Cybele Pascal’s Allergen- Free Baker’s Handbook

You know when something is so easy that you think you’re doing it wrong? Has this ever happened to you? Well, this is how I feel about Cybele Pascal’s Beer Bread. I’ve been baking it once a week for a little over a month now and I STILL double check everything because it’s just so simple (but oh so delicious) that I think I’m forgetting something!

You’re getting a two for one today in Things We Love – Beer Bread Recipe AND the book I got the recipe from, which is Cybele Pascal’s Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook.

We found out that my daughter had severe food allergies when she was around 4 months old. At the time I didn’t know what I was going to do. Being a baker, my first thought was “I won’t be able to make her first birthday cake!” along with all the other fears about her health. After doing TONS of reading and research I found this book online. Then, literally the next day, I saw Pascal on Martha Stewart discussing her book and educating Martha on food allergies! I felt that it was a sign, and I immediately bought the book.

If you, or anyone you know, have food allergies (not just gluten ) and miss  foods from the everyday bread to decadent  treats like  cinnamon buns or an Orange Chiffon Cake with Orange Rum Sauce then you have to get this book. Pascal is very thorough in explaining all the ingredients and baking steps. Even if you are a beginner, Pascal gives you a thorough education in baking, guaranteeing your success.. Her book helped me feel that my daughter can still grow up and have all the “normal” treats I had as a child.

When I was pregnant, my husband and I made the decision that my daughter was going to be raised gluten free since it is a genetically linked disease. Being gluten free myself for over 7 years I wasn’t intimidated by the thought of gluten free baking – I had learned to create wonderful wheat free treats and found that I had a talent for making them..But to then find out that she is also allergic to dairy, eggs, and nuts? Well I felt as if I was falling into a black hole. Where would I find teething biscuits? Again, what about her 1st birthday? What’s going to happen when she goes to school? A million questions and concerns swirled through my brain.

Well, we’re still learning things (it has only been about 5 months since her diagnosis) and we’ll keep on learning things. But I do know one thing: I am so grateful that Cybele Pascal is as talented as she is! She has made my life just a little bit easier and a lot less scary. Knowing that when my Schnappi is older we can still have Sunday morning cinnamon buns, and that she can help me make cupcakes for her class, brings a smile to my face.
So I hope you check out Cybele Pascal’s book and try the recipe below! Even if you don’t have food allergies it’s a great baking cookbook, especially for vegans.  .

I’m off to toast up some bread for my breakfast with Schnappi! Enjoy!

Cybele Pascal’s Gluten-Free Beer Bread

makes 1 9 by 5- inch loaf

3 cups Gluten Free Bread Flour Mix (her recipe below)
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 (12- ounce) bottle of gluten-free beer * (see DTD note)
2 tablespoons light agave nectar ** (see DTD note)
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan liberally with vegetable shortening.

2. Combine the flour mix and xanthan gum in a large bowl. Whisk well. Add the beer and agave nectar and mix well to combine, about 1 minute. Let rest until the over is heated.

3. Just prior to baking, add the baking powder and salt. Mix vigorously, scraping the bottom of the bowl.

4. Transfer the dough to the loaf pan. Smooth down the top with a frosting spatula. Melt 2 tablespoons of the shortening, about 1 minute in the microwave. Brush over the top of the loaf using a pastry brush.

5. Bake the bread in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush the top liberally with the remaining 1 tablespoon shortening, rotate the pan, and bake for 30 minutes longer, or until deeply golden and the bread sounds hollow when rapped on top. Transfer to a cooling rack. Let rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn out of the pan and let cool for about 15 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.

DTD note- * I use red bridge because it’s the cheapest.  We are only using it for the yeast so there will be no beer flavor.
** Substitute honey for the agave nectar

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