How does a crispy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside, savory scallion pancakes for breakfast or snack sound? I bet you can’t find many gluten-free versions out there, especially ones that taste as amazing as these.
Recently, one of my close friends from graduate school was diagnosed with celiac disease. Just like me, she is from the north part of China where wheat is the staple food instead of rice, like it is in the south. This basic grain of northern China is made into a variety of products including noodles, steamed buns, pancakes, stuffed buns, and dumplings of different sizes and fillings.
Well, I have good news!
Life is about to get a whole lot better for those of us who grew up with these foods but now can no longer eat wheat! Don’t feel disappointed, sad, frustrated, or even scared, my friend! You’ll find many gluten-free versions of pastries with fantastic texture and tastes here. That was my initial reason of starting this blog, right?
I said life is about to get a whole lot better! How? I’m happy to tell you that I found a perfect substitute, for that strong, sticky stretchy stuff called gluten, to use in gluten-free pastries:
Now and then, I hear people complaining about xanthum gum or guar gum. I’m not a big fan of using those gums either, because it doesn’t create the stretchiness that gluten does in the wheat dough. Making pastries that require a lot of rolling and folding is almost impossible. If you have worked with gluten-free dough, you know how easily it breaks and how careful you have to be when handling it. I found some blogger’s were using psyllium husk powder in their gluten-free baking. Unfortunately, I had no idea what psyllium husk was at the time and was ignoring it for a long time until recently. Please let me say for the third time, eating and baking gluten-free is in for a big change!
There are two types of scallion pancakes that are commonly seen in Chinese cuisine:
yeast dough version
I had posted a hot water dough, gluten-free scallion pancake recipe last year that my friends and family really enjoyed. This time I’m making the yeast dough version, made possible, by adding a small amount of psyllium husk powder.
I mixed ½ tablespoon of psyllium husk powder, 1-1/4 cups (approximately 200 grams) of my homemade all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (gum free), ½ teaspoon of active dry yeast, and ½ teaspoon of baking powder in a large bowl. Then I added some lukewarm water to form the yeast dough and let it stand in a warm area to rise for 4 hours. Voilà! Now you have the gluten-free yeast dough that you can use just like wheat dough. When I roll it on a working surface, I can see it spring back, and it has significantly more stretchiness.
I was jumping up and down like a kangaroo when I made this awesome yeast dough gluten-free scallion pancake. To be honest, I barely can tell any difference between the gluten-free one and the wheat one. Unlike most gluten-free flat bread, this pancake is soft, moist with a springy and chewy texture on the inside and golden and crispy on the outside. If you want more intense flavor, dip it in my robust chili and ginger sauce. No more being disappointed just because you have to be on the gluten-free diet, my friends!
- 1-¼ cups 200 grams all-purpose gluten-free flour (see note)
- ½ tablespoon 4 grams psyllium husk powder
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup lukewarm water
- 4 tablespoons green onions finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon chili sauce
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
- Whisk the flour, psyllium husk, yeast, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add water and use a spatula or clean hand to form the dough. Cover the mixing bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for 4 hours.
- Lightly dust a working surface with some gluten-free flour and transfer the yeast dough onto the surface. Roll the dough gently to form a smooth ball and then flatten the ball to form a disc. Use a rolling pin to form the dough into a disc, approximately 12” in diameter.
- Use a pastry brush to brush olive oil on the surface of the disc and then sprinkle on, as evenly as possible, the salt, black pepper, and green onion.
- Beginning at one edge, role up the dough tightly and pinch the trailing edge and ends together to seal. You should have an approximate 12” long stick-like shape dough at this point. Then roll up the stick, starting at one end, into a round bundle. Gently press it down and slightly roll with a rolling pin to form an approximate 7 inch disc. It is normal if the dough breaks slightly on the side (see picture in post).
- Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat until hot. Place the scallion pancake dough into the pan and cover the pan with lid. Reduce the heat to medium to medium-low and cook one side for 2 minutes. Flip to the other side, add the remaining oil in the pan, and cook for another 2 minutes. Repeat the flipping-cooking for each side one more time. The total cooking time will be 8 minutes. In the end, both sides of the pancake should be golden brown. Reduce heat to prevent burning if necessary. Remove the pancake from the pan and let it cool slightly on a cooling wire rack. Cut into pie shaped wedges and serve warm.
- While the pancake is cooking, mix all ginger sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with the freshly made scallion pancake.
For homemade gluten-free all-purpose flour (yield 45 oz all-purpose gluten-free flour)
9 oz brown rice flour
9 oz millet flour
9 oz sweet rice flour
9 oz white rice flour
3 oz cornstarch
3 oz potato starch
3 oz tapioca starch