April 19, 2005

GF High-Protein Olive Pancakes

So, speaking of gluten intolerance, I really like pancakes. As you can imagine, this was a bit of a problem for a while, and before the invention of gluten free (GF) pancake and baking mixes I was SOL. The result of the recipe as outlined leaves you with a result that's a little something like an olive focaccia bread which tastes lovely dipped in olive oil and leaves me in no way missing the 'real' thing. They even taste good enough to serve to people who have no reason to eat gluten free food.

(Maybe this recipe could be modified to work with regular pancake mix, but I'll leave that experiment up to adventurous readers who have wheat flour in their kitchens. Also, you can just go buy focaccia bread. And you can get your pancake mix in every grocery store worthy of the name. So you're on your own here, folks. And btw, I am in no way bitter about this gluten allergy thing.)

The recipe works just as well with a fruit of your choice and syrup, but I just can't handle that much maple syrup anymore and you've got to soak the things in *something.* Also, I try to make something that approaches an omelette in terms of nutritional makeup because I like the protein but don't like to fuss with omelettes. Anyway...

Now, if you've had any reason to deal with GF pancake mixes, you've probably found the result to be kind of flat. Partially because the batter is very runny, and it just doesn't rise. The reason it doesn't rise is because gluten, that troublesome protein, has wonderful properties that include supporting the little caverns that form when the dough bubbles during cooking.

There are two fixes for this in GF baking: xanthan gum and gelatin.

Now you can buy xanthan gum separately and add your own to the pancake mix, or you can just by the Bob's Red Mill GF Pancake Mix, which already has the right amount of xanthan gum added to it. The gelatin isn't included in any mixes, but it's easier to find single-serving packets of flavorless Knox gelatin than it is to find xanthan gum. The mix makes nice enough pancakes without the gelatin (and Do Not allow the resulting batter + gelatin to sit for more than a few minutes), but having tried it once I wouldn't go back.

So here goes. This is a full breakfast for me, and is probably the rough equivalent of a two egg omelette and a slice of toast:

2 eggs (I find that this is sufficient liquid for the whole recipe.)
3 heaping tbsps of pancake mix, approximate to suit
1 package of gelatin, 1/4 oz. (7g.)
2-3 mixed greek olives, chopped (all the salt you need)

Optional Spices, a pinch or so of each to taste:
Turmeric (I put this spice in everything it won't ruin)
Black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Chili powder

Mix the dry ingredients together, including the package of gelatin, and add to the beaten eggs. When all the lumps have been mixed out, add the chopped olives. I'm not in the habit of adding oil to my pancake mixes, seems to work fine without it, but it's your kitchen and it probably wouldn't hurt.

Add the batter to a heated griddle in a way that seems reasonable to you. I just make one large pancake out of it, and the dough is cohesive so you can get away with that and then you only have to deal with one pancake. Which if you're like me, and making breakfast for only one person, then that's pretty convenient.

If you're on a GF diet and miss buckwheat pancakes, fear not. Buckwheat is related in no way to the family of gluten containing grasses from which we get other cereal grains and is a perfectly safe part of a GF meal. Also, it's nutritious. You can substitute one of the heaping tablespoons of pancake mix with buckwheat flour, but no more than that or the dough loses lift.

When I do make this with fruit, well, we get lovely fresh blueberries here in WA. Raspberries work nicely also, and they don't burst and run as much, leaving crisped fruit juice on the bottom of the pan like blueberries. You can also add a bit of vanilla to the beaten eggs, and for optional spices I like to make heavy use of a standard suite of pumpkin pie spices plus ginger and sometimes extra clove or nutmeg. And if that isn't a perky smell to have in the kitchen, I don't know what is.

Posted by natasha at April 19, 2005 12:36 AM | Food | Technorati links |