Years and years ago, I lived in Nicaragua and went to school there. For vacation, we popped over to Florida every once in a while. It was during one of these visits, that we had breakfast at the International House of Pancakes (IHOP), a fast-food chain where you can get breakfast any time of the day in a restaurant-type atmosphere. They have eggs in any version that you could imagine and an assortment of pancakes that’s impossible to remember.
I do remember ordering the Harvest Grain & Nut Pancakes and enjoying them quite a bit. They were made from whole grain-type flours and included pieces of nuts. I don’t think I went back to IHOP again after that, not that I can remember anyway, but these pancakes really stuck in my mind. They were so much more satisfying and exciting than the regular buttermilk-pancake-with-syrup ordeal. Plus, anything involving whole grain flour and nuts has to be good, right?Earlier this year, when it was still cold outside, I thought I would give them a try. I found a few recipes online and began tweaking my own gluten-free version with their help. I’d like to think I was pretty successful. I enjoy these greatly anyway, and so does my husband. Now that it’s starting to get cold again and we’re at the end of harvest season, I thought I would share the recipe with you.
IHOP-style gluten-free Harvest Grain & Nut Pancakes
3/4 cup gluten-free oats (or gluten-free oat flour)
3/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used one half Harina de Reposteria from AdPan and one fourth buckwheat flour and Schaer Farine each)
½ tsp gluten-free agents (e.g. xanthan or guar gum, etc)
½ tsp salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk (can be substituted for yoghurt)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (omit if you are using yoghurt)
1/4 cup canola oil
3 eggs (preferably large)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup walnuts
Vegetable oil for frying
Grind the gluten-free oats into a fine flour using your kitchen machine or mill. Place into a large bowl. Add the gluten-free flour, the salt, the sugar and the baking powder and baking soda. Using your kitchen machine (or a knife) chop up the almonds and walnuts finely. Ensure to leave at least some part in coarser pieces for a better bite in the pancakes later! Add the nuts to the remainder of the dry ingredients and mix them well. Add the milk (or yoghurt), the canola oil and the three eggs. Bring together your pancake batter using a whisk and elbow grease. Or your kitchen machine. Heat a bit of vegetable oil in your pan and add about half a ladle full of batter to the pan. Fry your pancake for about a minute on one side, before turning and frying for another minute (or maybe longer) until cooked. Don’t remove the pancake from pan until it has been cooked thoroughly. You can test this by pressing a spatula down onto the middle. If no liquid pancake batter bursts through the pores, then it’s ready. Repeat this process with the rest of your batter, until none is left. Stack the pancakes on top of each other. It keeps them warm longer. Before serving, I usually return the whole stack (as it is) to the pan and warm them in the hot pan, turning the entire stack after about a minute. All pancakes will be warm again then. Frying pancakes is a bit of a science. You want the insides to cook well, and your outsides to have a pretty brown color. I suggest alternating the temperature (between the higher edge of medium and the lower highest temperature available) of your stove and adding new vegetable oil to the pan about every four to five pancakes. I eat these pancakes plain (they are a bit like cakes and carry a great flavor!), accompanied by a vanilla soy caramel latte courtesy my husband’s coffee making efforts and the milk whisk.