Shortly after I moved from my horrendous first house at University of York, I had a craving for cornbread. So I bought a 5 kg bag of cornflour, convinced that cornbread was soon going to be my speciality. Unfortunately, after 3 tries, I had to concede defeat. I just don't think I'm a baking type of person. I'm too tempted to substitute and add random ingredients, and baking is a strict, by the book type of thing; not like cooking. My cornbreads would turn out really soggy or really sour or moist, or collapsed...So in a desperate attempt to use up the massive surplus of cornflour I now had on my hands, I started making pancakes. And now, I think I'm in love. Crisp and golden, I have them for breakfast and snack and love to experiment with fillings. The first batch I made was too egg-y for my taste so I upped the flour ante and accidentally added too much water. But it ended up being just right. Now I just make a huge batch of batter and then whenever I feel the munchies coming on, I whip out my skillet, heat up some oil and enjoy some yummy pancakes in less than 10 minutes. In the end, you use about the same amount of oil that you would if you were to bake the whole thing. Plus, frying lends itself to gluten free flours better because it doesn't cause the stuff to fall apart.
My favorite pancake is the spring onion pancake - a savory pancake with just a little sweetness to it from browning the onions. I also like to add little blueberries sometimes and next week I'm going to experiment with orange juice, green tea, and red bean paste!
Thought for food: Ever wanted to get rid of something that turned out to be wonderful?
Spring Onion Pancake
2 tablespoon potato flour
enough white rice flour to make it up to 1/2 cup
2/3 cup of corn flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 cup of milk (or water)
5 or 6 spring onions, washed and chopped
1 teaspoon xanthan gum OR guar gum OR pre-gel starch (optional)
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
2. Beat the egg in a separate bowl. Add the milk or water.
3. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir well. If it is too dry, add a little more water. The mixture should be smooth but thick. If you can, let it sit for a while so that the corn flour soaks up the liquid.
4. Heat a little bit of oil in a pan at medium heat. Pour in the batter - the perfect size is somewhere around 3-4 inches in diameter.
5. When the sides start stiffening, sprinkle in the spring onions, poking them so that they sink into the batter.
6. When bubbles start appearing on the surface of the pancake (about 3 minutes), flip it over and cook the other side for the same amount of time.
Makes 6 pancakes
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