Gluten Free Pancakes are the New Bread!
I humbly submit I may have found the solution to your gluten free bread problem!
This is what I have been tinkering with for weeks: Finding a reliable, delicious, quick and healthy answer to the mediocre and overpriced gluten free bread and other baked goods offerings we have the misfortune to find all around us.
I quite often rack my brains to find a polite way to express this inevitable fact:
Many commercial Gluten Free baked goods are garbage
Uh-Oh, sorry, it looks like I didn’t find a polite way after all. Oh well.
But seriously: Please take a good look in your market, and pay special attention to this aisle:
Commercial Gluten Free Pancakes and Breads
Now read the ingredient list on some of the bread and pancake mix packages. A long dreary list of worthless ingredients, with no nutritional value to speak of. And expensive to boot. Potato starch, gums, white rice flour and whatnot. If the purpose of your switching to a gluten free lifestyle was to get healthier, it just ain’t happening on the potato starch diet!
Yes, those ingredients may well be organic. But so what. Just remember this on your next shopping trip, and let it be your money-saving health-promoting mantra:
Organic junk is junk!
This of course applies to every food you buy, down the line.
I make pancakes and flatbreads with perfectly healthy flours, and work on getting a sturdy (not fragile or brittle) texture by hitting on the right solid-liquid ratio. I then let these pancakes cool, and use them as bread slices. That’s right: It works! I can use any topping or filling, savory or sweet, without fear of the whole construction falling apart.
I had this avo “toast” for lunch yesterday
And I just had these sardines on pancake bread for dinner, with all bells and whistles. All I had to do was take the pancake bread out of the freezer and warm it up for a couple minutes.
And look what happens when I thin the pancake batter with a little plant milk or seltzer: I get a perfect flatbread, with a soft crust, yet pliable.
Go ahead, tear off chunks and dunk them in your favorite dip.
Or make wraps: Ready to roll!
Mix the Pancake Bread Batter with a whisk
Do not mix it in a blender: This way you will ensure you won’t over mix: Over mixing might toughen the batter.
Freezing Gluten Free Pancakes:
Freezing them is a piece of cake. Separate the pancakes (or flatbreads) with a piece of wax paper. Take out the slices you will be using. They will warm up in just a couple minutes in a 250*F oven. No microwaving please. In the absence of a real toaster oven or regular oven, do not warm up at all; just let them come to room temperature.
Play with Gluten-Free Flours!
Once you have quality highly nutritious gluten-free flours in your pantry, you will be amazed at the possibilities. Just whip the flours out and mix and match, getting an exciting variation each time. And if you really think you hit on the perfect mix, go ahead and make a large batch of it, then use two cups of the mix for your next pancake bread recipe!
Aquafaba: The perfect ancient addition to the modern kitchen!
I must confess here, I scoffed at all the raves I came across about aquafaba, chickpea cooking water (or from the can of chickpeas). A newly discovered superpower for making meringue and all egg-based things? Wow, the Holy Grail! And no, I am not vegan. But I do love to explore with all that plant foods have to offer, as the greater part of our diet is plant based. I call it our 80/20 diet. The Book of Aquafaba made me a convert, and my conversion is on solid.
I will list the ratios, then discuss each ingredient group that needs discussing.
I am guiding you all the way in exploring your mix options. Consider this post a complete primer on gluten free pancakes and breads. Please keep a flexible mind so you can have several interesting and fun variations.
Again, just to be clear: I am highlighting the ingredients right here
- 2 cups total flour
- 2 cups total liquid for pancakes, 2 1/2 cups for flatbreads
- 1 cup eggs or vegan egg mixture
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Possible additions/inclusions/seasonings
Depending on the flours you will use, you might have to adjust the consistency, by adding a little flour or a little liquid. And that's OK, you're doing the right thing!
Mix and match, total 2 cups.
I loved the following high fiber super nourishing mix: 3/4 cup corn flour, 3/4 cup oat flour, 1/4 cup psyllium, 1/4 cup oat fiber (non caloric low carb neutral tasting insoluble fiber). Both the psyllium and oat fiber will do wonders for your regularity. Their flavor is totally neutral and indiscernible, even while they contribute bulk and volume at no caloric cost, and secure the perfect emulsion (important when you work with gluten-free flours). You don't need to have both at all times.
Other flours to play with: nut flour, seed flour, quinoa, millet, sorghum, coconut, chickpea, fava, lentil, brown rice, teff and buckwheat (these last two are dark, therefore your finished pancakes will be just as delicious but darker)
Mix and match. Total 2 cups. I love mixing half plant milk and half seltzer. Yes seltzer, the secret of fluffy pancake batters. If you use all plant milk, you will get a richer batter. And if you use gluten-free beer (non-alcoholic beer is perfect too!), you will get that wonderful fermented yeasty flavor reminiscent of... the bread you are pining for!
1 cup total (4 eggs). Needless to say, if the vegan part is not important to you, go ahead and use eggs. But 1 cup aquafaba will get you awesome results.
And flax eggs will be very decent too: 1/4 cup flax meal mixed with 3/4 cup warm water. Here I do have a tiny reservation, because the flax does come with a slight but distinct flavor.
Aquafaba was actually my favorite "egg" choice: Unctuous texture, unobtrusive flavor. My new kitchen best friend!
This only applies if you are making flatbreads (thinner batter).
My Indian Pancake Recipe is the perfect illustration here. I am so attached to them I must include a picture. They make a wonderful small meal, all by themselves or served with yogurt or chutney.
You can also go with Chinese scallion pancakes: Include sliced scallions, minced cilantro and grated ginger, and a squirt of sriracha.
One more good idea for you: throw in some nutritional yeast for a good funky umami flavor.
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
Spray a large nonstick skillet with vegetable spray. When the skillet is really hot, set the flame on medium high, and pour a little batter, enough for it to spread about 3 inches in diameter for pancakes (they will be thick and pillowy), or 6 inches for flatbreads (they will be thin and crusty)
Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side.
Let them cook thoroughly on each side, this is how they will get that sturdy texture that will stand up to fillings and toppings.
Repeat with all batter, spraying the skillet with each pancake. You will get about a dozen pancakes or flatbreads.