Book Review: Against the Grain


Against the Grain:
Extraordinary gluten-free recipes made from real, all-natural ingredients

Nancy Cain

Goodreads Summary:

The definitive handbook on gluten-free baking–with revolutionary recipes made from whole-foods, no fakes or chemicals required –from the owner of Against the Grain Gourmet, the popular line of all-natural gluten-free baked goods.

Nancy Cain came to gluten-free baking simply enough: Her teenage son was diagnosed with Celiac disease. After trying ready-made baking mixes and finding the results rubbery, she made the revolutionary discovery that delicious gluten-free breads could be made entirely from natural ingredients, no xanthan or guar gums required.

This is the ultimate handbook for bakers who want to understand gluten-free bread from the inside out. Nancy explains the science of gluten-free baking, breaking down the ingredients and how they make for crunchier, softer, and more delicious baking. These 200 recipes for breads, flatbreads, quick breads, crackers, muffins, cookies, cakes, and pies, and also main courses–such as pastas, pizzas, tacos, sandwiches, savory tarts, casseroles, and more–use natural ingredients, no chemical additives or mystery ingredients required. With ample information for gluten-free beginners and 100 full-color photographs, this book is a game-changer for gluten-free families everywhere, and the ultimate resource for delicious gluten-free recipes.

My Thoughts:

I am not completely gluten-free as many are by necessity.  However, I do have a very restrictive diet, and some of the restrictions have to do with foods that include gluten.  When I got the opportunity to review this book, I jumped at it.

One thing that sets this cookbook apart from similar cookbooks is that before you get to the recipes, there is an entire section on the fundamentals of gluten-free baking.  It explains why gluten-free foods are the way they are, and baking techniques to help make the foods taste more like the traditional way we think of them tasting.  The author stays away from xanthum-gum and bakes from scratch using whole ingredients.  While the “science of baking” section was a little intimidating for me, someone not fond of science or baking, the recipes looked straight forward and not too difficult.  I look forward to trying some of them once I’m recovered from surgery and back in my kitchen!


I would 100% recommend this cookbook to anyone with celiac disease or a gluten-intolerance.  It has some great “comfort foods” that one might think were impossible on a GF diet that are certainly worth a try.


5 of 5 stars.

Disclaimer:  I was given a free copy of this book via Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion/review.  All ideas and thoughts expressed are my own.

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About Laura

A Christian wife, mother, daughter, former educator, photographer, amateur chef, pretend gardener, alto 🎶, book nerd, cancer-survivor and laundry-hater.
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