Gluten Free Cornmeal Pancakes and Corn Bread
Corn Meal Pancakes
You can use corn meal in place of wheat flour to make good tasting gluten-free bread and pancakes. You need only a few ingredients and simple cooking utensils.
Ingredients For Corn meal Pancakes
Since we don't expect corn meal pancakes to rise and end up soft and fluffy, the ingredients list is very short and simple. Basically all you need is the corn meal itself, a liquid either milk or water, oil, salt and eggs.
Ingredients, How Much To Use?
I never measure, so sorry if these quantities are a bit vague.
Corn Meal, 2 or 3 Cups
Eggs, One per cup of corn meal
Milk or water, enough to make a soupy mix. It will not make a sticky batter like wheat flour does. It will always be a bit soupy/runny.
Oil, up to you, anywhere from a few tablespoons to a quarter cup, depending on how many calories you are aiming for. I think more oil cooks up better, and I don't care about the calories.
Salt, a teaspoon or so. You can leave this out and substitute baking soda and baking powder if you want the pancakes to be lighter and fluffier.
You need a fork, to break the eggs up and mix the batter.
A mixing bowl to mix the ingredients in.
A dipper, to pour the batter into the frying pan.
A spatula, to flip the pancakes once they are done on one side, and to remove from the frypan when cooked.
A cast iron frying pan.
Procedure For Making Batter
First, assemble your ingredients and utensils.
Put two or three cups of corn meal into the mixing bowl.
Put the salt, eggs and oil into the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. The corn meal should appear damp after mixing, if you have used enough eggs and oil. If it still looks dry, add more oil, or another egg and mix thoroughly. This prevents lumps from forming when you add the milk.
Add a small amount of milk and mix well. Add a bit more and mix well. The mix should be looking wet now. Don't add all the milk at once, as you could get lumpy batter. Once you have added small amounts a few times, and it is a thick, wet mass, mix vigorously once more and then add the rest of the milk/water. Add enough liquid that the batter is a soupy mixture.
You can actually cook it now, but it is better to leave it a while. The corn meal will absorb a lot of the moisture and soften, and your pancakes will end up better. After you leave it sit a while, and hour or so, it will thicken quite a bit. Before cooking add enough more milk or water to return it to the soupy stage.
You can cook it at any time. I usually leave it sit out for an hour or two and then cook the pancakes, or put it in the fridge to use later. It will keep well in the fridge for several days.
How to Cook The Pancakes
You need three utensils, a scoop/dipper, spatula and a cast iron skillet or frying pan.
Why use a cast iron frying pan? Simple, it is traditional. Speaking politically, for you conservatives out there, that is all you need to know. It is traditional, so that means it has been time tested by ten generations of grandmas, so we know that of course it works and works well, cause Grandma says so.
For you liberals, 'it's traditional' doesn't quite cut it. You need to investigate a bit more. Just because a bunch of illiterate country yahoo grannies think it is fine, doesn't mean it really is fine, now does it? Maybe modern society has come up with something better, maybe something with Teflon involved...and it has.
You can easily spend ten times the price of a cast iron skillet, and get a teflon coated, stainless steel, copper layered frying pan that will cook up pancakes just fine, and it looks a lot better sitting on your granite counter-top too. The advantages? They are more shiny. They look high tech and expensive, and they are. I own one. I never use it unless the cast iron one is already in use.
Why use the traditional cast iron frying pan? First, it does a great job. It is easy to use, easy to clean up, heats evenly and holds heat a long time so you can control the pan temperature. Plus, it is the super-eco-friendly-green product.
It is, as the name implies, made from cast iron. In other words it is made in a simple process from a very common and cheap material. High tech pans are expensive because they require many steps to manufacture, use rarer and harder to process materials, and more labor. Cast iron pans can last for generations, meaning again, materials, energy and labor are all saved. So stop whining and buy your cast iron pan!
Frying Pan With Butter Melting
Cooking Procedure, Really this time...
Sorry about that last bit, couldn't help myself. Cooking pancakes or corn flatbread is very easy, if you have ever made any kind of pancakes before.
First, heat the skillet hot enough that a drop of water splashed on it immediately pops and spits.
Use your dipper to give the batter a few last spins to remix it, and pour a dipperfull in the center of the pan and spiraling outward. This will make a single pancake six to eight inches across.
Let it cook until it is brown on the underside and the top is getting gummy. If your pan is hot enough this should be a minute or less. Use your spatula to lift up one edge to check if it is brown.
Flip it smartly over and do the same for the other side. The second side will not turn an even brown.
Remove from the skillet and either eat immediately as a pancake with butter and syrup or honey or jam, or, set it aside to cool and use it later as you would any bread. It makes good sandwiches.
A Pancake Cooked On One Side And Ready To Turn
Peanut Butter And Home Made Raspberry Jam
Gluten-Free Bread, Tips
Eating gluten-free can be a pain in the *ss. Gluten-free breads are either expensive to buy or inconvenient to make at home. Cornmeal pancakes and flatbread are easy, convenient and very cheap. They taste good too.
You can try variations. For example, use water instead of milk, for a thinner, crisper more crumbly pancake.
Or add yogurt in place of some of the milk. The batter will keep longer in the fridge, and the batter texture is more creamy, making it easier to mix and pour.
Add baking powder and baking soda to the batter for somewhat lighter, fluffier pancakes.
Mash a ripe banana into the batter for a sweeter flavor.