The Intolerant Kitchen: Gluten-free/Dairy-free Pancakes
I have a serious thing for them as of late. It’s an obsession, really, since these days I spend as much time trying to figure out how to whip up the perfect silver dollar as I do working, or scouring boutiques for that must have pair of boots, or perusing the library for that coveted book, or watching episodes of Sherlock over and over and over again.
Note: the Sherlock watching is random fact, but I do it so often is worth a mention.
My recent love for pancakes is something that took me by surprise because I HATED them as a child. Completely. Utterly. I had an axe-grinding, stomach roiling, contempt for the breakfast staple others loved. I despised pancakes so much, in fact, that I went to great lengths to avoid eating them. This was more of a challenge than you can imagine since, in my childhood home, pancakes were prepared every Saturday.
It took awhile but I swiftly became a brown, female Houdini in that I perfected hiding unwanted pieces of breakfast in my napkin, up my sleeve and, shamefully, down my pants until it could be disposed of later. I rocked up to breakfast in pyjamas with pockets or would have a book on my lap because thinner pancakes fit perfectly between the pages. Once those tactics became too messy (I mean, syrup in your pyjamas is not that easy to cover up) I started to dupe the Elder Intolerants into letting me leave the table with my plate. I asked to eat in my bedroom.
My alibi? I had homework to do.
The truth? I had cut a hole in the mesh screen of my window so I could toss the pancakes out, one by one, into a crowd of evergreens and firs in the backyard.
My saving grace, for the duration of time that my plan worked, was that the wild fox living around our house would come by and take care of the evidence for me.
My downfall however, was the Saturday when I didn’t look outside prior to pulling back the screen and flicking my wrist. That was the day I nailed my father in the face with a piece of spongy, syrup covered, flapjack.
But I digress, the tossing of the pancakes is a story for another day.
Now that I’m older and wiser I have come to appreciate the amazingness of pancakes. They have an ability to kick-start the weekend in a way an omelette or bowl of porridge can’t. Like crêpes they can be sweet, savoury or a little of both, but they don’t need all that fanciful filling to get the job done. They come as they are, laden with every little bit of goodness you pack into them, and they can be big and fat or super thin or big and thin or small and fat. They can be ANYTHING.
I suppose I’ve come to enjoy pancakes because they are a dish meant to be made from scratch, which means they can be stuffed and adorned with whatever the hell you want. Want yours with spelt flour? Go for it. Prefer sorghum? It’s all yours. Like ’em bare? Do it! Feeling sophisticated? Try them with homemade compote or, even, some cashew cheese. You can do what you want with pancakes knowing full well that they will bend. Yield. Accept whatever you impose on them.
Mind you, I also love pancakes because they are nonconformist. And because they aren’t waffles.
And so, without further ado, here is a gluten-free, dairy-free pancake and sugar-free (at least in the pancake itself) recipe to spice up or strip down as you like. I tend to add enough turmeric so mine have a slightly yellow cast, and I serve them with *real* maple syrup and a homemade pomegranate/apple compote that might even be better than the pancakes.
(I highlighted the name of the compote in green because it is better. It is, fundamentally, amazing.)
Intolerant Pancakes (Dairy-free/Gluten-free/Sugar-free)
Prep time: 10 – 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 – 20 minutes
Serves: 2-6 (Depending on how many pancakes you eat in one sitting. Since this Intolerant has a habit of eating all the pancakes this recipe serves 2-3 people in my house)
1 cup of oat flour
½ cup of sorghum flour (or another, equally, dense flour like buckwheat)
⅓ cup of oats
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
½ tablespoon of turmeric
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ cup of ground flax and pumpkin seeds
⅓ cup of olive oil
½ – 1 cup of water (depending on how runny you like your batter)
Blueberries, bananas or apples, or whatever fruit you’d like
*Optional items: ⅓ cup of ground cacao nibs, hemp seed or nuts. Another addition is 1 teaspoon of vanilla (but since I put this in my compote I don’t add it here).
Making the cakes
Step 1: Preheat oven to 100 degrees Celsius/220 Fahrenheit. Put an empty dish in the oven or line a tray with baking paper. We’re going to put our cooked pancakes in the oven and keep them warm until all the batter has been used.
Step 2: Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl: the flours, the oats and the spices.
Step 3: Pulverise the flax and pumpkin seeds and add them to the dried mix.
Step 4: Make a well in your dry ingredients and add the olive oil, eggs and water. Mix until combined.
Step 5: Add any additional ingredients at this point: cacao, hemp, nuts, vanilla, rum (yes, rum). Be bold here. Have fun.
Step 6: Turn on your stove burners to medium/high and add a half tsp of sunflower (or other high heat oil) to your pan(s). I bought two fantastic, perfectly pancake sized, ones from IKEA for $5.00 each and I adore them. They were, hands down, one of the best purchases of 2015.
Step 7: Ladle the batter into your pan and wait until the first holes start to appear on the topside of the pancake. At this point add toppings like blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, apple, etc.
Step 8: Flip over when you see several air holes on the top of the pancake or when you notice the outer edge is more solid than it is liquid. Cook on the other side for 1-3 minutes.
Step 9: Remove from heat and place the pancake in the oven to keep warm.
Step 10: Add a bit more oil to your pan and keep on ladling and flipping until you’ve gone through all the batter.
Step 11: Take out of the oven, arrange on a plate, add some compote and syrup. Eat. Enjoy.