Many of us know someone, work with someone, or are related to someone who is gluten intolerant or suffers from celiac disease. For most family gatherings, potlucks, and parties, there is usually plenty of food available without gluten, but when it comes to dessert, wheat flour is pretty ubiquitous. Especially around the holidays--everyone wants the chance to have some pumpkin pie, gingersnaps, and iced sugar cookies. In Jeanne Sauvage's debut cookbook, Gluten-Free Baking For the Holidays, she shares recipes for classic baked treats enjoyed at celebrations throughout the year, along with everyday treats such as pound cake, shortbread, muffins, and scones.
Sauvage, who also pens the popular blog Art of Gluten-Free Baking, is a lifelong baker who discovered her gluten intolerance 10 years ago. Frustrated with commercially available gluten-free baking mixes and products, she set out on a journey to research, experiment and develop recipes that were delicious first, and gluten-free second.
The 60 recipes in Gluten-Free Baking For the Holidays range from European classics like panettone, krumkaka, speculaas, cannoli, and lebkuchen, to All-American biscuits, cornbread, apple pie, soft sandwich bread, cinnamon rolls, and chocolate chip cookies. Most include Sauvage's own gluten-free mixture, which she shares in the introduction. A mixture of rice flours, tapioca flour and xantham gum, it makes pie crust flaky, cakes tender, and cookies chewy.
For novice and skilled bakers alike, working with gluten-free flour mixes can prove challenging. Sauvage guides readers through the challenges they may encounter in the book's introduction. As a skilled baker who once baked with gluten flours, she is able to compare and contrast the two, sharing what she learned as she made the transition to gluten-free. And while this book is dedicated to gluten-free baking, there are still valuable tips for working with other ingredients such as butter, sugar, and leaveners, advice for making substitutions, and recommendations for equipment, baking pans and other tools.
Each recipe in Gluten-Free Baking For the Holidaysincludes instructions that guide you through each step of the process. There are guidelines for how a batter should look or feel, or warnings about how a dough will react---things that are particularly helpful for working with new ingredients like a gluten-free flours. Most recipes have ingredients you can find at a well-stocked supermarket, but to make Sauvage's gluten-free flour mixture, you'll need to order ingredients online or hit up PCC or Whole Foods. Once you have a gluten-free flour mix on hand however, it's easy to substitute it for wheat flours in your baking. And even easier to make holiday favorites and classic baked goods with the help of this new cookbook.
Jeanne Sauvage will be at Book Larder on Wednesday, December 5 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for a free book signing and demonstration. She's also teaching a sold out class at The Pantry at Delancey on Saturday, December 8. You can sign-up for the wait list at thepantryatdelancey.com. For future events and classes, subscribe at artofglutenfreebaking.com.