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New gluten-free, sugar-free cookbook features breads, crackers, muffins, cakes and more

The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking by Peter Reinhart and Denene Wallace, stands out as one of the more thoughtfully crafted and gorgeous cookbooks I’ve worked with.

It is great for smart foodies as all the recipes are nut/seed-flour based and meant to include wheat sensitive, diabetic and low-carb/low-sugar cooks.

What’s even more special is that Denene Wallace is totally accessible and willing to chat with you about your baking experiences. I found this out when I emailed her about my Rosemary and Olive Oil Focaccia drama.

Foccacia mayhem

In a nutshell, my egg whites still wouldn’t peak after 15 minutes of mad whisking and my almond meal batter was all soupy, not stiff like it was supposed to be.

Rosemary Foccacia (Denene Wallace)

Rosemary and Olive Oil Foccacia (Denene Wallace)

At the listed oven temperature, the Focaccia looked so brown in 25 minutes that I didn’t dare rotate it and let it continue baking for the remaining 25 minutes.

Surprisingly, the under-cooked result was pretty tasty, which made me want to perfect it even more, so I contacted Denene.

Denene responds!

The first thing she said to me was to chill out and enjoy the cookbook because the recipes are so forgiving and easy to work with that we can experiment and adjust accordingly.

Nut/seed flours “brown up” faster than other flours and fool us into thinking they are done before they are done on the inside. She suggested I lower my oven temperature by 20 degrees and then bake for the full amount of time the recipe calls for.

I plan on making the Focaccia again but it must wait until I’ve done the Biscotti, Sweet Potato, Pecan and Ginger Biscuits, Any Nut Bread and my other faves.

Just so you know

Baking with nut/seed flours and high quality sweeteners are expensive, but these recipes are worth it if you have dietary restrictions or as special treats if you’re on a budget.

Most of the recipes call for dairy but can easily be substituted with alternatives for those who need to avoid certain foods or are vegan. The introduction covers these issues very well so check it out before you dive into baking, and if you need additional help look for Denene on facebook, email:

Enjoy your treats in moderation (they are high in calories, but fill you up quickly) and see how your body responds. Then write in about your experience.

You can buy the book right away from Amazon.

Feature Biscotti image: Denene Wallace

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