Volume 1

America’s Test Kitchen Revolutionizes Gluten-Free Cooking

Gluten-free baking is often challenging and almost always disappointing. The proliferation of gluten-free mixes and flour blends should be welcome news, but no two products perform the same way. And unless you like gritty cakes, crumbly cookies, and gummy breads, most gluten-free recipes are far from ideal. Could America’s most meticulous recipe testers improve the situation for gluten-averse home cooks who want to enjoy their favorite dishes—everything from apple pie and brownies to lasagna and fried chicken?

The result of a yearlong odyssey in the test kitchen, The How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook reinvents the rules of baking to deliver a collection of recipes that represents a quantum leap forward in the world of gluten-free (GF) baking (and cooking).

A Few Highlights:

  • Let cookie dough and muffin batter rest before baking: Because GF flours are so starchy, resting muffin batter and cookie dough for 30 minutes is key. The starches have time to hydrate before they go into the oven, which eliminates grittiness—a common pitfall with GF baked goods.
  • Yeast breads need a second leavener: Since GF flours are lower in protein than wheat flour, yeast breads don’t rise as well and their texture can be leaden. Adding baking powder (or soda) gives the yeast the boost that it needs to produce tall loaves with a light crumb.
  • GF flours often need alternate fats: GF flours don’t absorb butter all that well and the end result can be very greasy. The solution: Cut down on the butter and replace the lost richness with more stable fats, such as cream cheese, sour cream, and white chocolate.

In addition to featuring baking recipes, this groundbreaking cookbook includes comfort food classics like lasagna (gluten-free noodles that you boil first are essential) and meatloaf (potato flakes can take the place of the usual bread or cracker crumbs). Want to know which brand of gluten-free pasta you should buy? Most are gritty and mushy, but the test kitchen tasting experts found one product that they can enthusiastically recommend.

To ensure that our recipes would be foolproof, the test kitchen developed its own easy-to-make and economical gluten-free flour blend. But because not everyone will want to make a homemade blend, the test kitchen evaluated all the leading store-bought options and found two commercial blends that work well in all our recipes.

To help readers understand gluten-free baking and cooking, an extensive section in the front of the book explains the science of gluten as well as breakthrough strategies that every gluten-averse cook should utilize.

Finally, you’ll learn what to stock in a gluten-free pantry and the very best ways to cook many familiar (and not so familiar) gluten-free grains. With The How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook, you’ll acquire more than just recipes that will amaze your family and friends: You will also get a valuable education in gluten-free cooking and baking.

The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook (Cover)