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The History of Gluten?

This year's Christmas breakfast:


1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole barley flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 to 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients all at once, mixing just until the batter comes together. Ladle batter onto a hot skillet 1/4 cup at a time, and cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides.

The above recipe is from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking. The text claims that these pancakes "are so light you won't believe they're 100 percent grain!" which led to the following exchange at the breakfast table:

ME: Wow, these really are light pancakes. I've had white-flour pancakes that were heavier than these.
LISA: Part of that's the mixing. If you overmix the batter, it starts to form gluten, and then the pancakes are tough.
ME: Hmm, I wonder who figured that out.

There are at least two whos being referred to here: the prehistoric chef who first worked out the whole "knead" vs. "don't knead" dichotomy of baked goods preparation, and the more recent individual who nailed down the underlying chemistry and gave gluten its name. But who was that second person? Is there a History of Noteable Food Scientists I can look this up in?

And while we're on the subject: what kind of sausage would you pair with triple ginger pancakes? I'm thinking something light and mildly sweet, like chicken-apple or chicken-blueberry.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
if the pancakes are really zesty, i'd go with a regular bit of meat (chicken medallions? pork loin?) or a mild slice of ham instead of sausage. do you eat them with maple syrup, or do they get something fruity?
Dec. 27th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC)
Lisa had them with maple syrup, and said it was a good combo. As for me, I'm a "take a dry pancake and make a hotdog/sausage bun out of it" kind of guy.
Dec. 27th, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
is there any meal you can't turn into a sandwich?
Dec. 27th, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC)
Wonton soup?
Jan. 22nd, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
How about a hot dog with some ramen noodles on the side. Maybe a black Russian or strawberry daquiri to wash it down.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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