My Challenge: I’m not gluten intolerant, but I wanted to a create gluten-free pancake recipe for GF friends, using coconut flour, that compare with the pancakes I usually make with regular flour, which have a similar springy-spongy mouth feel when cooked.
The style of pancakes I like are thin but not crepe-thin. It’s best to keep the pancakes no larger than 7cm (3”) in size and around. I also recommend you eat them immediately after cooking as they dry out, and don’t keep very well.
Scroll down to see my preferred recipe below.
How COCONUT FLOUR behaves:
Well, it doesn’t really! It’s thirsty for moisture, you use less than regular flour, replacing flour with gluten means the pancakes require more care and attention. It imparts a subtle coconut flavour, so you could tire of the flavour if you ate too many.
I experimented with three different versions of pancakes: adding a paste of ground flax-seed to the coconut flour to make the batter more elastic; and two other versions where I added tapioca flour in varying amounts.
I found using ground flax-seed and warm water to the pancake batter made no difference to either the cooking or ‘flip-ability’ of the pancakes, except to add some fibre.
TAPIOCA FLOUR seemed to help smooth out the consistency and ‘flip-ability’ of the batter. Tapioca starch and tapioca flour generally are the same product but when buying tapioca flour or tapioca starch, you should take care to stick with companies that specifically label their products as gluten-free.
I decided to maintain the coconut theme and use coconut oil and coconut sugar. You can substitute sunflower oil (or high heat tolerant oil); and caster or fine grain sugar.
Now, onto the recipe…
COCONUT (gluten-free) mini Pancakes
yields 15 (7cm/3 inch)
You’ll need: medium size bowl; wire whisk; pastry brush; cast iron or heavy frypan; pancake turner or flipper
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ teaspoon McKenzie’s gluten-free baking powder, or make your own (see below)
1 level tablespoon tapioca flour/starch
2 rounded teaspoons of coconut sugar (to add subtle sweetness)
2 x large (700g) eggs
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup milk
2 teaspoons Coconut oil at room temperature
Make the pancake batter: Combine coconut flour, baking powder, tapioca, and sugar, and mix with a fork. Beat the eggs in a small bowl then add them to the dry ingredients, mixing in well with a fork.
Combine buttermilk and milk in a cup and slowly pour it into the dry ingredients, mixing through with a fork. Beat with the wire whisk until the mixture is smooth and runny.
Cooking: Dip your pastry brush into the coconut oil and brush a thin smear across the frying pan. Heat your frying pan to medium-heat. Wait until it is hot before adding batter. Use a tablespoon to spoon just one spoonful of batter per pancake onto the hot pan. It’s best to only cook 2 pancakes at a time. If they are larger than 3 inch they can crack. Even at this small size, these pancakes take longer to cook that regular pancakes or pikelets, so don’t flip them until the underside is cooked or they will crack. Give the edges of the pancake a gentle nudge – if the batter sticks to your flipper utensil, it’s not cooked enough to turn over – wait until the edges look cooked which takes a few minutes each side. (You won’t get the tell-tale air bubbles of regular pancakes to let you know when to flip them). Flip them once, and press lightly down onto the fryping pan. Brush the pan with more coconut oil between cooking each set of pancakes. When cooked, remove pancakes onto a plate, and cover with a saucepan lid to keep warm, or place in an oven at very low heat.
Eat pancakes straight away with fresh or stewed fruit and cream or yoghurt; and honey, or pure maple syrup.
DIY gluten-free baking powder:
2 parts Cream of Tartar
1 part baking soda
1 part cornstarch
Stir and sift all ingredients together and you’ve got baking powder. Use as normal.
All Images © Awia Markey
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