My mom (Grandma T) has always been a good cook and baker. When she had to go gluten free, she pretty quickly realized that she was going to have to re-learn how to bake. Gluten free flours don’t behave the way wheat flour does, and replacing gluten requires special gums and fibers – you almost need to be a chemist to really make it work.
Enter America’s Test Kitchen. From their website:
America’s Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods.
Their first gluten free cookbook, *How Can It Be Gluten Free was released in March 2014. This cookbook’s recipes are all built around their all-purpose gluten free flour blend. A great feature of the book is that in each recipe, they explain why certain ingredients affect the recipe in positive ways, and tell you what to expect if you substitute other ingredients. You not only get a great collection of recipes, but you can learn the often counter-intuitive science behind gluten free baking.
Before giving up gluten, thick crust pizza was my favorite; I loved a good, chewy texture and despised cracker-thin bases. Gluten free pizzas, whether store-bought or made from scratch, tend to be thin crust. While they’re not terrible, I just missed having a pizza crust of substance. The cookbook has a pizza recipe that looked promising, so one afternoon, my mom and I set out to make it. Our dinner that night was the best gluten free pizza ever! It had a good, chewy crust, but the middle was still cooked through and supported the toppings. It’s glorious.
Since then, it’s been in regular rotation in my mom’s kitchen.
You can get the recipe online here when you sign up for a free trial with America’s Test Kitchen. It takes time to make; there’s rising and resting and par-baking involved. However, the pizza bases can be frozen for use later, so it’s definitely worth your while.
Grandma T has made a few additional modifications to take it over the top.
Grandma T’s gluten free pizza ATK recipe tweaks:
Since I cook for two, I make three crusts instead of two (as directed in the recipe). I use coconut oil which gives the crust a lighter texture. For the sauce (the recipe is in the cookbook as well), I use salsa-style fire-roasted tomatoes and add cayenne pepper to make it spicy.
- diced green chile
- red and green bell peppers
- sliced tomatoes
- hot Italian sausage
Sugar cookies & snickerdoodles too?
In addition to the life-changing pizza recipe, the cookbook also has a really good chewy sugar cookie recipe. Remember when I was missing snickerdoodles? I made the ATK sugar cookies last week and rolled one batch in cinnamon sugar. Craving satisfied! They came out so good. You can also find the recipe online with your trial with America’s Test Kitchen.
My only modification was to roll balls of dough in cinnamon and sugar before flattening them, and then I sprinkled more on top before baking. These cookies stay delightfully chewy; I made them about a week ago and they are still good (stored in an airtight container at room temperature.) I put half the batch in the freezer for future cookie emergencies.
We heartily recommend this cookbook for your gluten free kitchen. *You can buy it through Amazon (it will ship to the United Kingdom as well).
America’s Test Kitchen released a follow-up book, *How Can It Be Gluten Free 2, which introduces a multigrain flour recipe and includes recipes for graham crackers, whole grain rolls and waffles. It also includes a comparison and analysis of several of the commercially available flour blends on the market and tells you how each will perform in different types of baked goods. Again, *this book is available through Amazon and will ship to the UK. If you’re only going to buy one, though, make it the original book – it’s essential reading for anyone who wants to bake better gluten free goods!
Do you own either of the America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks? Do you have a favorite gluten free cookbook? Tell us in the comments!
Grandma T’s gluten free recipes and recommendations will be featured on Gluten Free Fab Life from time to time – check back soon to see what she’s cooked up!
Grandma T’s previous recipes
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