I realized something today. I’m attempting this whole gluten free thing in the opposite manner as I usually would do something. I’ve been reading more and more about why some people believe gluten isn’t great for people and I’ve thought for quite a while that wheat doesn’t agree with me (I get a rash from flour touching my skin). Plus I know bran makes me REALLY sick. However, I haven’t really done any thorough research. I decided to do a gluten free month in the fall, and to do a trail run this week. In the past I’ve always researched things online and in books before jumping in. Well see how this new approach goes.
Judging by today, not great. After I went shopping and bought all my new exciting ingredients I decided to make pancakes. I googled ‘gluten free pancakes’, browsed though a few recipes and came to a conclusion. People who don’t eat wheat generally also seem to be vegans who only use non-sugar sweeteners that I’ve never seen for sale in a grocery store. I was really just hoping for recipes that I could read through quickly and put into action, instead I was sitting here looking through and saying, “Okay, the ground flax in a substitute for the eggs, the non dairy, non sweetened powdered milk powder is a substitute for milk…” and on and on. That did not make things easy. Plus, I quickly found gaps in both my knowledge and my grocery list. Xanthan gum came up a lot. I asked Kurt (he’s a science teacher) what the heck the purpose of this was. He told me it was a thickener because wheat thickens liquids naturally and other flours don’t. I quickly saw this is action.
I decided to just go for it with the pancakes. I mixed milk and eggs and vanilla. Then I created a combo of flours that I though sounded great. I dumped it in and whisked, and whisked, and whisked. It was as if I hadn’t put the flour in. I didn’t want to add more potato starch because I had only bought a little bag so I threw in some corn starch (I had seen this mentioned in one of the recipes). The mixture got a little lumpy, but that was the only effect. I decided, again, to just go for it. I heated up a pan and dumped in some flour juice. Strangely, it somehow worked. Of course I had to keep stirring the ‘batter’ before I poured any out because the bottom would turn into that magic mud you make with corn starch and water, and the pan had to be really hot, but they tasted decent. They were similar to Finnish pancakes.
They were better with peanut butter than maple syrup though, the syrup just seemed to make it more obvious that they didn’t taste or have the texture or appearance of regular pancakes. I won’t put a recipe because I’m going to try again. Maybe if I keep looking I can find almond flour, which doesn’t seem to require the xantan. If I can make good pancakes I might just be able to make it through the month!