When Claire and I went gluten-free, the hardest meal for me to figure out was breakfast. In the mornings I’m still not quite fully awake, not really up for some elaborate cookery, and whatever we eat needs to be quick and filling. On top of all that, Claire doesn’t really like eggs all that much, so whipping up some quick scrambled eggs or an omlette wasn’t really going to fly.
The solution has been pancakes. Lots and lots of pancakes. I’ve made pancakes out of soaked and blended mung beans (they were surprisingly tasty and everyone gobbled them up), fermented rice and lentils (also known as dosas), and many different combinations of gluten-free flours. The recipe I cook most often is an adaptation of the pancake recipe I used to make with wheat flour, and it turns out just fine with a mix of gluten-free flours and some xanthan gum.
Are pancakes still a treat when you eat them five mornings a week? All evidence points to yes. Although I must admit that we are using up giant bottles of maple syrup at a rather alarming rate. I like homemade jam on mine, and Tom likes dosas with a lentil curry called sambar.
So many delicious ways to eat the humble pancake.
Gluten-Free Pancake Recipe
(Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison)
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour, either a pre-prepared mix or 1/2 cup of three different gluten-free flours of your choice.
I find the pancakes turn out best when I use two parts grain flour (sorghum, rice, millet, gluten-free oat or buckwheat) and one part starch (tapioca, potato, arrowroot or cornstarch). You can also use nut flours, coconut flour or legume flour, which will give you variations in flavour and texture. Feel free to experiment. My favourite combination is sorghum, brown rice flour and tapioca starch.
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit this if you’re using a commercial flour mix that already contains xanthan or guar gum)
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups milk (cow, buttermilk, almond, soy and coconut all work great)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk the dry ingredients together. Mix the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in a glass measuring cup, then add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, mix together until there are no lumps and cook on a griddle or frying pan at a medium temperature until the surface is covered in bubbles. Flip once and cook until the underside is golden brown and serve with whatever you like – syrup, jam, yoghurt, curry, fresh fruit, nutella or powdered sugar and lemon juice. Yum!
Since these pancakes are gluten-free, you don’t need to worry about over-mixing them. Stir the batter as much as you like and they won’t get rubbery.
These pancakes also freeze well, so you can cook up a giant batch on the weekend and then keep them in the freezer for weekday mornings. If I’m making pancakes to freeze I take them off the frying pan and put them on a wire cooling rack so they don’t get mushy, then freeze them in ziploc bags. In the morning you can pop a pancake in the toaster and you’re ready to go. I also use leftover pancakes in place of bread, making PB&J sandwiches for lunches, or using them in place of tortillas as burrito wraps.
But honestly, there aren’t usually leftovers. :)