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The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking: 80 Low-Carb Recipes that Offer Solutions for Celiac Disease, Diabetes, and Weight Loss

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Amazing, easy-to-make recipes that revolutionize baking for wheat sensitive, diabetic, and low-carb/low-sugar cooks.

     After more than two decades of research into gluten-free baking, bestselling author and legendary bread maker Peter Reinhart and his baking partner Denene Wallace deliver more than eighty world-class recipes for delicious breads, pastries, cookies, cakes, and more in The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking.
     Carefully crafted for anyone who is gluten sensitive, diabetic, or needs to reduce carbs to prevent illness or lose weight, these forgiving recipes taste just as good as the original wheat versions—and are easier to bake than traditional breads. By using readily available or home-ground nut and seed flours and alternative and natural sweeteners as the foundation for their groundbreaking style of baking, Reinhart and   Wallace avoid the carb-heavy starch products commonly found in gluten-free baking. Additionally, each recipe can easily be made vegan by following the dairy and egg substitution guidelines. 
Bakers of all skill levels will have no trouble creating incredibly flavorful baked goods, such as:
•   Toasting Bread, Banana Bread, Nutty Zucchini Bread, and many styles of pizza and focaccia
•   Cheddar Cheese and Pecan Crackers, Herb Crackers, Garlic Breadsticks, and pretzels
•   Blueberry-Hazelnut Muffins, Lemon and Poppy Seed Scones, and pancakes and waffles
•   Coconut-Pecan Cookies, Lemon Drop Cookies, Biscotti, and Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
•   Brownies and Blondies, Cinnamon-Raisin Coffee Cake, Pound Cake with Crumb Topping, and Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
•   Apple Crumble Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Berry Pie, and Vanilla, Chocolate, or Banana Cream Pie
     With Reinhart and Wallace’s careful attention to ingredients and balancing of flavors, these delicious gluten-free baked goods with a glycemic load of nearly zero will satisfy anyone’s craving for warm bread or decadent cake.

224 pages, Hardcover

First published August 14, 2012

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About the author

Peter Reinhart

23 books89 followers
Peter Reinhart is a baking instructor at Johnson & Wales University. He was the co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper's Bakery in Sonoma, California, and is the author of five books on bread baking, including Brother Juniper's Bread Book and the modern classic The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which was named cookbook of the year in 2002 by both the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He lives with his wife, Susan, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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5 stars
64 (24%)
4 stars
65 (24%)
3 stars
83 (31%)
2 stars
31 (11%)
1 star
22 (8%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 35 reviews
Profile Image for Jenny (Reading Envy).
3,876 reviews3,049 followers
March 23, 2015
I so admire Peter Reinhart - he has taught me the best way to make many breads and pizza doughs. His own diabetes battle led him to write this book. I had to give it away because most of the recipes use 1 cup to 1.5 cups of Splenda or sucralose, powdered chemical sweetener, and this is something I just can't stand. The taste is awful and something I haven't been able to adjust to. I labored over a carrot cake recipe from this book. It baked well, it looked beautiful, but neither my husband or I could eat it.

The non-sweet recipes are okay but don't make up the majority of the book. I also think that when you are used to eating low-sugar, you don't need the sweetness level of that much sweetener! I think that element should be reconsidered or more options should be given throughout the book before I could recommend it.
Profile Image for Kira McGann.
71 reviews1 follower
November 19, 2012
Using artificial sugar substitutes like and Splenda and Sucralose is not good for anyone.
Nice photos of baked goods.
Profile Image for HelloCutePanda.
15 reviews
May 4, 2017
The most of the reviews on this book are the dumbest reviews I have ever read in my life. Yes, that is an exaggeration - but when it comes down to it - they are super dumb. The fact there are complaints about the book using artificial sweeteners is mind blowing. Add to that the suggestion that the book should have used natural sweeteners sends it over the top. Are you kidding me? Did these people not read the title of the book? Because it is kind of hard to miss DIABETES in the title. As in this book is for people who have diabetes. Because news alert - natural sugars are still sugars - and sugar raises blood sugar levels in diabetics which is super bad. Which is why this book was created to offer diabetics recipes for baked goods that wouldn't send them into a diabetic coma.

I would also like to touch on the review that complains about the fact that this book is for people with special dietary issues and you cannot just use normal flour and sugar. Wow. Just wow. Because the title totally didn't call that out. Like there are not a billion other baking books that just use normal flour and sugar.

Lets look at the review that talks about how expensive the ingredients are. Given the needs of who this book is intended for - shouldn't come as a surprise that the unique ingredients are not cheap. And this person also complains about the amount made - they are normal amounts and there are tips stating that you can refrigerate and freeze the baked good to eat later on.

"These baked goods don't have the taste or texture that they usually do." No shit Sherlock. There is only so much you can do to recreate baked goods without the ingredients that they are normally made with because those consuming them have special dietary restrictions.

Someone also left a poor review because the cookbook used eggs and they wanted the ability to make the recipes vegan. Really? Really? Leaving a poor review on a baking book that is not a vegan recipe book because it wasn't easy to make the recipes vegan is beyond ridiculous.

I have made cookies, muffins and waffles in the book - pretty darn tasty. Easy to follow recipes. Tweeks here and there to adjust to my tastes.

Profile Image for Larisa.
776 reviews
October 8, 2012
Even with adjusments for altitude the breads exhibit the challenge of gluten free, low carb subsitutes: crumbly, dense bricks lacking in structure and mouth feel. My gluten-corn-milk free bread quest continues.

Also disappointing the book advocates a specific brand of stevia. Instead of the small packets of pure stevia available at any health grocer (where all the other ingredients used are found) they advocate stevia mixed in with a corn based product for volume; for cup-to-cup replacement. Corn is another major food allergen that many celiac, IBS and food sensitive people cannot consume.

No bread is better than bad bread.
Profile Image for Denise.
11 reviews
November 26, 2012
One thing I do not like about most gluten free recipes is that they are often very high carb (potato starch, rice flour, etc.). This book offers alternatives which are high fiber and protein like sesame flour, pecan flour, walnut flour, flax meal, etc. without relying on those nutrient empty filler flours. Good info on how to make your own as well (including almond, coconut). Not a fan of splenda and I have not found the one type of stevia they recommend in the book ANYWHERE, but overall I love the focus on alternative high protein/high fiber "flours" which are good for those seeking to control blood sugar/diabetes and not just be gluten-free.
February 20, 2013
I bought this for myself as a birthday present, now to decide what to make for my birthday treat! Can't wait, all looks good!
Profile Image for Andrea.
1,418 reviews12 followers
August 31, 2018
I have been working hard on committing to a low-carb lifestyle. I feel so much better when I omit things like bread, grains, and sugar from my regular diet. That being said I have been trying a few alternative items to help keep me from falling off the wagon. I want to say that I have not yet tried anything from this book. I just finished it and I am hoping to try a couple of recipes and then I will update my review.

In the meantime I love the use of alternative flours. The recipes are creative and tasty looking. The authors spend a lot of time providing very detailed instructions. I like that they assumed some people may be making bread for the first time.

Like others I'm not a fan of Splenda because of what it does to blood sugar. There are other alternative sugars that have less glycemic impact so I would just swap for the ones I like to use.
Profile Image for LS Schulz.
162 reviews
July 14, 2017
There was plenty of information for getting started in low carb baking. Many of the recipes sounded quite tasty and I'd like to try them. My only real complaint (without having tested any of the recipes) is that none of the recipes contain any nutritional information - so how do you know how "Low carb" they are?
3 reviews
May 13, 2020
Delighted to have found this book and very happy to have purchased it. Denene Wallace's knowledge (given her history) really makes the book. Didn't give it 5 stars only because I haven't been cooking much of anything lately, and left the book with my parents.
Profile Image for Cherop .
509 reviews1 follower
March 20, 2023
It's hard to believe that something low carb can look as delicious and rich as the cake in the cover photo. This book was too popular at the library for me to keep it out for long. I intend to revisit it and hopefully try some of the low carb recipes.
Profile Image for Shaida Hossein.
193 reviews
August 21, 2021
Interested in cheesy herb pizza crust, multiple focaccia breads, sesame seed breadsticks, simple pretzels, lemon and poppy seed scones, lemon drops
Profile Image for Tammy.
1,226 reviews32 followers
August 10, 2015
This book has inspired me to bake again. I had quit baking from scratch completely several years ago when several people in my family were diagnosed with diabetes. I started only using mixes when I occasionally baked for a special occasion. Now my young niece has been diagnosed with Celiac's as well and is extremely sensitive to gluten. I have been trying to find gluten free recipes that still look like and taste like a normal cookie or cupcake.

A lot of gluten free products and flours are higher in carbohydrates than common flours which makes gluten free breads and bake goods less healthy for diabetics. Then I found this book that has recipes that all the members of my family can enjoy. Luckily, none of us have a nut allergy.

All the recipes in this book are suitable for gluten-sensitive, diabetic, low-carb or low-sugar dieters. The recipes are from legendary bread maker and James Beard Award-winning author Peter Reinhart and Denene Wallace. Denene Wallace is a baker and was diagnosed as gluten sensitive in 2003 and with type 2 diabetes in 2006. The main difference in this book and other gluten-free recipe books is the type of flour and type of sweeteners used. The recipes use primarily nut flours which are high in protein and lower in carbs than other gluten-free flours. The recipes are designed to have essentially no glycemic load making it possible for people with blood sugar and insulin concerns to enjoy them. Additionally, each recipe can easily be made vegan by following the dairy and egg substitution guidelines.

I was impressed by the time and effort the two authors put into these recipes. They experimented with multiple types of flours as well as sweeteners to find out what combinations would give the best results and still have less than 10 net carbs per serving. Some recipes call for a mixture such as Splenda and Stevia liquid, while others only use one type of sweetener. Most of the recipes have at least two types of flour. The authors give good step by step instructions but you will need to read them carefully. Maybe even more carefully if you have baked and cooked a lot before.

A down-side to these recipes is the cost of the flours. Unfortunately, this is true for gluten free flours of any kind at this time. But almond flour cost even more. Still, to be able to serve the whole family a cake or other treat for a special occasion that is made from scratch, yummy and that no one needs to worry about their health after eating it is worth it.
Profile Image for Kerry.
1,445 reviews59 followers
March 25, 2016
The intent of this book is refreshing in that it considers that gluten intolerance and carb sensitivity may go hand in hand and doesn't just assume one or the other. So many books focus on the gluten-free aspect while piling on the sweeteners--creating the age-old fallacy of mixing up the idea of "natural" with the idea of "healthy." Lots of books exist for those who don't want to eat gluten but have no obvious problems with carbs, so the authors using stevia or other sweeteners can't be considered a valid complaint for this book, which seeks to be different and take into consideration another subset of the population. The authors even acknowledge that just because certain foods have a particular carb count or GI doesn't mean they affect everyone the same way and that personal levels of tolerance must be acknowledged by the person making/eating these desserts and breads themselves.

These recipes are not for those short on budget, time, patience, or accessibility to ingredients. The alternative flours and the processes involved to make these breads, cakes, and cookies are labor intensive and the ingredients expensive. In some cases, if you can't get ingredients because suppliers do not recognize any country they, in their narrow view of the "civilized" world, cannot easily find on a map, such as xanthan gum, you are out of luck for some recipes. Finally, it can only be surmised the mess you are left with after you've ground, whipped, mixed, sprayed, dolloped, and baked.

It isn't the authors' faults that they do not control the laws of chemistry and that these recipes take some effort, planning, and outlay of expense. Probably they're for people who want to occasionally make a pastry-like treat but who still have the surplus finances to make mistakes with the somewhat precious ingredients and start over with a botched initial try. People who have discovered that simple eating is the most convenient way to appeal to both their sensitivity to gluten and their sensitivity to carbohydrates, including sugar in all its forms (honey included--just because it's in this so-called "natural" column doesn't mean it doesn't have the same health effects as sugar, and it doesn't mean that sugar substitutes such as stevia an erythritol are automatically unhealthy--totally false dichotomy here), may balk at diving into producing these beasts of recipes, as glorious as they appear to taste.
2 reviews
April 11, 2016
Deeply appreciated

As I am both gluten-intolerant and diabetic, this cookbook makes it easy for me to enjoy low-carb, low-sugar, gluten free baking and baked-goods again. I really appreciate the thought and science that went into the writing of this book, especially the many "permissions" to change things around as desired. This book is changing my life. A heart-felt thank you to all involved in its production, but especially to the authors.
Profile Image for Christine.
147 reviews
January 25, 2013
Lots of great, interesting recipes in here. If you like/need to bake gluten-free--and are willing to do a bit of prep work--this is a good book to have on your shelf. May be more appropriate for "seasoned celiacs"--or those well-versed in the gluten-free diet and the various flours available--rather than newbies.
Profile Image for Marie.
23 reviews
May 23, 2013
No carbs, no sugar, no gluten. Innovative recipes that look very good. The book has nice photos for most recipes. Appealing bread and desert recipes. +++

Here are my successful and failed trials:
Strawberry-coconut muffins - delicious but need to reduce cooking time with my oven

Toasting bread - had to re cook it 2 hrs and it never ended up being fully cooked.
Profile Image for Janet.
2,038 reviews19 followers
April 26, 2014
Loved this book because it was not written exclusively for celiacs, the way many others are. The authors recognize that there are myriad of other health reasons why one might want to bake gluten free and that is their approach. My only concern with the book is their heavy use of stevia. I am hoping to try one of their recipes with something else--honey? agave?
Profile Image for Kim.
1,292 reviews35 followers
October 4, 2012
Not bad if you have these problems, which I don't. Too many expensive ingredients for me to bother and no, you cannot just use sugar and regular flour. These recipes are specifically set up for the special ingredients.
Profile Image for Karina.
19 reviews
January 26, 2013
"Joy" is pushing it. I pretty much only picked this up because of dietary restrictions, but I've enjoyed some pf Peter Reinhart's other non-GF recipes. Dislike that there are so many recipes with artificial sweetener or sugar substitutes, surely there can be a healthier alternative
Profile Image for Kim.
163 reviews12 followers
February 22, 2013
Found a few recipes I'm interested in using, but not a fan of stevia or other sugar substitutes. I'd rather put white sugar in a recipe that my body can break down than "fake-sugars". Will see if my opinion changes after baking a few of them.
2 reviews
March 22, 2016
Can't wait to try these recipes

These recipes were fairly simple...not a lit of ingredients. I also liked that they had most of the ingredients in common, so I wouldn't be buying an ingredient for just one recipe.
Profile Image for Alison.
257 reviews
March 28, 2016
There's a good discussion of baking with nut and seed flours, and I learned about pecan flour. Splenda is suggested for many of the recipes, though, which has recently been proven as not a healthy sugar substitute. I'd like to see the authors write an updated version of the book.
89 reviews
March 27, 2016
Only for the 1%

Recipes for the wealthy. Every recipe makes enough for a large family, a big party or one person to discard to next day. I just cannot justify it. No gluten, no sugar but full of fat. Not for me.
Profile Image for Monica.
606 reviews1 follower
November 15, 2012
I have mixed feelings on this book. The recipes look very good, but you need to use a particular kind of stevia.
Profile Image for Carly.
18 reviews10 followers
March 19, 2013
If you're on a strict diet and aren't allergic to nuts and want something sweet, this is your book.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 35 reviews

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