Against the Grain: Extraordinary Gluten-Free Recipes Made from Real, All-Natural Ingredients

My idea to start my gluten-free bread company, Against the Grain, began as many other gluten-free companies do, in our kitchen and with a familiar story. A family member is diagnosed with celiac disease; the mom (and it is almost always the mom) goes into high gear to create baked goods the whole family can enjoy. Before she knows it, she is baking for her family, gluten-intolerant neighbors, local restaurants and farmers markets.” – Nancy Cain

Nancy Cain is onto something. In Against the Grain, she has created a stunning collection of information, recipes, and experience that make life a bit easier for anyone who has celiacs, gluten intolerance, or prefer to avoid gluten.  Unlike so many gluten-free cookbooks, this one is packed with a variety of delicious flavors that anyone (not just those avoiding gluten) will be thrilled to try.

Almost every recipe has a back story and the ingredients are easy to find.  Options like Carrot Cake, Boston Cream Pie, Cheesy Breadsticks, Glazed Yeast Doughnuts, Seeded Dinner Rolls, and even Bagels make eating gluten-free fun again.  Who knew that Flour Tortillas, Calzones, Country White Sandwich Bread, Seeded Dinner Rolls and Coconut Eclairs were possible when avoiding gluten?  I did not, until I opened Against the Grain. Baking without gluten has never been this much fun!  I love the depth of information on different gluten-free flours, and the wide range of options, but what I love most is that so many of the options are vegetarian or vegan as well.  Honestly, eating gluten-free is easier and more delicious with Nancy Cain at the helm.

Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish, then line it with parchment paper, allowing the parchment paper to overhang two sides of the dish.

2. In a bowl, with a hand mixer, blend the peanut butter, honey, egg, baking soda, and 3 tablespoons coconut until thick and creamy. Scoop the batter into the baking dish and use a rubber spatula to spread the batter until it is even.

3. Bake the bars for 18 to 20 minutes, or until set and the edges are just barely starting to brown (the center will be slightly lower than the edges when set). This batter has a tendency to overbake very quickly, so be sure to check for doneness at around 18 minutes. Remove the bars from the oven, sprinkle on the remaining coconut for garnish and allow to cool fully before cutting into bars.

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