July 19, 2007

Buckwheat Almond Pancakes - Gluten Free

My dad had a root canal that didn't go well last week. After a day in the dental chair, traveling back and forth between three different dentists, he and my Mom were worn out. I whipped up a batch of these gluten free buckwheat almond pancakes with apple compote and scrambled eggs for us to share. They were so thankful to have a warm comforting meal waiting for them when they got home.

As we sat around the kitchen table sharing food and the story of their day, I was reminded of how easy it can be to give of ourselves. Sharing of our time and baking can be easily done. You can bake a large batch of bread yourself or you can gather a group of friends to bake in your kitchen, then share your bread with neighbors, your family or the local nursing home.

If you would like to bake for others, let me share the story of an inspiring group, Spread the Bread. "In the nineties, Karen Kelly Kiefer and her children began making, baking and spreading her mother’s Irish bread to neighbors and friends. Inspired by people's response to their gesture, they made more and more bread, dressing the breads with cards and artwork. Then they dropped them off at local nursing homes and shelters. "As a child her bread spoke to me,” said Kiefer, "letting me know I was home, I was safe; I was cared for, loved. As I grew older, her bread spoke to others, letting them know they are safe, they are cared for, not forgotten, loved."

After September 11th, Karen and close friend, Juliette Fay, officially launched Spread the Bread. They saw a need and an opportunity to use bread to heal and comfort their community and to teach children it is important to make a difference.

Six years later, their bread-giving legacy is contagious and Bread groups have been hosted in almost every state in the USA. With the help of the Girl Scouts, groups are forming in countries around the world: Canada, France, Australia, Hungry, South Korea, Kuwait, and Zimbabwe. The breads are spread in all different shapes, flavors, from a multitude cultures and are spread for many different reasons: honor breads, memorial breads, prayer breads, celebration breads, and more. Spread the Bread* was one of the ten national "Make a Difference Day" Award Winners for 2006."**

Inspired by her love of pancakes, Karen Kiefer wrote a poem about them that she given me permission to share on the blog.

Pancake A Calling...

The sweet smell of addiction
Hovers over my toes
It swirls around my bed sheets
And travels up my nose

It's a familiar happening
The aroma has called before
When Mama's in the kitchen
Anticipation's at my door

I wait to hear the sizzle
As the cakes hit the pan
Batter oozing everywhere
Spreading like a fan

"Ding" the spat Chula chimes
The cakes have all been flipped
Mama grabs my plate
And some orange juice to sip

I dart down the hallway
Tripping over my obsession
34 pancakes later
I still didn't learn my lesson

Yes, Mama knows my weakness
Not the breakfast eggs and bacon
When her cakes come a calling
My will power is so shaken

Now, satisfied I sit
Fully belly in hand
The only thing that's missing
The flannel button on my pants!

By Karen Kiefer

I was inspired by the Buckwheat Pancake recipe at Food Network of Canada. I made my modifications so that the recipe was gluten free and made with agave syrup rather than sugar. The apple compote was made with Turbinado sugar and maple syrup.

Pancake Recipe

¼ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup sweet rice flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
2 Tb almond meal
1 ¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp guar gum
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup + 2 Tb milk
2 Tb agave syrup
2 Tb melted butter

In a medium sized mixing bowl, dump in all the dry ingredients (first seven ingredients) and stir together. Add the beaten eggs, milk, agave syrup and melted butter, then stir together. The batter will be thick. Place in the refrigerator to rest for about 30 minutes. Preheat a skillet or griddle iron and drop by 1/4 cup amounts on the surface. Spread out the batter and allow to cook until bubbles form. Ease around the edge of the pancake with a spatula, then slide it under the pancake and flip it over. Cook the other side. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Makes approximately 16 pancakes.

Apple Compote

3 Pink Lady Apples, or other firm apple
1 Tb butter
1 Tb Turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup

Peel and dice the apples. Drop the diced apple into a medium sized sauce pan. Then add the butter, sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup. Cook on low heat until the apples are soft.

The pancakes were a hit with all of my family. The kids preferred the pancakes with maple syrup. The adults liked them with any of the toppings we had on hand: apple compote, maple syrup and blueberry syrup.

*Would you like to get involved with Spread the Bread? You can contact them via email (info@spreadthebread.org), by phone (774-286-9987) or on their website. Happy Bread Giving!

**Permission was granted by Spread the Bread to reprint portions of text from their website to this blog post.


Dianne said...

A good recipe and a fantastic story to with it!


Sea said...

You are a buckwheat fiend lately- I love it! I need to start using more buckwheat in my baking...


kbabe1968 said...

Those look yummy. What could you sub for the agave syrup? Would regular syrup work?

Sweet story, too! :D Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

What an uplifting story, with great food to go with it!


Sheltie Girl said...

Dianne, Sea & Karen - Thank you for the kind words. It is true I've been exploring buckwheat quite a bit lately. It is wonderfully mild and adds depth of flavor to baked goods.

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

Kbabe1968 - You can substitute any syrup or honey for the agave syrup in this recipe.

Sheltie Girl