I have a new nickname. They call me the Mad Pancake Scientist. I have been experimenting for about two months, scaling the heights, looking for the perfect gluten free, dairy free pancake. I have thrown out more ingredients than you can shake a stick at. I have poured and mixed and blended and whisked and whirred my little heart out. I was almost ready to throw in the towel and admit defeat, thinking that I would never eat pancakes again unless I was willing to revisit the idea of eating eggs. And then, finally, eureka, I struck gold. At least in my little pancake world.
Scroll back up and look at the picture. You’ll see that they’re not thick pancakes. They’re more like a cross between a pancake and a crepe. Not quite as thin as a crepe, but not as thick as a more traditional pancake. For me, they are perfect. After my last bite, instead of putting my fork down and being full to the brim, I was very pleasantly satisfied. I did, however, lick every last bit of maple syrup off the plate:). As did my pancake compadres. My husband and I invited two of our neighbors for a mid-week breakfast (We are fulltime musicians and work our tails off on the weekends. During the week, we often indulge in activities that might otherwise be saved for weekends!). But only under one condition – they promised to be completely honest and tell me what they thought of the pancakes. After one bite, they both gave it a thumbs up. And George asked for seconds:). By the way, if you have a moment, please visit his blog. I bet you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I do.
Before I share the recipe with you, I must mind my manners and tell you about and thank Anastasia Kellow. Without even knowing it, she inspired me to crack the gluten free, dairy free, vegan pancake code. I read an interview that blogger Shuna Fish Lydon did with Anastasia. Shuna posted the interview on her very cool Eggbeater blog. In the interview, among other things, Anastasia focused on vegan baking, substitutions, solutions & advice for alternative baked goods. She also included a recipe for her Sprouted Grain Pancakes, full of all things I can eat EXCEPT for the spelt and wheat flour. Enter the Mad Pancake Scientist (that’s me).
The first task I took on in modifying Anastasia’s recipe was to replace the gluten flours with gluten free flours and starches. Knowing that gluten free flours and starches perform best when married, I decided to bring millet, sorghum, cornstarch, and almond meal to the wedding altar. Being a lover of all things cinnamon, I added a pinch or so to the recipe. The last change I made was to the liquid ingredient. Anastasia calls for almond milk. I made homemade almond milk the first time I made these pancakes, but decided to change it up the second and third time I made them, replacing the almond milk with unsweetened plain organic rice milk (Trader Joe’s, my fave brand). Worked just as well as the almond milk.
Yes, almond meal is very expensive. But it lasts a long time (depending on how often you use it) and it stores beautifully in the freezer. My favorite brand is made by Honeyville. It has a marvelous consistency, it is low in carbs, full of flavor and fiber. And no matter how much you order from this company, they have one very reasonable shipping price of $4.49. In these tough times, that is a bargain.
Gluten Free Vegan Pancakes
adapted from Anastasia Kellow’s Sprouted Grain Pancakes
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
smidge of cinnamon (less than 1/8 tsp.)
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup silken tofu
3/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup rice milk (or other dairy free milk)
2 tbsp. coconut butter, melted (can also use vegetable oil)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Whisk together millet, sorghum, cornstarch, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
Pour tofu, yogurt, rice milk, melted coconut butter, and vanilla into a blender and mix until thoroughly blended and completely smooth.
Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients, folding gently. Be very careful not to overmix. Some lumps are acceptable.
Heat a non-stick griddle or cast-iron griddle or pan over medium low heat until water beads bounce on the surface. I like to brush a tiny bit of vegetable oil on the surface before I pour the pancake batter onto it. This is optional. Pour about 1/4 cup onto the griddle (I like my pancakes small so I poured a little less than this amount). Wait until the surface is almost completely dry (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!). Do not peek – you don’t want to break the seal between the bottom of the pancake and the pan. When the surface is almost completely dry and edges of the pancake begin to brown, gently slide your spatula underneath the pancake and flip. Cook until done. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven, until all pancakes are done.
NOTE: I used both a cast-iron griddle and a cast-iron round pan. For some reason that I’m not aware of, the cast-iron round pan worked better than the griddle.
Ciao. Gotta go clean the kitchen before the Mad Pancake Scientist begins yet another round of experiments.