It’s nice when things work out perfectly the first time. Unfortunately, that does not often happen–in life or in the kitchen. That is probably the biggest lesson I have learned as a scientist. If something works the first time, you did something wrong. When things do not work out, as is the case 99.999999% of the time, you then make an educated guess as to what went wrong and decide how to proceed. I have carried these lessons into my kitchen and some of the best meals I have made are the result of modifying less successful recipes. If I had never tried the recipe again and made changes, I never would have discovered something great. I recently tried a new pancake recipe that definitely has the potential to be amazing and I am determined to adjust it to make it even better!
A few weeks ago, my husband and I made the most basic gluten-free pancake recipe we could find on the internet. It was okay. In fact, it was so “okay” that I already lost the recipe and can not seem to find it again. For my most recent pancake attempt, I found another simple recipe that did not require 1,001 ingredients (as many gluten-free pancake recipes seem to do). I just do not bake enough to find it sensible to keep things like tapioca starch and xanthan gum around my kitchen at all times. This recipe did not specify what type of flour to use, so I figured I could just use whatever I had on hand. I always have brown rice flour, as I use it more often than any others, but I wanted to try something different. I decided to use a one-to-one mixture of oat flour and almond flour that I quickly prepared in my food processor.
I made several substitutions from the original recipe and added more things. I aimed to keep my amount of solids and liquids consistent with the recipe I found because I have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to gluten-free baking. I noticed that 1 cup of milk would have made the batter way too runny in my opinion, so I added ½ cup instead. It was still a little runny, but manageable.
Nutty Blueberry Pancakes (For 3 medium-sized pancakes):
1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup oat flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free rolled oats)*
½ Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup milk (I used Silk Vanilla soymilk)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup chopped pecans
*I realized later on, that the author of the previous recipe (who seems to have much more experience with gluten-free baking than I do) noted that oat flour is often too heavy for things like pancakes. Oops.
1. Combine flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
2. Add egg, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and mix well with a fork.
3. Stir in blueberries and pecans.
4. Pour into a preheated (medium-high heat) skillet sprayed with olive oil or cooking spray.
5. Flip when bottom appears cooked and top is bubbling. Then cook the other side.
These did not hold together as well as a normal pancake. I actually had to flip the pancake into another preheated and oiled skillet because I could sense an impending disaster. They were not incredibly dense like most gluten-free pancakes I have had, but I was also unable to get them quite as solid as a typical gluten-containing pancake. I don’t know whether this was due to the flour combination I used and/or the volume of milk I used. The taste was really amazing though. I really like the rich, nutty taste of almond flour compared to the less flavorful rice flours. The pecans and cinnamon added a lot of flavor and the blueberries were delicious! Both my husband and I really liked them a lot and agreed that this recipe has the potential to be amazing. I think that next time (and there will definitely be a next time), we might try adding a bit of corn or potato starch to thicken them up a little bit. I think this recipe could turn into a nice muffin too!