A diagnosis of celiac disease or gluten intolerance can often come as a relief to someone who’s been struggling with mysterious sickness and pain for months or even years, says Peter Bronski. But that’s often followed by a sense of loss and even “mourning” for beloved foods that suddenly are not allowed on a gluten-free diet.
“I think in the beginning it can be easy to get hung up on the restrictive part of the diet. But actually, it’s liberating,” says Bronski, who was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance in 2007. A family of proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye, gluten can seem a ubiquitous part of the American diet. But once those grains are off the table, “you start discovering things like millet, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat,” Bronski says.
Bronski and his wife, Kelli, who adopted a gluten-free diet to support her husband, are the authors of Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking. The book’s second edition, published this summer, includes 25 new recipes.
While diners can turn to fruits, vegetables and other foods that are naturally gluten-free, Peter Bronski says people still hunger for those forbidden baked goods — especially sweets. That might be because dessert feeds us emotionally as well as physically. For many families, cakes, cookies, and pies remain an important “gathering place” for special occasions, he notes. “When someone goes gluten-free and can’t eat X, Y, or Z, when you take away dessert, I think that’s the most traumatic,” he says.
Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking uses a single gluten-free flour blend for all its baking recipes, making it “just as simple as using all-purpose flour,” Kelli says. The book’s new edition includes measurements by weight, making it easier to get consistent results from ingredients that may measure differently than wheat flour.
Peter Bronski says his dining room table is proof that going gluten-free doesn’t have to mean abandoning family recipes or enduring breads with the consistency of cardboard. “Our grilled pizza recipe -- everyone we serve it to is blown away,” Kelli says. “Including my gluten-eating Long Island mother,” Peter adds, “Who appreciates her New York style pizza.”
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