While most gluten-free baking cookbooks simply replace all-purpose wheat flour, usually with white rice, tapioca and potato flours, this book celebrates the wide array of grains, nuts and seeds that add unique texture and flavour to desserts. Recipes oust hard-to-find gums, such as guar and xanthan, and minimize starches, such as corn, tapioca and potato. Alternative Baker highlights lesser-known flours such as millet, oat, buckwheat, chestnut, sorghum and mesquite. These flours provide recipe with superior texture, flavour and nutritional value to boot. Alternative Baker feature fruit-based recipes that range from breakfast breads to pies, tarts, crisps, cobblers, cakes, custards and small treats like cookies and bars. Examples include Cranberry Millet Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze; Buckwheat, Pear Walnut Galettes with Salty Honey Caramel; Salty Caramel & Banana Cream Tarts in a Mesquite Crust and Maple Bourbon Peach Cobbler with Brown Butter Biscuits. In addition, the book includes recipes for basics like sauces and accompaniments.
Author Alanna Taylor-Tobin is a classically trained pastry chef who has been developing recipes and techniques for her own gluten sensitivity for more than a decade. Her love of alternative, unrefined flours, sweeteners and organic produce is a product of her upbringing by health-nut hippie parents.