Recently Bette Hagman, one of the pioneers of gluten free cooking, author of six cookbooks and a founding member of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), passed away. Her contributions will be missed by all those who have benefited from her cooking and her activism for the gluten free community.
When I was first diagnosed, I realized I was going to need some help converting my kitchen and my cooking to gluten free. So, I swung by the library to see what they might have on gluten free cooking. The librarian where I could find all types of special diet cookbooks and told me I ought to try out the books by The Gluten-Free Gourmet. She mentioned that Bette Hagman's books were some of the most popular in this category. I gathered up Living Well Without Wheat and The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread, ready to figure out how to change my cooking.
Bette's books guided me through my journey in learning how to cook gluten free. I made many of her bread recipes from The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread and other recipes from her books The Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Food and Living Well Without Wheat. It felt like Bette was there guiding and teaching me. Bette's books built my confidence and knowledge so that I was able to begin experimenting with my own recipes. She gave me the knowledge that enabled me to be the adventurous cook I had been prior to my diagnosis.
I made Bette's Sourdough Bread recipe from her book Living Well Without Wheat. It's a fun and enjoyable recipe where you begin by making your sourdough starter. Once it has fermented nicely, you start your bread. While it's rising, you feed the sourdough starter, so it can keep growing. While the bread was baking the aromas were so heavenly and the flavor of the bread was wonderful. And the sourdough starter? It's sitting quietly in the refrigerator until it can break free and go wild in another loaf of bread.
Thank you Bette for all your hard work in making these cookbooks. They are a gift that will keep giving not only to me, but to the gluten free community for years to come.