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Gluten free, vegan cooking
Working out how to make buckwheat pancakes 
5th-Jul-2010 10:56 am
I've been vegan for 13 years but only GF for a few months, and I'm still getting the hang of it. I've tried making biscuits (the UK meaning of biscuits) with multipurpose GF flour instead of ordinary flour and they were a disaster, and I really can't face stocking up on six different flours just to make one item. I tried pancakes made with soya milk, buckwheat flour and I think a bit of egg replacer a while back, and they behaved well but tasted bland. Last night I reasoned that since gram flour (chickpea/garbanzo bean) is a key ingredient in vegan French toast, and in small quantities doesn't add the odd taste that it can have when it's the only flour, it might come to the rescue here. And it did! I looked up general buckwheat pancake recipes and noticed that people were generally adding sugar and salt, so I put some of those in (brown sugar for flavour), plus a bit of vanilla, cinnamon, and chopped roasted almonds to bring out the nuttiness of the buckwheat. The flour was mostly buckwheat with a small but significant amount of gram flour. Next time I might try taking measurements, and maybe even make up a batch of dry pancake mix. I only made the one pancake and it wasn't all that thin, so I don't know how it'll behave when cooking up several pancakes and whether I should fiddle with the mix at all, but I'm delighted to have got the flavour right. It should be high in protein, too. Has anyone else tried this? It's so long since I've made conventional pancakes that I may have forgotten how they are meant to taste and behave!
5th-Jul-2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
I usually do my buckwheat pancakes with half buckwheat flour, a quarter sorghum, and a quarter sweet rice, though I sometimes sub out the sweet rice for almond flour with good results.

(Also half a banana for a binder, some brown sugar, soy milk, oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cardamom).

I thought the all-buckwheat I made at first were just a little too heavy, but tasty :)
5th-Jul-2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
5th-Jul-2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
The thing is, sorghum flour doesn't seem to be available in the UK, I don't have rice flour yet (or the space for it) or almond flour, and I don't like cooked bananas. I do have millet flour, which someone told me is close to sorghum. The buckwheat seems to have enough binding properties on its own, usefully.
5th-Jul-2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
Sorghum is a huge staple in my kitchen, since I think it tastes the most like wheat flour (and makes a great mix with just a couple of other flours mixed with it). If you can find it online, I'd recommend at least trying it. Millet flour seems heavier than sorghum in the recipes I've used it in, so I never use more than a quarter of it in a flour mix, and it has a different taste from sorghum - kind of rich or buttery. I know some people who swear by sorghum as their main flour, and others by brown rice flour or sweet rice flour or coconut flour, though, so I think a lot of what you should end up using is just experimentation and preference in your own kitchen.

For the almond flour, I just keep blanched almonds in the house and grind them in a coffee grinder whenever I need the flour for baking. It's easier to store and lasts a lot longer. You can also just use plain old raw almonds (which is technically almond meal, but I change them out with no noticeable difference) or hazelnuts.
7th-Jul-2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
There's the odd Indian foods supplier selling sorghum flour, but I also found a thread from a couple of years ago saying that someone had tested some of that sorghum flour and found it had been contaminated by gluten. That said, I don't have Coeliacs, I've been advised to go gluten-free by my dietician because I have ME/CFIDS, and she said not to worry about really tiny quantities, so I may be OK with that.

I've heard that rice flour is one of the Really Useful Ones, although I don't think I'm going to buy any more until I use the ones I have already more. That millet flour is still unopened, for instance.

I've got ground almonds, which of course aren't flour consistency. I have enough trouble cooking and baking already due to being disabled, so messing around with coffee grinders isn't going to happen.

So is it worth trying a bit of millet flour in there, since I have it around already, or should I just keep playing with gram flour and buckwheat for the time being? The flavours do seem to balance each other out nicely, the buckwheat takes off the bitterness of the gram flour and the gram flour takes off the excess sweetness of the buckwheat.
5th-Jul-2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
If I remember later, I'll post the exact and perfected recipe my fiance makes for me. They take a little bit longer to cook, so give yourself some time (and a snack). But they freeze really well, so make a big batch. :)
8th-Jul-2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
Okies, heres the recipe.

Gluten Free Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes (by Janine Chew)
1c Buckwheat Flour
1/2 c rice flour
1/2 other flour (sorghum, coconut, millet, whatever)
1tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
1tsp xanthan gum
3c non-dairy milk (we use almond)
1 tbsp molasses
1/4c oil
1tsp lemon juice or vinegar
2 tsp baking powder
2 egg equivalent replacement (either the Ener-G egg replacer or flax eggs)

Mix dry ingredients.

Mix wet ingredients.

Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.

Cook pancakes on surface. Yum!!

(we often add fruit into the pancakes, blueberries, rasberries, strawberries, whatever in season or in the freezer)
8th-Jul-2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
OK, that looks reasonable. Clearly I should be stocking up on rice flour, but otherwise it's ingredients I own and am happy to use (as opposed to bananas or flaxseed or what have you). I hadn't thought of molasses, but I bet they really enrich the flavour. Thank you!
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