've been checking all week and twice yesterday for this review and kept getting the VeganMofo giveaway. I think my brain needs rewiring. Having said that GIMME!!!! laurel van blarcum at sbc global dot net
    And I'm making this bread just as soon as I figure out what I'm using instead of bean flour. Thanks for the recipe and the giveaway and yeah, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME. hehe

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  55. I've been vegan for over a year now, and recently I've been experimenting with a gluten-free diet. I feel much better! Being vegan, I already cook and bake a lot but I would love to try my hand at some G-F breads since the commercial ones I've bought thus far have been less than desirable : /

    If I win the contest you can reach me at laura.vegandelights@gmail.com

    Thanks~

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  56. We recently went vegan and gf due to food intolerances. Finding foods my kids love has been hard. Thanks for a chance to win a copy of this book! The recipes sound delicious.

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  57. All of the breads you've mentioned in this review sound amazing! I'll try the Kalamata olive bread recipe as soon as I have a chance (thank you for sharing it!), and I sure would love to get to try the other ones... Some days, I have the feeling that having more good xgfx bread on my table would make for a happier me!

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  58. That zucchini bread looks yummalicious...it would be a perfect gift to give or receive for the holidays. Thanks so much for sharing the olive bread recipe too...I haven't had olive bread for ages and I'd love to try this one! cheers!

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  59. I am excited to see a food blogger I trust so excited about a xgfx bread cook book. This gives me faith!! I can't wait to check it out. Thanks for sharing!!

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  60. Store bought vgf bread leaves a lot to be desired. I cannot wait to find a decent sandwich bread recipe and something my kids will like for morning toast.

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  61. My father sent me some bread baking books but there arent any vegan recipes in them. Sad face. But this book gives me hope to vegan baking!! I cant wait to try the Olive bread and the chocolate chip banana bread.

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  62. Very interesting!!!! Thank you for that opportunity to win that cookbook. The soft millet sandwich bread looks very yummy!

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  63. Wow these look great. I am recerntly gluten and dairy free and just stopped eating bread because the GF bread I have seen is so expensive. Thanks for bringing bread back into my life!

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    1. Meant to include my email for when I win :) cblevinson@yahoo.com

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  64. I so need to learn how to bake bread!

    mgonyeo @ hotmail.com

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  65. Wow... these look great! I would be tempted to keep this one, but if I win it, I will send it along to a friend whose daughter is celiac, allergic to eggs, milk, nuts, and a whole slew of other things. She would need it more than I do.

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  66. Oh, Potato Rosemary Bread - be still my heart. Sounds yummy! Would love to win this cookbook. Keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed for this!
    ~Lolly
    lollyb65@gmail.com

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  67. One of these days, I'm going to win the lottery and get back to all of the awesome cookery I used to enjoy so much - especially baking. There's not much that smells better than fresh baked breads.

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  68. Oh these look good!! I'm sure my little one would love them!! :)

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  69. Omg I love to make breads. I have been a vegan for 6 years and I have recently started using GF products. This will definitely come in handy. I hope I win :D amanda.rios89@yahoo.com

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  70. Wow, those breads look amazing. I'd love the book!

    my email is autopilotfootprints@yahoo.com :)

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  71. This would make me (and my sister-in-law) amazingly happy! We're both GF!

    Lisa
    stargazr38@hotmail.com


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  72. I love your reviews--they are so much more in depth than other bloggers' reviews
    I am also writing a cookbook so would love to see this one and evaluate for my self. you can reach me at pboggs at hotmail dot com

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  73. My girls have a free w/gluten allergies. Her parents don't cook or bake, just try to find things she can eat. As a vegan, I try to keep my eyes out for new, easy and yummy recipes for this young lady. Thank you for reviewing this book!

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  74. I got diagnosed with a gluten allergy just last year! This book would be such a great resource. Thanks for the informative review :)
    chrismiss10(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. A thousand thanks for this review! I have been deliberating, and this just prompted me to order the book.

      Love the pics, as well--lovely.

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  75. I can't wait to read this book....or make this olive bread

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  76. Thank you for reviewing this book! I am attempting to adopt a vegan diet and this is just the resource I was looking for :)
    abtracy90 at gmail dot com

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  77. I'd love to win a copy of this book! Are there any recipes in it for yeast-free breads?

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    1. yep! there's a chapter each on quick breads, flat-breads, batter breads and sourdough.

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  78. in some reviews i've read, i've heard some of the baking times are really off (much longer than they should be) and ingredient amounts have to be fiddled with.

    have you had any experience with needing to modify things in this book?

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    1. no, not really. i think the issue some folks are having is with the European hearth style breads. the olive bread pictured above, had a very thick crust, but it was still really good. i might play with reducing the time on that one, to see how it changes the crust, but then it might not be as well baked on the inside.

      the baking times for the quick breads and the yeasted loaf breads seem pretty spot on, to me. the author does suggest using an internal thermometer to check for doneness that way, but i don't have one.

      i think folks are balking because the baking times are very long, which is not traditional for breads. but the doughs are also much wetter than a traditional loaf, as is only using oven spring to rise the breads.

      i didn't try any of the sourdough or batter breads, so can't comment n those.

      xo
      kittee

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    2. thanks for the info! i know at least one blogger who tried a recipe and had to take it out much earlier because it was getting too dark. but i remembered reading your review, so i was curious.

      i've been vegan for a long time but new to gf baking and am looking for a good book to get started.. and was worried about having to adjust stuff when i'm just figuring it out. any cookbook you'd recommend for someone just getting into it?

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    3. Here are four cookbooks you would probably love, if you can get past their (mostly) terrible names.

      Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread--Laurie Sadowski.
      Lots of really great utilitarian recipes. I reviewed it here: http://kitteekake.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-allergy-free-cook-bakes-bread.html

      Gluten-Free Vegan Bread--Jennifer Katzinger

      Enjoy Life's Cookies for Everyone--Leslie Hammond

      The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook--Cybele Pascal

      xo
      kittee

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  79. Hi, nice post. Well what can I say is that these is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for sharing your ideas, its not just entertaining but also gives your reader knowledge. Good blogs style too, Cheers!
    - The gluten free breads

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