Intro

What's WIDE CIRCLE COOKING about?
I blog information, news and recipes about gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, alcohol-free and vegan cooking. Right now I've been working on an exciting project where I avoid refined sugar and create recipes using a range of healthier alternatives.

Happy cooking!

ps. ask all guests if they have an allergy (because the recipes use some unusual combinations and they may not expect to find citrus and soya in the chocolate cake, for example).
pps.if you are cooking for someone with an allergy, please read my allergy page first.

Pancakes - gluten-free, dairy-free or egg-free!

Yes, it's that time of the year again and one of my personal favourites - Pancake Day! I had my perfect job when I was 15, working in a pancake van at festivals, and I was allowed to eat as many as I liked (which definitely made up for the low wages).

The beauty of pancakes - and here I mean a thin, crepe-style pancake rather than an American thick one - is how adaptable they are. Your batter should be the consistency of single cream and you need a smear of oil/butter to get that pretty

Want your pancakes EGG FREE?
So easy - just mix wheat flour and milk together until you have batter of the right thickness. This might come as a surprise because it's always felt that eggs are needed as a binding agent. While this is true in some recipes (see my gluten-free pancakes, below), it's not true when you have wheat flour because the gluten in it acts like a brilliant binder with no extra help needed.

Want your pancakes DAIRY FREE?
This is even easier! The milk in pancake recipes could just as easily be replaced with a non-acidic alternative, eg. soya milk, rice milk, almond milk etc - even water! 

Want your pancakes GLUTEN FREE?
As mentioned in my bit about eggs, it's the gluten in pancakes that allows you to get them super-thin. However, there is a way to replicate this effect without needing to use additives like xanthan gum. Here's my recipe, from my book Gloriously Gluten Free. They take a little longer to fry than regular pancakes, so make them in the biggest frying pan you have.

Gluten-free thin pancakes (crepes) -  picture above and below

Makes about 8

35g brown rice flour
250ml milk or milk alternative
250ml water
55g potato flour (potato starch)
pinch of salt
2 beaten eggs
sunflower oil/butter for frying

Gently heat the brown rice flour and milk in a pan, whisking constantly, until you have a thick mixture. Remove from the heat. Slowly whisk in the water, followed by the potato flour and salt. Whisk in the eggs. Pour the batter into a jug.
Lightly grease your frying pan before use (I use a scrumpled-up piece of paper kitchen towel dipped in butter or oil). Pour on a dollop of batter and swirl the pan so your batter forms a thin layer across the base of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden underneath, then flip over and do the other side.
Place finished pancakes on a plate under a clean tea towel while you fry the others. Serve warm.