Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spelt Johnny Cakes

I'm really enjoying trying all of the recipes in the Babycakes cookbook. It's kind of fun to get a bit more practice at gluten-free cooking. I always enjoy varying the textures and flours in the things I bake anyway and now when I need to make something for an event that includes some gluten-free people, I'm quite a bit more capable of doing so. Well, some of the recipes in Babycakes are made with spelt flour, so I know those don't exactly qualify as gluten-free, just lower in gluten than wheat flour. I do really enjoy the flavor of spelt in a lot of baked goods, though. I think muffins are especially great for it.


As a good Southern girl transplanted into Canada, I often miss some of the foods I was used to growing up. I mean, seriously. How has no one here ever tried grits or okra or collards?! When I saw the Johnnycakes recipe in this book, I knew I had to try it. Just looking at the ingredient list I could pretty much tell right away that these weren't going to be very authentic. Healthier, yes, but authentic, not so much.

The Johnnycakes are made with a base of spelt flour and cornmeal and drizzled with agave nectar after baking. I think that frying these in a little bit of oil in a cast iron pan would probably give them a bit more oomph, though you'd definitely be removing some of the healthy from them by doing that.

I don't know. I didn't hate these, but I didn't love them, either. I don't really like to write about things I don't totally love, but I was in the middle on these Johnnycakes. I think they ended up being a bit too dry for my taste. They really needed something else to make them shine. Maybe the addition of some fresh corn kernels would have given them a bit more moisture. If I try making these again, I'll probably bake them for just a few minutes and then fry them for the rest of the time. I just expect Johnnycakes to be a bit greasy, you know? It's like eating grits with no Earth Balance. It's just not done in polite society. I'm sure there is a way to still bake these and keep the calories down and improve the flavor, I just have this particular expectation in my head, you know?


If you decide to make these Johnnycakes, make sure to eat them right away when they're warm. If you end up needing to reheat them, toss a few sprinkles of water on them before you do. They're even drier when they've cooled down so you need to add a bit of that fresh from the oven steam back in.

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