Vegan & Gluten-Free Crêpes
I am so thrilled to be sharing a recipe for crêpe-like vegan & gluten-free pancakes. I have been working on these for sometime, frustrated by the textural nightmare, of working with no eggs or gluten. It was tough.
When you mix gluten-free grains with liquid, you feel like you've made a sand-smoothie. Like how could this possibly work out. I'd given up working on Erin McKenna's recipe from in her book Babycakes Covers the Classics (for it yielded such fickle results), when I saw Karoliner Tegelaar's genius humble lil' recipe for Swedish Pancakes in her book, The Vegan Baking Bible. I couldn't believe what I was looking at, the recipe (from a gf/v bakers perspective) looked solid.
I've played around with dry ingredients & ratios to get my favoured textural consistency, but my-goodness I highly recommend Karoliner's book if you come across it. It's a Resource.
My preferred crêpe (which you'll find below), isn't starchy nor wet to the touch - it's a little crispy around the edges, pliable, thin and delicate while also tearable, chewable & a little toothy. While a little fussier than gluten-containing crêpes, I can safely say - having made these up-teen times, that they are beautifully consistent and surprisingly easy to work with.
NOTES FOR SUCCESS...
- The most obvious; the batter will seem far too liquidous (merely course grains floating in plant milk). It's just how it is. Read my other notes to bolster your confidence, none the less.
- Yes the gram measurements are specific, that's just the nature of such a precise recipe. Every brand of gluten-free flour is sadly different (grr!), so I dare to make a bet that results mayyy very, but with the consistency guidelines I think we should all yield very similar & satisfactory results.
- As you are cooking the crêpes, a layer of flour-sediment will form at the bottom of your mixing bowl. This precious layer of flour, will detract from the optimal pancake texture. So it's important you tickle the bottom of your bowl each time you put batter into the pan - to avoid your batter riverine from sneakily separating.
- Overcooking these will yield tough, crunchy frisbees. With the help of a darling non-stick pan, these cook briefly on both sides. For an optimal texture, you're looking for only a little golden-brownage, if any.
- There is a little wiggle room in this recipe, which you are welcome to experiment with (although I'd save that for your second batch). If you find you prefer a more delicate crêpe, or are making these to refrigerate/freeze, then you might bump the milk-quantity up a little (see ingredients list), to keep them flexible and moist a little longer. They dry out slightly in the fridge/freezer and if you're not eating them straight away, it can be a good idea to account for this.
- Flipping these crêpes feels a little like peeling a face mask off your pan. They shouldn't stick to the surface, but being such a thin batter - it's a delicate (if somewhat addictive) process.
- To make a savoury option, simply omit the granulated sugar. Fill crêpes with vegan cheese, onion, mushrooms, spinach etc.
- If you have leftovers, I recommend freezing (over refrigerating) your leftovers. The freezer is basically a refrigerator for these, considering they only take mere moments to defrost in the pan. You can store them in the fridge for 3 days or freezer nearly indefinitely, for easy use (heat in a pan straight from frozen).
Stages of crêpe cooking (above). It's brief & wonderfully bubble-intensive process.
I went through a faze of making crêpes every weekend in my teens, then I went through another faze of buying frozen crêpes from the supermarket to have most mornings. They'll always be my favourite 'pancake' (I use that as an umbrella term). While I stuck to maple syrup & frozen raspberries back then, now I crave lemon & sugar, or PANA's Chocolate & Blood Orange spread. Whichever way you take these, you can't go wrong.
Recipe adapted from Karoliner Tegelaar's recipe for Swedish Pancakes in The Vegan Baking Bible.
- 450-475ml soy milk (with minimal ingredients & gums added), I used Pure Harvest
- 1 tbsp vinegar, eg. rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar
- 80g sorghum flour
- 60g cornstarch (cornflour if American)
- 45g potato starch
- 35g tapioca starch
- 25g brown rice flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp xanthum gum
- 2 tsp castor sugar (omit for savoury crêpes)
- pinch of salt
- 50ml sunflower oil, (or any light-flavoured vegetable oil)
- vegan butter, to cook
- Mix together the 450ml of soy milk (no more at this stage) and vinegar. Set aside to thicken.
- Add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl & whisk thoroughly to combine. Pour in the soy milk mixture & oil, whisking slowly from the centre outwards until smooth. The consistency should be of very thin hot chocolate. You'll think it's too liquidous, that's normal. If you've *consciously* decided you want more maliable, softer crêpes (from reading the tips above & having made these before), then add the other 25ml of soy milk.
- Add a little knob of vegan butter to your best non-stick fry pan and place over medium heat. Once bubbling and hot, ladle in just enough batter to thinly coat the bottom of your pan. It will be far less batter than you think (the thinner the better) and you need to swirl the pan round with your other hand, essentially as soon as it hits the surface. Cook over medium heat until oodles of little bubbles appear & the edges start to turn ever so slightly golden brown. Then using a fine spatula, tickle up the edges, slide it underneath the whole pancake, then confidently flip to cook for another 20 seconds or so, on the other side. Remove to a plate and cover with a tea towel while you cook the rest of the batter (it will take some time to get through it all).
- Add more butter to the pan after each crêpe & watch that the heat stays constant (it might need a little adjusting over the course of the batch) and remember to stir the batter before each new ladle's-worth to tickle any sediment that's formed on the bottom of the bowl, back up into the batter.
- Serve with whatever toppings you please, and store any leftovers in the freezer (fridge if you have to & will eat them in the next day or two). To reheat, simply take your pancake out of the freezer/fridge and immediately heat in a warm dry pan on both sides, until a little bubbly with butter (some will set inside it during cold storage). It doesn't take long so don't over do it, otherwise they'll become unfoldable & crispy.