Desperate to Improve Gluten-Free Pancake Mix!!
I have a nephew with a gluten problem, so his parents have begun feeding him pancakes made with Trader Joe's Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix. However, I tasted some myself, and they were about the most revolting things I've ever eaten (and believe me, I've been around). Does anyone know of any fairly easy fixes to make that mix palatable? Or any alternative ready-made mixes or gluten-free pancake recipes? I'd hate for my nephew to get the idea that that's what food actually tastes like.
Bob's red mill makes a few gluten free products... I have a cousin who must eat GF and she uses their products fairly successfully. I don't have a pancake recipe (will try to get from her, but don't hold your breath)... but I know she makes a cornmeal based pancake (with rice flour)... and mixes in lemon zest & blue-berries... so the resulting pancake isn't quite the fluffy type we all love, but is more a creamy, polenta-ish cake.. but still really delicious. it crisps up nicely on the outside and has a creamy center (plain rice flower or other grain pancakes are pretty dismal things). she also makes corn-meal based pizza crust that is pretty tasty, too. good luck! hopefully at least fresh made will taste better than non. good luck to your nephew with the change to GF, I know it can be tough, especially for kids.
you might also try some of the recipes at glutenfreegirl.com, per my cousin they are pretty good. and I also buy a brand of rice pasta from the local natural food store.. I think it is called "pasta joy"... which is actually has a pretty decent texture.
Pamela's mix is the most commonly loved mix. It does contain nuts if it is an issue. If you make it by separating the egg whites and whipping them up, it makes a fluffier pancake that holds its loft. I usually just use 1/2 buckwheat, 1/2 GF flour blend in the Deborah Madison recipe for buttermilk pancakes from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, separating the egg whites when I have time, and it works well. Looking at the ingredients fro the TJs mix, I didn't even bother.
Get for yourself or your nephew's parents any or all of Bette Hagland's Gluten Free Gourmet books. She has several and most of the things I have tried have been good, especially the pasta. But I digress. What follows is a really excellent recipe for pancakes. It appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle many years ago.
Rice Flour and Yogurt Pancakes
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat milk
Sift first five ingredients together into a large bowl.
In a second bowl, mix egg with oil and yogurt; stir in milk. Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour batter by tablespoonfuls into the dry pan. Cook pancakes until golden brown an both sides, about 2 minutes or less per side.
Serve on warm plates with butter, and accompaniment of your choice, such as preserves, honey, maple syrup, fruit syrup, fresh fruit.
Serves 2 or 3 people.
OK so here are the ingredients to the TJs mix:
sweet brown rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, rice milk powder, cream of tartar, xanthan gum, baking soda, sea salt, ground vanilla bean
I would use the mix, add sugar or honey, more vanilla if needed, oil or melted butter, eggs and buttermilk. Here is the recipe I use, adapted from Deborah madison. You can just sub your mix for the flour and baking soda...
1 1/2 cups flour (I usually do 1/2 buckwheat, 1/4 sorghum, 1/8 tapioca and 1/8 cornstarch if making from scratch)
1-3 T sugar, I usually only add 1 T
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
2 eggs, separated (or for a quick version whole)
1-2 T melted butter or oil (I use less than the original version called for, 3T)
1 1/2 cup buttermilk (or thinned yogurt)
1 t vanilla
Mix dry ingredients together, whisk egg yolk, vanilla oil and buttermilk, mix into dry ingredients just until mixed, whip up egg whites until peaks form, and fold into batter. Cook on a cast iron griddle.
I was looking up sorghum flour as I like the taste of it and am trying to cut down on the amount of gluten I consume and I found this great link. There's a pancake recipe in it. I haven't tried it but having spent money on a mix, I can tell you that it will be pretty good. Bob's Red Mill has sorghum flour so you can make it. I've also included a cool link I found on gluten free recipes.