Here in the UK there is only one Pancake Day a year. But where I am from, we celebrate spring festival with pancakes for an entire week. As tradition goes: There is a different pancake for every day of the week including a different recipe and instructions on who in the family has to bake it.
And as the pancake week is still on, I decided to share with you 5 tips which will work in pretty much every pancake recipe and guarantee you a perfect meal. Because - let’s be honest - how many times did you back off making pancakes just because you were not sure whether or not they would be worth spending time on? Use the following rules and neither your first nor second-third-last pancake will turn lumpy, rubbery or tough.
Always mix all dry and “binding” ingredients (aka eggs) first.
Add oil/melted butter/ghee straight in the batter just before baking.
Make sure that the surface of your pan is very clean (and preferably has non stick coating) and evenly pre-heated. Not over heated, not heated only in the middle or on the left side- evenly on a medium heat!
Substitute part of your liquid ingredient (aka milk) with water. When added to the batter, it makes pancakes more soft and tender. It works on flour's proteins and fiber creating the superb texture of the final product.
Stack your pancakes. This is needed not only to make them stay warm, look neat and pretty and save space in the kitchen. But first and foremost, when stacked, pancakes create steam which goes through the pile and cook each other to perfection.
Congrats, we are done with the theory, now the yum part!
I have a couple of pancakes recipes which were always getting compliments and “how did you made them” kind of comments. But then I realised that non of them are actually vegan and I did want to know if non dairy/no eggs pancake could be good? It was time to open my kitchen lab and start to experiment. I was playing with those recipes which I already knew as well as trying new ones and some of them turned out so good! It would be a crime to keep them to myself.
Please let me introduce you:
Buckwheat pancakes - nutty and savoury.
Leavened pancakes - rich and spongy.
Classic crepes - thin and lacy.
As a part of experiment, I made crepes in both traditional way, using eggs, and then made a vegan egg using grounded flax seeds. It worked great, I could hardly find a difference between those too! Flax egg also did a good job in buckwheat galettes (as called in Breton, their place of origin).
So if you still had hesitations about vegan stuff, time to leave them along. Take your bowls, heat up your pans and let’s get started!
For 5 to 7 french buckwheat galettes you will need:
1 cup Buckwheat Flour
Generous pinch of salt
1 tsp flax seeds + 2 tsp of water)
1 cup of plant milk + 1/3 cup of water
½ tsp oil
1/2 tsp of baking powder
a drizzle of liquid sweetener OR 1/2 tsp of sugar
Mix 1 tsp of ground flaxseed with 2 tsp of water. Leave aside for 5-10 min (stick to a longer time to make your egg nice and strong ;D).
In a bowl mix all dry ingredients.
When the egg is ready, add it to the dry mixture together with 1 cup of plant based milk of your choice (I used soy milk). Mix well, add water and set aside for 10 min to let all the ingredients make friends and flour’s proteins to start acting.
After resting, batter should have a consistency of double cream. If it looks too dense add a bit more water.
Add 1 tsp of olive oil, mix well.
On a dry pan put a ladder of batter, distribute evenly, wait for 3-4 minutes until the edges become golden, flip, wait another couple of minutes. At this point you can add any feeling you like, or you can do it later. Your choice.
For 5-7 vegan crepes you will need:
1 flax seed egg
1/2 cup of plain flour
125 ml of plant milk of your choice + 25-50 ml of water
½ tsp oil
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of sugar OR a drizzle of liquid sweetener
The method if the same as for the galettes (don't forget to use the 5 rules too ;).
And finally for 4-5 leavened pancakes you will need:
½ tsp dry yeast
1/2 cup of plain white flour
½ cup of wholemeal flour
½ cup of plant milk
½ cup of water
1 tbs of sugar or any sweetener
1 tsp of oil
In a bowl mix yeast, flour, salt and sugar.
Slightly warm up the milk, don’t boil!
Add milk to the dry ingredients, mix well and place in a warm quite place to let the yeast start acting. To speed up the process and make sure that nothing disturb my yeast, I like to put my oven at 50C and leave the batter there. In the oven it will take 30-45 min. You can easily leave batter for up to 2 hours.
The batter tripled in size and smells indulgently, time to add 1/2 cup of lurking warm water and oil. Mix well and set aside for 10-15 min until your pan is pre-heating.
Bake as any other pancakes.