I cannot say that I am gluten-free. Not in the least. I actually have a small package of gluten in my fridge that I use when baking whole grain breads.
Gluten is like the bubblegum of the baking world. As the protein strands of the gluten stretch and pull and combine, not only is an elastic, but strong, structure developed, but all of those empty pockets are perfect places for the gases from the activated yeast to fill – making the dough expand and rise beautifully.
Now that I’ve shared my understanding of Gluten Science 101, I have to say that I appreciate the fact that many folks have chosen to eliminate all gluten from their diets.
Well, being someone who loves to bake and cook for others, I realized that I have long overlooked this opportunity to learn something new – because isn’t it lousy to be at a friend’s get-together and be unable to eat the veggie or the dessert or that casserole-something because it isn’t a healthy choice for you?
So – you are invited to witness my first attempt to make Gluten Free …
Interestingly enough, I have almond flour in my house all of the time because it adds a little something to pie crusts, cookies, etc. – I never thought about it being a gluten-free staple.
Gluten Free Almond Pancakes, with Filling
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey – or to taste
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon oil
Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Let rest in fridge for 5 – 10 minutes.
While the batter rests, combine Daisy brand cottage cheese or softened cream cheese (both are supposed to be gluten-free) with maple syrup, a dash of almond and a touch of ground cinnamon to taste. Blend until smooth in a small bowl, then set aside while cooking the pancakes.
Taking the batter from the fridge, pour by 1/3 cup onto hot griddle – cook, flip, remove, repeat.
While still warm, spoon about two tablespoons of the cottage cheese/creams cheese mixture onto each pancake.
I did learn a few important things about gluten-free pancakes: the batter is rather thin in comparison to gluten pancakes; the texture of the cooked pancakes is less pliable than traditional recipes – but the flavor of these pancakes was quite good and not unlike many of the pancake recipe variations I’ve made over the years.
I do have to say that my husband cooked up a batch of his very own buttermilk pancakes the next morning … well, suffice it to say that if he had made those golden discs of amazing the first time we met – I would have eloped with the man in a second. Gluten this or gluten that … some things simply cannot be compared.