Thursday, April 15, 2010


I want to be a gluten-free vegan baker. I have allergies to gluten, eggs, soy and dairy and I miss bread and muffins and cookies. I'm trying to crack the code. I want to be able to convert my favorite recipes easily. Flax seed, tapioca flour, arrowroot, guar gum, Xanthum gum - these are the ingredients I see repeatedly in gluten free recipes. But how much? When? I'm working the recipes I find, comparing them, tasting them, thinking about them.

Praise be Google. I was craving pancakes. Specifically gluten-free, vegan buckwheat pancakes. My google search took me to live journal. I am sharing the recipe I found there, with my substitutions.

These pancakes should be called Guilt-free Pancakes. Teff and Buckwheat are complete protein grains and every other ingredient is good-for-you. The pancake is heavier than a buttermilk pancake. It fills you up and keeps hunger in check for hours. You don't get that drowsy, heavy, sleepy after effect.

Gluten Free Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes
makes 8 five inch pancakes

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour (I substituted teff flour)
1/4 cup corn flour (NOT cornmeal, corn flour is lighter) I used Masa
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (or flax meal)
2 tablespoons tapioca flour (cornstarch or arrowroot would be OK)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used rice)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons canola oil (I used safflower oil)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
note: add water or non-dairy milk as needed to get the right consistency

In a large bowl, mix together all the flours, flax seeds, tapioca, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Create a well in the center and add the remaining ingredients. Use a fork to mix well for about a minute, or until smooth. Add a little water or non-dairy milk if necessary. Let the batter rest, and preheat a large non-stick or cast iron pan over medium-high heat.

When the pan is hot, spray with a thin layer of cooking spray and use an ice cream scooper to pour batter and form pancakes. (hey, my 1/4 cup measure worked just fine). The pancake should start to form little air bubbles, but not like normal pancakes do. Look for the edge of the pancake to look firm (done) in about 2 minutes, flip and cook another 2 minutes on the second side.

Serve with your favorite topping(s). The leftovers can easily be heated up the next day or eaten cold for a snack.

The bread I'm so pleased with is full of starch. After making these pancakes, I think I can invent a bread that is more nutritious and just as light and delicious. Stay tuned.

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