Friday, February 25, 2011

National Pancake Week

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Recently I received a package of King Arthur Flour's white whole wheat flour to review over on Moana Saves. Since the package was only 5 pounds I left it on my counter for weeks while I debated the different recipes to try with the prized amount of flour.  One night as I was planning to cook my typical dinner standby (breakfast for dinner!) I decided to use a portion of the precious flour (yes, it's that good and can not be wasted!) in King Arthur Flour's whole grain pancake recipe. I reviewed the flour over on Moana Saves but I just want to say that this recipe includes whole wheat flour AND oats yet it was still such a light and flavorful pancake. Mmm-mmm!

Homemade Whole-Grain Pancake Mix
Recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour with my addition noted in red below

  • 4 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
(*My notes: When cooking my pancakes I used 2 cups of the dry ingredient mix, doubling the pancake instructions below. My sole variation was adding 3-4 small over-ripe bananas, throughly mashed, to the wet ingredients prior to combining wet and dry to make the pancake batter.)

To make the mix:
1) Grind the oats in a food processor until they're chopped fine, but not a powder.
2) Put the flour, oats, and all other dry ingredients into a mixer with a paddle. Mix on slow speed, and drizzle the vegetable oil into the bowl slowly while the mixer is running.
3) Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature, or indefinitely in the refrigerator or freezer.
To make pancakes:
1) Whisk together 1 cup of mix, 1 cup of buttermilk (you can use soured milk, but buttermilk gives noticeably superior results; a combination of half plain yogurt and half milk also will do), and 1 large egg. Don't worry if it seems thin at first: the oats will soak up the milk, and the mix will thicken a bit as it stands. Let the batter stand for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
2) Heat a lightly greased griddle to 350°F (if you've got a griddle with a temperature setting; if not, medium-hot will do).
3) Drop the batter onto it in 1/4-cupfuls (a jumbo cookie scoop works well here) to make a 4" diameter pancake. If you have English muffin rings, use them; they make a perfectly round, evenly thick pancake.
4) When the edges look dry and bubbles come to the surface without breaking (after about 2 minutes, if your griddle is the correct temperature), turn the pancake over to finish cooking on the second side, which will take about 2 minutes.
5) Serve pancakes immediately, or stack and hold in a warm oven.
Yield: a batch using one cup of the mix will make about eight 4" pancakes.
Note: If you don't have buttermilk in the house, try the yogurt and milk combination first; if you happen to have buttermilk powder, try this: In place of the buttermilk, add 1/4 cup buttermilk powder to 1 cup of dry mix, then stir in 1 cup water and 1 large egg. The results won't be as magnificent as using liquid buttermilk, but you'll still have very tasty pancakes.
Variation: Add 1 tablespoon orange juice to the dry mix along with the buttermilk. We've found that the acidity and sweetness of the orange juice helps mellow the tannic taste some people perceive in whole wheat flour; while the pancakes won't have any orange flavor, they may taste slightly milder to you, if you're not a fan of whole wheat flour (but still want to get more whole grains into your diet).

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