The Great Pancake Test

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The Great Pancake Test

11th Feb 2015

The great pancake test!

As pancake day is nearly here we thought we'd (well I had to get someone to help me eat the results didn't I? - Michelle) do you a service by testing some gluten free (see here for reasons not to eat gluten - ) versions of these lovely little treats. Yes folks, even a 'healthier' version should still be an infrequent treat rather than an everyday item.

Most of the recipes we tried make thicker batters suitable for the smaller American style pancakes, although most could be thinned out with water, milk or your chosen dairy substitute (we used KoKo, a coconut based alternative in place of milk). We used either a hand blender (to deal with the bananas, and the thick mixtures) or a balloon whisk, and cooked all but the crepe version on a flat cast iron griddle using coconut oil. Pour a small amount of the batter on the hot griddle and flip once the batter is bubbling on the top.

Where recipes asked for milk we used KoKo (a coconut based alternative) and in place of sugar we used a little agave nectar (about a dessert spoonful).

We used the following alternatives to flour and recipe sources:
Oat bran – this one would not thicken so we made a crepe style pancake here. It is a version of the Dukan diet recipe.

Protein powder – our only concern here being whether the protein powder is heat stable, or loses some of the nutrients when cooked? Michelle's own recipe (2 ripe bananas mashed, 2 eggs, 1 serving of protein powder, milk, substitute or water to get desired consistency).

Almond flour – we used the same recipe as for the coconut flour pancake but had to increase the flour element x4 times.

Coconut flour -

Gluten free plain flour - subsitute gutlen free flour and gluten free baking powder.

Buckwheat – the simplest recipe we found

And the results of the test are:
Oatbran – Very runny batter, could be used as an alternative to tortillas if made thin and cooked until crisp. The results were very dry and needed some accompaniments to be really palatable. They certainly won’t roll up like traditional crepes do.

Protein powder – Lovely fluffy little pancakes, take care not to overcook, they only need a few mins. They hold together well and considering that we used chocolate protein powder and bananas they did not need any further accompaniments, although we found them very tasty with greek yoghurt and berries.

Almond flour – A little grainy in texture but nicely sweet and creamy. Would go very well with salmon and cream cheese as a savoury snack.

Coconut flour – This batter thickens well on beating and produces a very pale fluffy pancake which is slightly sweet and only a little grainy.

Gluten free plain flour - (These are the pancakes I usually serve to friends and family – even those who do not avoid gluten – Michelle)

Buckwheat – These ones have an earthy/vegetable taste and are a little rubbery (although I may have overcooked them a little – Michelle). There are some very complex recipes for buckwheat pancakes out there but we found a simple recipe so that everyone can make them with easy-to-find ingredients. On their own they are a bit tasteless but with yoghurt and berries they make a tasty breakfast!

The winner is:
The protein pancakes were the outright winner! Possibly due to the chocolate protein powder we used along with the bananas. You can of course make these with any flavour protein or the flavourless versions too.

The fluffy slightly sweet coconut ones came second and the almond flour 3rd.

Thanks to Emma for her assistance and cooking skills – Michelle.