February 1, 2011

Gluten-free Pancakes


I've always loved pancakes. My Mom used to make them on the weekend when I was growing up. My Dad was the eggs and bacon guy, but Mom always made the pancakes. She was pretty health-conscious, and she often used a Jane Brody recipe that included whole-wheat flour, cornmeal and wheat germ. I have to admit they turned me into a pancake snob. I loved their heartiness and their crunch, and as a result I've never been
 able to appreciate the fluffy white Bisquick version.


Since discovering I have celiac disease, I've been reading a blog from Calgary called the Celiac Teen. Lauren has a great blog full of excellent recipes, most of which she creates herself. It's all the more impressive considering she's still in high school. I found the bones of this recipe on her website, but the beauty of these pancakes is their immense flexibility.


The first few times I made them, I used the flours in Lauren's version, but as I ran out of certain kinds of flour I started replacing them with others. Sometimes the batter was thicker, and sometimes it was thinner, but each time they tasted fantastic. Then one weekend morning, our wireless network wasn't working, but I wanted pancakes. I hadn't printed off the recipe, so I tried to make them anyway, working from memory. They still came out perfectly. When I checked later, I realized I had used quite a bit less flour overall than she calls for, but somehow these are magic pancakes. They are impossible to screw up!


I much prefer using weights to cup measurements when I bake. It makes the process so much easier and cleaner - you just pile it all into a bowl without getting all the cups and spoons dirty. It's especially handy with gluten-free baking since often you're using 4 or 5 different kinds of flour. It also makes adapting a recipe much, much easier. For these pancakes, I knew I needed a certain weight of whole grain flours and a certain weight of starches, but swapping different kinds was easy. I'm looking forward to being able to modify and invent my own recipes in the future using my trusty kitchen scale.


I'm also all about versatility when it comes to pancakes toppings. Classic real maple syrup is definitely a favourite, but honey is great too. I also love spreading peanut or other nut butters on the pancake and then adding something sweet (see above). Another habit is a dollop of plain yogurt and a drizzle of honey, sometimes with soft, sauteed apples if I'm really feeling fancy. And since these pancakes aren't very sweet, I'm sure they'd also be great with cheese and fruit.


Leftover pancakes are also great. It might sound a bit weird, but I like them eaten plain and cold straight from the refrigerator.

Gluten-free Whole-Grain Pancakes (adapted from this recipe)

You can play around with the flours in this recipe. Try using amaranth, sorghum, or quinoa in place of the millet. I probably wouldn’t use all quinoa flour because of its strong taste, but 1 oz. would be great. This batter is quite thin, but if you like thicker pancakes you can use an extra ounce millet flour and an extra ounce tapioca starch.

2 oz. millet flour
1.5 oz cornmeal
1 oz. flax meal
1 oz. tapioca starch
1 oz. sweet rice flour (sometimes called glutinous rice flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. xantham gum
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 to 1.5 cups milk – cow’s or soy works well
1/4 melted butter or oil.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Beat the wet ingredients until bubbly, about a minute. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir together, then whisk until smooth.

Heat a frying pan or a griddle to just over medium heat, and add a thin layer of oil.  Fry the pancakes until brown, flipping when bubbles appear on the tops.


Anne said...

Wow. Thanks for the tribute, and maybe you just kicked my butt into doing more cooking. Those were good pancakes, weren't they? xoxo Mom

Jacquie said...

Hi Isabelle. The recipe looks great and I am planning to give it a try :-)
I did notice that you have 1 oz flax meal listed twice in the ingredient section. Is this correct or did you mean another type of flour meal? If so, would u think adding spelt flour a suitable substitute. I bought some the other day and dont have a clue what to do with it :-) Thanks

Isabelle said...

Hi Jacquie! Thanks for noticing my error, I just fixed it - there should only b 1 oz of flax meal. Spelt flour would probably work great in these pancakes, though, if you can eat it. Spelt is a type of wheat so it is not gluten-free. Happy cooking!

Jacquie said...

okay thanks! I had it in my head that spelt was gluten-free. After doing a detox cleanse I noticed that I did react to gluten products when they were re-introduced. So I have been trying to find non gluten free things to cook. I must have gotten myself mixed up thinking spelt was gluten-free. So good to know in advance :-)

Anonymous said...

Really great to use weights - unless one does not have a scale.