By Roben Ryberg
Da Capo Press, $17.00, 170 pages
The major merit of this cookbook focusing on gluten-free recipes is quick preparation and baking – not five minutes as claimed, but not much longer. The book is written for those who wish to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, yet want to avoid commercial gluten-free prepared foods. Though 123 recipes are presented, many are repeated three times using alternative flours; for example, the three hamburger roll alternatives show that you can choose from brown rice, white rice or sorghum flours.
All baked recipes use the microwave, and the leavening agent is either baking powder or baking soda. Any baker knows the difference in taste between yeast-raised and chemical-raised baked items. Speed definitely sacrifices flavor, and microwave baking is not noted for authentic bagels, English muffins, pizza crust, breads, cakes, pancakes and cookies.
The recipes are for small servings: one bagel, two slices of bread or one tortilla. They are easy to follow and printed with large fonts, though there are places you might be scratching your head (“rounded 1/16 teaspoon”). Apart from eight pages of color photos bound in the book, the text is un-illustrated. The subject index is good and nicely cross-referenced.