Good gluten free vegan pancakes are elusive. It’s no lie. There have been many Sunday mornings when I’ve thought that my griddle full of golden circles would be more than impressive… would be perfect and tender and scrumptious and no one at the table would give me the look that I’ve come to expect from this sort of experiment. Perhaps you know the look. It’s a cross between sorrow and sympathy with a solid dash of compassion thrown in. Accompanying the look is the pity nod and the whole thing usually comes together with a slight “ummm” sound while one of the first few bites is being actively chewed. It’s not that most gluten free pancakes are horrible it’s that they’re different. And different, despite what your momma told you, ain’t always good! Something as iconic as a full stack of pancakes drizzled in New England Maple Syrup is a challenge to pull off in GFV form. But I think I’ve finally got a contender!
Teff Pancakes (makes 36 5 inch pancakes)
2 cups gluten free flour blend (try Bob’s Red Mill or use your own blend)
¾ cup white rice flour
¾ cup teff flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp lemon juice or 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
5 cups coconut milk
1 cup coconut milk, almond milk or water (this will be used to thin the batter if needed)
10 pitted medool dates
If you’re using a griddle, start preheating it now. If you’re using a sauté pan you will put it on the heat after we’ve made the batter.
Making the batter:
Put all of the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir well to combine.
Put your wet ingredients into a bowl and set aside for a few minutes. The lemon juice or vinegar will slightly curdle the coconut milk. We want this to happen. We want the bit of sour that will be reminiscent of buttermilk. We want the tenderness that the acid will impart when the batter is mixed. Don’t be afraid…
Take your pitted dates and about 1 cup of the coconut milk and whiz in your Vitamix or other blender until the date is blitzed and no bits remain. If you don’t have a blender that is capable of doing this you can try using a food processor and pulverizing the dates with some of the dry mix. If you have neither piece of equipment you can grind the date into a paste using a mortar and pestle or resort to ¼ cup of honey or sugar instead of the dates.
Pour the 1 cup of coconut date milk back into your dry ingredient bowl. With a wooden spoon, stir the milk and flours together. Add one cup of coconut milk at a time now, stirring and combining the wet and dry ingredients. If your mix is too thick when you’ve added the 5th cup of coconut milk consider adding ½ cup of the extra liquid of your choice until you get a thickish batter that’s stiff but not stiff enough to hold up your wooden spoon.
Make sure that your cooking surface is hot and well oiled. Because I used coconut milk in this recipe I decided to use coconut oil on my griddle. You should use your favorite mild oil.
Ladle out 1/3 cup portions of batter onto your hot griddle and wait for bubbles to form, burst and leave open holes in the top surface, usually about 2-3 minutes. The edges of your pancakes will start to look a little dry. Flip and cook on the other side for another 2 minutes. Your pancakes should be a dark golden brown because of the teff. These are not as light as traditional wheat pancakes. When you test one you should notice a fluffy center that is not gluey or mushy. If yours is either you haven’t cooked the pancake long enough or you added too much liquid.
Serve hot with maple syrup and fresh berries.
Note: This makes a large batch of pancakes. 3 of us were eating these pancakes and we each had 2 pancakes along with a fruit salad and sunshine smoothie shot (carrot, orange, pineapple whizzed in Vitamix). We had 30 leftover. I froze 12 and put the remaining 18 in the fridge. The ones we had as leftovers from the fridge were a bit dry compared to when they were fresh. For the best flavor and texture consider making a half batch so you are eating the majority of these fresh. While leftover pancakes are uber convenient they were not as good as the fresh hot goodies!