Perfect Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes

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After many attempts, after many variations. After many mixes, flours and recipes, I succeeded on making gluten free pancakes that are tender, flavorful, perfectly browned and cook evenly. It’s rather ironic that this is the result of my ‘winging it’ one morning. My daughter was home from college resting and taking advantage of a quiet house to study. And as many who have kids in college know, they seem to always be hungry! Especially for home cooked food! So, when I suggested pancakes, she lit up like a christmas star. Pancakes are her favorite. I didn’t have a GF mix, and the only GF flour I had on hand was a bag of Cup4Cup gluten free flour I had purchased to try and make my Monkey Bread more tender. This flour mix is very nice, but it is very spendy. That said, it makes fantastic pancakes. My daughter says even better than our local diner makes, and she raves about theirs! I really did ‘wing it’ on this one. I have the basic pancake ratios in my mind, and so I used those to create this basic recipe.
I have to warn you, it is critical to use the products I use in order to achieve the same wonderful results. You can substitute other flours and buttermilk but I cannot guarantee the same tasty results. (This is NOT an advertisement for these products! I just want you to have the same results that I did – delicious results!)
(*see notes below)

1 cup of Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 rounded Tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Sea Salt.
1- 1.5 cup Kalona SuperNatural Sweet Cream Buttermilk*
1 whole, Grade A Egg
1 tsp Vanilla (I use Penzey’s single strength)**
2 Tbsp melted, Unsalted Butter. ( I use Hope Creamery )***

Because we are dealing with gluten free flours here, no need to worry about ‘toughness’ and gentle mixing. I put my liquids in my Vitamix first (buttermilk, vanilla, egg) added the combined dry ingredients on the top and gave it a whiz. Then I added the melted butter while the machine was running slowly.
If mixing by hand: whisk the dry ingredients together. Then whisk together the buttermilk, egg, melted butter and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix thoroughly. You may need more buttermilk. The batter should be thick but pourable.

Grease your griddle with a good quality salted butter, and cook over a medium heat, flipping when the top looks a little dull.

We serve ours with either Log Cabin Syrup (because it contains no High Fructose Corn Syrup), or grade B maple syrup and whipping cream. They are also delicious with a bit of honey and fresh fruit. My daughter ate the leftovers rolled up with peanut butter!

*Notes:
*If your local store doesn’t carry this brand of buttermilk, try to find something from a dairy local to you. Kalona is 2% fat. I would recommend 2% or full fat. A skim would work in a pinch but the results will be different.
**Penzey’s carries both single strength and double strength vanilla. To be honest, you really don’t use 1/2 the amount in the double strength, so you save no money by buying it that way, so use the single strength. Also, the only other vanilla I can recommend is a Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. I have taste tested Costco mexican vanilla, imitation, bourbon and penzeys vanillas side by side. Let me save you time and money…TRUST ME on this one. There IS a difference. HUGE. DIFFERENCE. When it comes to vanilla, invest in a good one. It lasts forever.
***Regular unsalted butter is fine. I really like the quality of the butter this dairy produces and I love to support local farmers. Unsalted butter is always higher in quality because the added salt hides off flavors in inferior ones. This is one of the reasons I prefer a high quality, grass fed butter.

Last Note: Cup4Cup. This is a blend that was created by the pastry chef for Thomas Keller. Up until now, I’ve always preferred Pamela’s Artisan Flour. I usually always have it on hand, for when the girls pop in. But, I ran out, and I had this one on hand because at Christmas, I was trying to improve on my Monkey Bread. (see link above). I have since used it a couple of times and been impressed with the quality. However, it’s expensive. So, I would save using this flour for times when the flour is the star of the recipe. Like my pancakes.

I hope you enjoy, and if you have any questions, leave them below in the comments!


Gorgeously Gluten Free Yorkshire Pancake

Growing up my parents had a cabin in the mountains, and it seemed nearly every other weekend we’d make the 2 hour drive to spend those precious 2 days in the higher altitudes of the Cascade Mountain Range. I adored it. Winters meant lots of deep powder to ski on and great sledding. Summers meant riding our horses in the high dessert, soaking in the glory of God’s handiwork in the form of arid mountainous pines, alpine meadows, crystal clear running rivers, breathtakingly cold mountain lakes, and incredible mountain vistas. Whenever I reminisce my childhood it is chock full of those memories interlaced with the wonderful smells emanating out of my mothers kitchen. 

My love of cooking is an inheritance from my mother. Looking back I am amazed at the wonderful eats she churned out of that small cabin kitchen. My brother and I would leave the cabin after a hot breakfast, returning only when we were hungry, which repeatedly was not until dusk. In fact, it was so tough getting us in by dark that my mother hung a dinner bell on the back deck that she would ring when food was on the table, to which we would come running. Funny how kids are that way. Food is completely forgotten to the excitement of an ant colony, or a fish in the stream, meadows of shoulder high grass for hide and seek , or a rotted out tree trunk that needed to be explored for critter signs. But when that dinner bell rang, our stomachs let us know quite clearly we had not fed our engines all day! 

Yorkshire pancake is a dish that my mother made on a regular basis. She only ever made it at our cabin, I’m really not quite sure why. Was it the secret of the cast iron pan? Was it the mastering of having something puff so gloriously at a high altitude? Was it the simplicity of ingredients? Or was it that the cabin was a simple life and we were easily impressed by the sight of that mile-high puffed treat, showering her with praise. She is no longer with us, so I cannot ask her. I like to think it was a memory maker. A tradition unique to that time in our lives. All I know is how grateful I am to have that very same skillet in my possession, well seasoned by decades of use, non-stick smooth and black as night. 

As the resident ‘memory maker’ in this family I have passed this tradition down. This has become a favorite of my girls that I bake on the long, cold, snowy winter weekends we have here. The original recipe is made with flour and if you are not GF, by all means make it with regular flour. It will produce results that will stun and wow any guest or family member. Just be sure to call the crowed BEFORE you pull it out of the oven. Like any popover/pudding batter, it will begin to deflate immediately, but as you can see from the photo below, should maintain it’s vertical edges beautifully browned bubbles. Made with my new favorite Pamelas Artisan Flour I get near identical results to my regular flour version. It doesn’t rise quite as high, but my daughter is tickled pink she can have her Yorkshire Pancake once again. 

A couple of tips for making this pancake:

Bake in a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have cast iron skillet use an oven proof heavy bottomed pan with low sides.

This recipe can be doubled. I’ve not had much success tripling it as GF, but with flour you can easily triple it to feed a crowd. I have adjust the butter compared to the original whopping 1/2c amount, and have tried to make it as low fat as possible without compromising taste. This recipe is not dairy free, but I cut down the lactose by using Lactose-Free milk. Pre-heat your oven while preparing, and whisk well prior to pouring in the pan for GF. For wheat flour, mix thoroughly and let rest while oven heat. 

Gluten Free Yorkshire Pancake

1/2 cup Pamelas Artisan Flour (I cannot recommend good results with any other flour. I’ve not had success with this recipe until I used this brand of GF all-purpose flour)

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs (whisked in to the milk)

1/4 c butter, melted (see recipe) 

pinch of salt. (I love to use my himalayan salt)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Move the rack to the middle/lower rung of your oven (to allow for it to puff) and place your 10 in cast iron pan in the oven to heat up. (If your pan is not cast iron, heat on the stove top until very hot, but would NOT smoke oil) In a bowl whisk the eggs in to the milk  and add a pinch of salt. Add the flour and whisk in. There will be some lumps, let it rest for 5-10 minutes, then whisk out any remaining lumps. If using wheat flour, be careful not to over beat, as this will make the pancake tough. 

When the oven reaches temperature, CAREFULLY remove the hot pan to your stovetop. Add the butter and let melt. When completely melted, pour the batter in to the pan, and place in the oven. (I have found the GF flour can get a little thick, just make sure it’s spread to the edges)

Set your timer for 14 minutes and then check the cake. It should look set in the center, not raw. For the recipe amount above, I’ve found it to be done in between 14-16 mins. If I triple the recipe, I use a larger skillet (14inch) and let it go a full 18-20 mins. When it’s done, the edges will have puffed up and be crispy brown, the center will be soft like a pudding but not raw at all. 

This is so delicious served with real maple syrup and powdered sugar, a side of sausage links and a fried egg. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Let it be your memory maker! 

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