Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Welcome Home Pancakes
One of the many questions I asked my boyfriend when he was overseas was, "What foods do you miss?" Well, it sounded like he was pretty well fed over there, he had to search a bit for an answer. He didn't have any serious cravings, but once he came to the realization that he hadn't had any blueberry pancakes in quite a long time, he knew he'd want them once he got home. I had a lot to live up to, he's a native Mainer, so he knows his blueberries, his Mom is an amazing baker and he describes the local, volunteer-firefighter pancake breakfasts that he attended as a child with such passion it made me shudder to think of the Lions Club pancake breakfasts I attended as a child, surely they didn't use fresh blueberries in their pancakes.
So, I had a lot to live up to. Try making them gluten-free and dairy-free and serving them to a gluten-eater. Well, a gluten-eater when I'm not around. You see, once he understood the ins and outs of my gluten sensitivity, learning that even a small amount would make me sick, meaning that if he eats a sandwich and gives me a kiss, most likely I would end up with stomach cramps, among many other things for at least twenty-four hours, he basically swore off gluten when I'm around. Pretty. Darn. Cool. And just another reason why I wait through eight-month long deployments, month long trips and hundreds of miles between us, because he's just that worth it.
Enough of the sappy stuff and back to the pancakes. In my quest to find the perfect gluten-free, dairy-free pancake I had grueling taste tests, often involving my family. We tasted mixes, including one that was so dry that one pancake could literally soak up 1/4 cup of syrup. We tried recipes, including one that involved teff flour, which I love, but which my parents definately did not. And luckily, I stumbeled upon a recipe from allrecipes.com for "delicious gluten-free pancakes" that received rave reviews and euereka! after tweaking them to my requirements, no dairy and no sugar -- they were delicious! The following is the recipe I adapted from this one.
Blueberry Pancakes (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, no added sugar)
1 cup superfine brown rice flour
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 tablespoons extra light olive oil (or any light tasting oil)
1 1/2 cups soured almond or rice milk (to sour milk, simply add one tablespoon per cup of "milk" and mix, then let sit for about five minutes)
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen will work well too)
In a bowl, mix together the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum. Stir in eggs, "milk", and oil until well blended and few lumps remain.
Heat a large, well-oiled skillet (or non-stick) over medium heat. Spoon batter onto skillet and add about five blueberries (make hearts and funny faces if you feel inclined) per pancake. Cook until bubbles begin to form. Flip, and continue cooking until golden brown on bottom. Serve immediately plain, with maple syrup, or condiment of choice (agave nectar is tasty too).