Recently a very dear friend of mine has been dealing with food allergies. It’s been a difficult process for him to change his diet over. I guess the problem comes from loving baked goods. I can see how hard it would be to be without baked goods for the rest of my life. I consider myself a baker first and foremost and the idea of a life without baking is a sad thought for me. I have tried many recipes for gluten free baking in the last couple of weeks. I have to say the hardest thing for me has been the texture of these gluten free treats. Using rice flour and other substitutions for wheat flour I found problems with gritty textures and off flavors. I have tried everything from rice flour to potato starch. The real difficulty has been finding the right mix. I tried Bob’s gluten free baking mix, but I wasn’t entirely happy with the end results of the baked goods. There were off notes in the flavors and a real grit to the final product. It was quite disappointing to put the work into baking and have the results turn out not so great. The other problem I found with gluten free baking is the price of the replacement goods. I bought a sampling of different gluten free flours at Whole Foods and I had over $90 in total. I wouldn’t mind paying a higher price if the end results were good, but honestly they weren’t good enough to constitute the high prices. By a case of absolute fortune one of my favorite cooking magazines Everyday Food had an article on gluten free baking mixes. It was a god send. Thomas Keller and company came to my rescue in a big way in C4C flour (it isn’t cheap, but it works – $20 per 3 lb.). I love Thomas Keller and this gluten free flour is reason to love him even more. I am looking into the 25 lb. bags that are available through some retailers. I was ready to give up entirely, but the initial results using this flour have given me absolute hope. The pancakes I made this morning were reason to believe there is hope for the gluten free folks. These pancakes were light and airy with a wonderful flavor. I dare say people would never know the difference if you didn’t tell them. I was so excited by the results that I am looking forward to more testing and sharing it with you. If you aren’t gluten free, then feel free to substitute all purpose flour for the gluten free flour.
I adapted a recipe for banana pancakes from one of my all time favorite cookbooks, Breakfast Comforts by Rick Rodgers. Everything I have made from Rick Rodgers recipes has been nothing short of stellar. This recipe worked out beautifully. You can easily change out the bananas for raspberries, chocolate chips, or blueberries. This recipe makes 2-3 servings. Feel free to double the recipe to serve a crowd.
Banana Buttermilk Pancakes (adapted from Buttermilk Flapjacks by Rick Rodgers)
- 1 cup C4C gluten free flour
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- canola oil for cooking
- 1 banana sliced into thin slices
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined. The batter will be very lumpy.
- In a small bowl, using a handheld mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Place a nonstick pan over medium heat until hot. Lightly oil the griddle and have a rimmed baking sheet ready.
- For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle and spread slightly. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Place 3 – 4 banana slices onto the top of the batter. Flip the pancakes and cook until the other side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat until all the batter is used. Serve the pancakes with butter and maple syrup.