Peter Reinhart, four-time James Beard book award-winning author and baking instructor at Johnson and Wales, taught 50 lucky souls at Central Market on Lovers Lane a selection of tricks from his recent book, The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking. The man himself was baking treats for us, but my newly developed almond allergy kept me from sampling the creations. Life is not fair.
However, I did get to sit by the assistant manager of Central Market’s baking department. He confirmed that the treats were, as I expected, delicious despite their lack of gluten and refined sugars. Reinhart, known for his deep knowledge of the art and science behind baking, slid in a textbook’s worth of food science surrounding gluten-free baking while whipping up six different recipes from his book. There was a hopeful scientific takeaway for me: all nut flours are interchangeable in his recipes, so I will be recreating the sweet pecan almond bread with hazelnuts instead of almonds this weekend.
Reinhart first got interested in gluten-free baking because of a friend who suffers from Celiac disease (gluten intolerance). When Denene Wallace, co-author of The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking, came up with the idea of using nut and seed flours in place of the standard tapioca-potato-rice flour trilogy that once dominated gluten-free baking, Reinhart was sold. It was time to write a gluten-free baking book. You can read more about their partnership at their book website.
Does a two and a half hour class taught by such an esteemed baker plus a signed copy of his latest book for $75 sound like a steal? That’s because it is. Don’t miss your next chance. Central Market has an incredible line-up of classes. I’ve already reserved a space at the February 28th class with Christina Tosi, pastry chef at Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City. There were 34 seats left when I last checked.