Monday, 6 February 2012

Barley Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce

Shrove Tuesday is approaching us on the 21st of February, and it's time to get our pancakes on.  The following recipe was inspired by the excess amount of barley I had hanging around the kitchen.  I decided to use my Vitamix to blitz up some barley flour and it turned out better than I thought.  My flour is actually a combination of pearl barely, raw barley grain and barley flakes.  You can use any barley you like but I found all of them turn into flour easily.  
Barley flour does contain a low amount of gluten but you'll find actually it gives the pancakes an extremely soft (even slightly gooey) texture, rather than a floury dry bite.  It also lends a beautifully nutty flavour too which I think is mind blowing.  What's more is that barley flour is high in fibre so these pancakes will keep you satisfied as well as healthy.  
I added in pumpkin seed oil to the mixture to boost up the omega content and also to push that nutty flavour to another level; it also seems to give the brown pancakes a slight green tinge which I think is wonderful.  The brand that I use is Gea which I picked up last year at a Taste of London festival.  If you can get your hands on it I totally recommend as it's fabulous in salads and apparently pancakes.
Lastly I think the maple syrup is a good choice because the sweetness is not over-powering.  In fact this recipe isn't that sweet at all but nutty, wholesome with a hint of syruppy hum.  The accompanying strawberry sauce offsets it all with a fresh, zingy sweetness thanks to the squeeze of fresh lime.  

My family couldn't get enough of them.  Enjoy.

Barley Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce (Makes 10-12 medium pancakes)

Pancake Ingredients

·         300g of Barley Flour
·         200g Plain Flour
·         2 Tsp Baking Powder
·         1 Tsp Cinnamon powder
·         Large pinch of salt
·         700ml Dairy-free Milk
·         1 Tbsp Pumpkin seed oil
·         1 Tbsp maple syrup Vegetable oil for frying

 Strawberry Sauce Ingredients

·         A large handful of strawberries
·         Juice is half a lime
·         1 tsp of Barley Malt (or maple syrup or Agave nectar)
·         1 tsp of warm water

You are most welcome to use shop bought barley flour even though, where I’m from, it’s kind of hard to come by.  In fact, you can substitute barley flour with any other flour of your choice (such as spelt or even buckwheat)! If you don't have maple syrup at hand, try thinning barley malt or even use Agave Nectar if you use it.  In this recipe I used Soy-m

Sift and measure out the flours into a bowl and stir in the baking powder, cinnamon powder and salt. 
Pour in the dairy-free milk, pumpkin seed oil and maple syrup into your food processor (if you are not using a blender or food processor, you would use a mixing bowl). 
After, add in your dry ingredients and then blend at high speed (whisk either manually or with electric whisk otherwise).

The texture should be smooth but the consistency is entirely up to you.  To produce thin crepe-like pancakes you can blend in some water or more milk to create a thinner batter mix. If you want heartier, thicker pancakes then make sure the mix is smooth yet stodgy. 

Grease a frying pan with the fat of your choice (I used vegetable oil but I imagine some vegan butter would make the pancakes even more delicious).  Ladle or pour in your batter mix, small batches at a time on a medium heat. 
You will notice the bottom side will seal whilst the surface facing you will bubble...don’t let curiosity get the better of you!  Once the bottom seems ‘sealed off’, lower the heat and let that side crisp up.  Once you are confident that the bottom can slide around easily, flip the pancake and bring up the heat to a medium fire.  Once again as it seals, lower the heat to let that side crisp up.  Here is a tip: using your spatula, press the pancake down for a sizzle to create extra brown crispiness. 

For strawberry sauce, blitz up a large handful of strawberries with a squeeze of lime juice.  In a bowl, mix warm water with the barley malt and add to the strawberries.  Blend then chill.

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