So life got crazy. Crazier I should say. A lot going on in addition to the usual things that keep our lives interesting on a daily basis. My chronically semi poor health has been an on-going journey in pursuit of solutions the past couple of years. The last few weeks have revealed some long sought after answers. Part of my “new” lifestyle and diet is going gluten free. Although I am not strictly gluten free (for example I’ll eat something processed on machinery that also processes wheat and do not require it to be certified gluten free) for all practical purposes gluten is gone from my daily life.
This has had, as you might imagine a catastrophic effect upon this wheat lovin’ creator of doughy delicacies. I mean, I put flour in everything. Every meal has some sort of grain that includes gluten. So. New challenge in my life is to learn to bake gluten free. And relatively cheap. Need to collect the basic supplies and start working on that. In the meantime I’ve resorted to some “cheat” pre-mixes and things like whole rice noodles until I get a grasp on making grain based gluten free products myself.
I’ve continued making healthy glutenous meals for those I love and those who just happen to be around when I cook for those I love. We had company this past week. Well, actually, we had a LOT of out of town company. As in, company every single day and night last week. But, one batch of company in particular partook of one of my favorite breakfasts ever. Soaked Wheat Pancakes with Blueberries drizzled in a Honey/MapleSyrup/Butter blend. These can be transformed into dessert realms by the addition of carob or even chocolate chips, fresh strawberries and raw whipped cream drizzled with chocolate “shoup” as the Doodles calls it, AKA Syrup (Sans HFCS of course). But. That is purely a personal decision whether or not to descend into such depths of decadence. I originally got this recipe from Nourishing Traditions but made some adaptations to it along the way to get the results and flavors I wanted.
Cakes for the Pan: The Blue Jewel Version
2 cups of whole wheat flour
2 cups yogurt from whole milk (Homemade is best from Raw milk! Can also substitute with Buttermilk or Whey. Yogurt yields the best flavor though)
2 eggs slightly beaten (Farm Fresh, Free Range eggs are the best. Gotta love those yolks so rich they are literally orange)
1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt/real salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Baking Power (Aluminum Free)
2 tablespoons unsalted melted butter (DO NOT use Margarine or any fake butter blend! Can substitute with Organic Coconut Oil )
2 tsp. Real Vanilla
Pinch (or two) of unrefined turbinado or other raw sugar
Extra Raw (or un-homogenized but pasteurized) Milk (can substitute with water) If needed
Fresh or Frozen Organic Blueberries. As many as you want.
Directions: Combine Flour and Yogurt in a bowl, rubber band a damp towel over the top and put in a warm spot. My dehydrator gets too hot so I usually pre-heat my oven to 350, slide the ceramic bowl in and shut the door quickly before turning the oven off. It stays warm enough for most of the night that way. Also set out the eggs you will need for the next day if you are one of those that still keeps your eggs refrigerated. You’ll need them room temp. in order for the dough to mix well the next morning!
When you wake up and are tempted to bat the alarm clock off for an extra round of sleep just imagine how delicious those blueberries coddled in dough are doing to taste and stumble on out of bed. If you have gone microwave free like me put the chunks of butter in a bowl and slide into the toaster oven for a few minutes until it’s gently warmed to a golden puddle of liquid. Combine remaining dry ingredients together and work into presoaked dough blob. Don’t be surprised if the dough has a brownish/darkish coating over the top, it’s perfectly normal. Just mix it in and it won’t negatively affect the end product at all either in taste or looks.
Whisk remaining liquid ingredients together and stir into the dough. If the dough is too thick (mine usually is) add milk until it is the nice pourable consistency one looks for in pancake batter.
On a greased skillet (coconut oil, spray olive oil or butter do the job nicely) drizzle the dough into however big a rounds or shape you want. Keep in mind that soaked flour pancakes require longer to “cook” than normal panakes do so err on the side of a bit lower temp and let them cook longer so the middles get done and aren’t soggy. After the initial “layer” has formed after they are drizzled onto the hot pan sprinkle the doughy tops with frozen blueberries. Allow a firm “crust” to cook on the bottom part before flipping, this will allow them to hold together with the extra weight of the berries when you go to flip them.
Flip ’em over and finish up the cooking. I keep a thick pottery plate in the toaster oven set to warm that I transfer the pancakes to as they cook to keep ’em nice and warm with pats of butter on top to prevent drying out.
Golden Drizzle Delight
I came up with a rough blend a while back that is perfect for topping pancakes with. Confession of a self professed sweets adorer: Pure maple syrup to my taste is…Too maple-ley. Honey is…Way too honey-ish and plain butter is uhm…Plain. Combine the three however and they work together in all their complexities of flavors into an entirely new and harmonious thing. I would give you exact measurements except that this is one of those things I never took the time to measure.
One third of the whole needs to be butter. If you use unsalted butter add a pinch or two of sea salt. It helps to offset the sweetness of the maple syrup and honey. One third is NOT too much butter even though it does seem like a lot. Remind yourself that butter is one of the good guy fats and that without it the syrup is entirely too sweet.
For the remaining proportions of honey and maple syrup all I know is that I end up with more maple syrup than honey although the exact ratios escape me.
Mix it all up together on pourable pot set upon the stove and as it gently turns to a simmer taste. If the flavor balance is off throw in more of whatever it needs and keep tasting until it tastes absolutely perfect to you. There is a brilliant flavor combination to be had with these three simple ingredients I promise you. Just keep trying until it is achieved. They need to be simmered together on low for at least a couple of minutes, possibly more if you added salt. If salt was added go until the salt is dissolved. Whisk the liquefied ingredients together well before drizzling over pancakes so you get a nice even blend of it all. The butter especially likes to escape it’s forced companionship with it’s sweet counterparts and must occasionally be forced back into it’s proper place of excessive sweetness remediation.
It may be a while before another post makes it’s way into this challenged foodies chronicle. TheMan is gone to Africa for two weeks and my life is more than a little strained around the edges with his absence. The “to do” lists have officially reached unmanageable proportions and are making any “me” time on-line a guilt ridden thing. I may end up comforting my lonely self late at night allowing my fingers free reign on all manner of food related topics. Perhaps it won’t be so neglected afterall. TheDoodles has at last fallen asleep and so must I while I can. To all a Good Night! =)
PS: I almost forgot! The most important picture of all. =D