Talking Nosh

Tim Horel and Lisa Stander-Horel, the authors of Nosh on This

Tim Horel and Lisa Stander-Horel, the authors of Nosh on This

Next month, just in time for Rosh Hashanah, we are publishing Nosh on This: Gluten-Free Baking from a Jewish-American Kitchen. When Lisa Stander-Horel discovered her husband Tim’s, and consequently her own, gluten intolerance she made a pledge that “no cookie, strudel, brownie, pie, cake, tart, or treat would be left behind.” Descended from a long line of bakers, she was determined to continue making the rugelach, mandelbrot, strudel, and challah of her childhood, so she set out to recreate such treasured recipes—all gluten-free. Publishers Weekly recently reviewed the book, writing: “[An] informative manual for making scrumptious and gluten-free Jewish baked goods. With color pictures of every dish and well-defined instructions, this book is a welcome addition to the gluten free baking world.” We talked to Lisa about her new book and just how she makes such delicious gluten-free noshes.

THE EXPERIMENT: What inspired you to start your blog and write this book?
LISA STANDER-HOREL: I once only wrote recipes on Post-it notes. One day I ran out. I had to write the recipes down somewhere and a blog seemed like a less expensive version of the Post-it note. Because gluten intolerance and celiac disease is often inherited, I fully expect my children or grandchildren to have to eat gluten-free at some point. To have this collection of family recipes written down in Nosh on This is my gift to them. It certainly beats having to sort through a pile of cryptic post-it notes, doesn’t it?

Tim is the photographer for the blog and I write the content and develop the recipes. It seemed like a natural fit to write the book together.

TE: What are the biggest challenges when it comes to developing gluten-free recipes?
LSH: There are a few challenges that come to mind: getting gluten-free flour to be cooperative in a recipe, getting as close as possible to a traditional baking ratio and that the recipe can be reliably repeated. And making sure it tastes fabulous.

TE: Why should someone who is not on a gluten-free diet buy your book?
LSH: Chances are when baking for a group, someone will be eating gluten-free. Gluten intolerance is on the rise. Almost 6-10% of Americans have trouble digesting wheat, barley or rye. That’s 20 million people who need a tasty gluten-free nosh.

TE: I work all day and have no time to bake. What can I make that is tasty but takes little time?
LSH: Many recipes can be prepared in stages and baked at the last minute. There are others that go together in minutes. When one craves a quick and delicious sweet or savory nosh, Nosh on This is your best friend.

Cherry Chocolate Mandelbrot and Almond Mandelbrot from Nosh on This.

Cherry Chocolate Mandelbrot and Almond Mandelbrot from Nosh on This.

TE: I’m new to gluten-free. What can I make that won’t scare me away?
LSH: Mandelbrot—one bowl, one wooden spoon. Some of the quick breads or even the quick challah are easy and almost no fail. Try one of various macaroons and impress your (Aunt, MIL, sister, neighbor, co-workers).

TE: Why do you recommend the Nosh on This blend using superfine flours vs. grocery store AP GF flour?
LSH: The Nosh on This flour blend begins with superfine whole grain brown rice flour and contains only three ingredients. It’s intended to be the basis flour blend for every recipe in Nosh on This. It could not be simpler, tastier or healthier. No need to use AP GF flours that are loaded with starches, additives or several different types of flours that might impart distracting flavors in your baked goods. Superfine flour is as close to regular flour in texture that you can get and it makes a huge difference. Uncle Louie will just think he’s eating the best honey cake ever.

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