Saturday, June 20, 2015

whole grain pancakes

Saturday, June 20, 2015
Saturday morning fixture! Stunning photography, I know. 

When last I wrote, I was on a Megan Gordon/Whole-Grain Mornings run.  I'd been ready to share at least three more of my favorite, most successful recipes.  I was on a roll.  It was cooler outside, spring-like even.

No surprise here-it's almost two months later and I'm finally getting back to sharing these pancakes, perhaps the best whole-grain item I've added to our repertoire.  It's a great, simple way to start incorporating more whole grains into your routine, if that so happens to be an interest or goal.  Both spelt and buckwheat are featured, and neither are the kind of strong flavors that it could take a while to grow accustomed to, which can be the case with other whole grain flours.  Spelt, for the record, is easily interchangeable with all-purpose flour.

Here's the thing about these pancakes-they're not traditional.  Not fluffy, and you won't have golden yellow cake springing back beautifully as you plunge your fork into it.  They are sturdy little brown cakes, with the earthy, unmistakable flavor of buckwheat. Tiny pieces of oats are visible in each pancake, lending them a virtuous texture.  Despite their relative heft, the pancakes themselves cook up quite thin, giving them a delicate appearance though they are NOT at all wimpy.  We love them around here, and I've gotten into the habit of making a batch every Saturday morning.

start here:
Whole-Grain Pancake Mix

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients.  Scoop into a large resealable plastic bag or a large glass jar and store for 6 to 8 weeks.  Refrigerate for longer shelf life (3-4 months).  Give the mix a good stir before using it to integrate any ingredients that may have settled.  My Notes: As you can see by my lovely photo, I store my mix in a large zip-lock.  It yields about 4 batches of pancakes.  

Whole-Grain Buttermilk Pancakes

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter, melted and lightly cooled, plus more for greasing the pan and for serving
1 cup Whole-Grain Pancake Mix
Honey or maple syrup, for serving

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, buttermilk and butter.  Whisk the pancake mix into the milk mixture until smooth.  Let the batter rest for 10 minutes to allow the dry ingredients to soak up some of the liquid.  If the batter feels far too thick and difficult to easily whisk or stir, add 1 tablespoon more milk or water to loosen it up.  I've never had this problem-it always is quite easy to stir, though not too thin.  
2. Melt a nub of butter in a large skillet or griddle over medium heat (you want the melted butter to completely coat the pan).  Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into the pan.  Repeat, depending on the size of your pan.  Cook each pancake until the bottom is golden brown and the top begins to bubble, 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side an additional 1 to 2 minutes.  You'll likely need another bit of butter in the pan between batches. The extra butter is a must! Serve warm, topped with butter, honey, or maple syrup as desired.  Maple syrup, always.