This isn’t going to be the fairest of reviews because I used this mix for something it wasn’t designed for, and it didn’t do the greatest job. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of pancakes and lately I’ve been working on finding the best gluten free pancakes. Recently I reviewed Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix. Before that I had reviewed Trader Joe’s packaged Gluten-Free Pancakes. I also tried the gluten free oatmeal pancakes at Francis Restaurant on Alberta Street here in Portland Oregon.
I started with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix. Here are the ingredients: Whole Grain Cornmeal, Potato Starch, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour, Evaporated Cane Juice, Whole Grain Corn Flour, Tapioca Flour, Baking Powder, Sea Salt, Xanthan Gum. To make gluten-free cornbread with this mix, you need: 1 1/2 Cups milk (rice, soy, dairy); 1/3 Cup oil or melted butter; and 2 Eggs.
I figured this mix would make good pancakes. I don’t know if anybody reading this has been to Vita on Alberta, but they make these amazing corn pancakes that I used to love back when we ate there a lot. I heard recently that they’ve made these corn pancakes gluten-free, but haven’t confirmed it. They are one of the places in town you would expect to be gluten-free friendly and do appear on our gluten-free restaurant list. At one point I was making my own corn pancakes with oat flour and spelt, but eventually I had to stop eating spelt and haven’t come up with a good gluten free recipe for them.
The problem with the Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix is that it contains too much xanthan gum to make pancakes. Xanthan gum is an ingredient used in gluten-free cooking which is good for replacing gluten. It helps make things stick together like gluten does. Unfortunately, it can end up making batter too thick for certain purposes, and when making pancakes, you want the batter to be thin enough to pour. I ended up having to add four times the amount of liquid specified by the menu just to get a batter that was kind of OK. I actually stopped because it seemed like I was pouring liquid down a black hole instead of into some batter.
I also added some vanilla, which goes really well in corn pancakes. Here are some pancakes from when I finally got the batter so it would pour, even though it was still too elastic.
The good news is that my pancakes turned out nice and fluffy, which is how I like them. Also, the flavor of the mix is really wonderful. The cornbread mix ends up tasting rich and satisfying. I especially love corncakes with some butter and honey, and these are great served that way as well. But for corn pancakes, I’m going to keep looking. This mix would be perfect if it weren’t for the xanthan gum, which I’m sure is necessary for making the corn bread properly, but isn’t great when you’re making pancakes. Maybe next time I’ll try to come up with my own gluten free corn pancake recipe.
We want to know: If you have a favorite gluten-free pancake recipe, let us know in the comments. Also we’d love to hear from anybody who has used this mix for its intended use: cornbread.
Times we have visited: once (So your experience may vary.)
Overall rating: 2 out of 5 stars (for making pancakes)
Price compared to “regular”: Around same price.
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Corn Bread Mix
Here’s the mix on Amazon.