Semolina flour substitute is experiencing an American Renaissance of sorts. Defined as the "purified middlings of hard wheat (as durum) used especially in pasta (as macaroni or spaghetti)," semolina is something you may have noticed on your box of generic elbow pasta, if you've noticed it at all — that is, until it started making the rounds on Pinterest as the star ingredient of both savory and sweet dishes.
For those unfamiliar with semolina, it is easy to think of it as something used in savory dishes or even breakfast cereals. In fact, if you boil semolina, the resulting porridge is not unlike good old-fashioned cream of wheat. In places like Germany, Austria, Romania, Serbia and Croatia, semolina is known as Grieß, and if that sounds like "grits" to you, well, bingo. Because semolina is coarse in texture, it's not surprising that you use it to make grits.
It's also easy to forget that it can be used as a flour substitute in various desserts. In the Middle East and India, for example, semolina is used to concoct puddings and cakes. Some recipes finding their way into circulation on the Internet include a scrumptious-looking coconut semolina cake (touted as "a Mid-East feast"), a decadent vanilla semolina pudding with blueberry sauce, and a delectable semolina and raspberry tart.
If your experience with semolina has been exclusively limited to Pinterest posts or enriched elbow macaroni, and you're not quite ready to try it in your pudding or cake, here is a recipe for semolina pancakes that is easy-peasy to prepare and will leave your taste buds intrigued and wanting more:
Making semolina pancakes is not unlike making pancakes from scratch — remember when we used to make pancakes from scratch and not just add water? The only thing is that in lieu of flour, you'll be using 3/4 cup of semolina. In a bowl, mix the semolina with 1/2 cup of water, 2 large eggs, 3 tablespoons of Greek yogurt with honey, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and a dash of cinnamon. If you don't have Greek yogurt already flavored with honey, just mix a bit of honey into some plain yogurt. The result should be a smooth batter with a liquid-y consistency. Put it aside for a few minutes while you prepare your griddle or pan.
Same as you would when making regular pancakes, add oil or cooking spray to your griddle or pan and place over high heat without letting the oil burn. Pour some batter into your pan and wait for those telltale bubbles to form. Flip your semolina pancake so it can cook on the other side. Serve and top with butter, berries or maple syrup.