Sorghum flour pancakes - success!

I've mentioned here before that I was experimenting with different gf flours with varying results.

I tried the mixes (Dove's Farm, Bob's Red Mill) and while they were good enough in their own way, they weren't really what I was looking for. Bob's is great for texture, but it included bean flours, which made everything taste of beans. Dove's is okay for flavour and made good cakes but didn't work for everything. I then made my own mix, which was fine for flavour but everything I made was quite leaden.

For some reason pancakes were really awkward, either unpleasantly dense or oddly crusty where they had touched the hot pan, and always pasty-pale. They were inflexible and cardboardy. The challenge seems to be getting the balance of tenderness and chewiness which we take for granted in wheat flour. Buckwheat made a tender pancake, but there was no chewiness; they just sort of fell apart in the mouth like paste. Plus, the flavour is not for everyone.

A friend bought me some sorghum flour and I've just made the best pancakes ever. They cooked quickly, rose beautifully and went a lovely golden brown in the pan. They were a beautiful texture and I reckon it would be dead easy to knock up half a dozen wraps for sandwiches with virtually the same recipe.

I used about two parts sorghum to one part buckwheat and one part 'other' (in this case, my own-blend flour, but I feel pretty confident it would work with Dove's). I added soy milk, a spoonful of psyllium husk powder (I can't tolerate xantham gum, but this does the same thing), salt and an egg, let it sit for about 15 minutes, then gave it a dollop of soda water and cooked in coconut oil. I wanted fluffy American-style pancakes, so I added some baking powder, but if you want the traditional flat pancake, just leave it out.

I'm so pleased! Just wanted to share.

21 Replies

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  • I'm new to gluten free baking so I found this really interesting, thanks. I've not been able to buy sorghum flour locally but when I do eventually track some down I'll have to give your recipe a try!

  • gfmum1, do you know of any local Asian shops? That's where I got mine. But you can also order it online. There are a couple of links below.

    I'm new to gf baking too. I used to bake regularly but since going gf (4.5 months now) I've only mastered a handful of gf recipes. Happily, I can now make a really great, light sponge in both vanilla and chocolate versions. Biscuits are fairly easy because they don't depend so much on chemical reactions to be nice. I do a good almond biscuit and a flour-free peanut butter cookie, both dead easy. My favourite chocolate chip cookies came out a bit wrong (leaden and crumbly) but they must have been edible as they're all gone.

    Someday soon I may even try bread, even though I suspect it's an uphill battle.

    Have you tried anything yet or are you still working up the courage? :-)

  • Congratulations! Experimenting in the kitchen takes time and patience, but the rewards are HUGE Ü ... keep up the good work and thanks for sharing!

  • I forgot to mention ... I use sorghum flour in my pancakes as well.

    Recipe: foodchallenges.ca/buttermil...

  • Ooh, thanks for that. I've bookmarked it!

  • Hello. Do anyone know where I can buy Sorghum flour in Britain? And how do I know it's been produced in a glutenfree environment and not contaminated by wheat?

  • Kickiel, Bob's Red Mill flours are gf. You can buy it here: healthysupplies.co.uk/sweet...

  • Thanks, I want to make sure it's not been contaminated by wheat, which I suspect could be the case if I bought it in an asian shop :-)

  • Bob's Red Mill has a dedicated facility in the North West US. They only produce gluten free products at that location. So, there's no fear of cross contamination. I use their products regularly, with no problems.

  • If you want to buy Sorghum flour in the UK try your local Asian shop or ask them to order it, it is usually called Juwar flour over here.

    You can buy it online from:

    theasiancookshop.co.uk/sorg...

    It's funny how flour has different names in different parts of the world and chick pea flour has many names and gluten free baking is like learning a new language LOL.

    And Hollyann's pancakes sound great, full of flavour so nice one.

  • Thanks! I love the feeling of solving a problem.

    My friend bought the flour in an Asian shop in Hounslow (w London). It is labelled Juwar Flour/Sorgam Flour, but it's also known as Jowar flour, and my friend knew it as something else entirely as she lived in Goa for many years.

    I come across it in a number of American recipes, but I couldn't find it anywhere here except for Asian shops. I suspect it is also cheaper than it would be in the health food shop, where I spend an alarming amount of money on tiny packets of gf flours.

  • I double-checked and Bob's actually sell it here too, and though it's expensive, it is gf. (Link above.)

  • Does anyone know if TRS sorghum flour is definitely gluten free? I haven't been able to get any yet, and although I know their ground rice is gf, I found this old post about sorghum on a blog but I'm not sure whether it's still relevant or not: celiactravel.com/blog/trs-s...

    I've debated for a few days about whether to post this or not but decided I should as I know that the tiniest amount of gluten can be a problem for some.

  • Hi gfmum, it's a very pertinent point and this came up recently on GFG ragarding TRS cornflour so please see this link:

    healthysupplies.co.uk/coars...

    A gluten & wheat free grain. Note: Packed in an non-gluten free environment. May contain traces of seeds or nuts.

    I am one of the unfortunate ones who is affected by traces of gluten, so know that you did right by asking this.

  • Hi Jerry

    I'm one of the lucky ones, I'm not coeliac & I'm ok with small amounts of gluten (I think, I'm still learning).

    Off the TRS ground rice packet: "Free from Gluten and high in Protein, Ground Rice can be used in controlled diets." It doesn't contain any warning about being packed in a non-gluten free environment so TRS products vary, presumably depending on the original source.

    I hope this helps someone.

  • Hi gfmum. I tend to avoid TRS products after reading the warning about their cornmeal and one of my local shops sell TRS ground rice which's one of my staples, so thanks as this is good to know.

    If you want to know if their Juwar flour is packed where wheat and gluten is handled then I'd contact them and then you'll know for sure. To me that's what customer service is for.

  • If you are just starting baking, you might find my article on flours helpful.

    foodchallenges.ca/food-fact...

    I've been baking gluten free for more than 5 years now. Here are some tried and true recipes.

    foodchallenges.ca/my-recipe...

    Shortbread Cookies! foodchallenges.ca/seasons-g...

    Best wishes for success!

  • Wow, look at those gingerbread houses! Thanks for the links!

  • You are most welcome ... we're all in this boat together!

  • The Doves Farm recipe for pancakes I found on their website makes better American style pancakes/drop scones/Scotch pancakes than any recipe I ever tried prior to developing CD last year! They are quick to rustle up for breakfast or a tea time treat. I mix all the ingredients in my measuring jug using a small hand whisk so there is minimum washing up too. 1 egg, 150mls milk, 100g SR flour, 1 tsp sugar : whisk until lump free then cook tablespoon dollops in a very, very lightly greased frying pan on medium heat. Flip over with a spatula once bubbles appear on the un-cooked surface.Approx. 18 small pancakes so double up if you need more. Ready in minutes to eat with lots of GF treats, savoury or sweet!

  • Hi JoolsEnzo. That's virtually the same recipe I used to use (I have my own aluminium-free baking powder, so I use regular flour and add it in). I wanted a nice soft brown pancake but they always came out very pale and kind of hard on the outside. I couldn't manage to make them brown.

    Glad it works for you though!

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