Monday, August 17, 2009

Pancakes! Pancakes!

We always read before bed, and last week at the library, boy-o picked out Eric Carle's Pancakes! Pancakes! for the 3rd time this year. It really is a charming story of a boy who has to help his mother gather all the ingredients for pancakes since she is "already up and busy". I may not send my boy to the miller with a donkey full of wheat to thresh, but I will take the time to make pancakes whenever he asks.

I usually make pancakes once a week, since it is a food my (now picky) son likes and I happen to love them. I used to store half the batter for the next morning's breakfast, but discovered that if I just make them all, he will eat a "giant pancake" for a snack. If I can pack as much nutrition in as possible, it's really not a bad deal.

For the first half of the year, I used a variation of Alton Brown's recipe, then around June switched to a variant on Dorie Greenspan's. But this morning, because I had 2 leftover egg whites from last night's supper, I came up with my own healthy recipe, loosely based on Dorie's but really entirely my own. Here it is:

(makes about 9 4-5 inch pancakes)

1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. oat flour (I grind rolled oats in a spice mill - it works!)
1 T. sugar
1 1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. kosher salt
1 c. buttermilk
2 egg whites
1 T. veg or canola oil (I don't really measure, just pour a little in. The Dorie and Alton approach is to use 3 T. of melted butter, which you certainly could do as well.)

I like to sift all my dry ingredients together, but you would not really have to. Then mix buttermilk, egg whites and oil in a 2 c. measure (add buttermilk to the 1 c. mark first...)to minimize need for washing dishes. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir with a mixer beater by hand (you can not really over mix this way) until the batter is just mixed.

Heat 12 in. skillet to medium (medium high) heat, brush with a little butter and portion out the pancakes. Be patient in flipping, the oat flour causes the batter to be somewhat delicate. When you see the bubbles just breaking the surface, gently flip the pancakes and cook on the other side, maybe 3-4 minutes total depending on the heat.

These are very nice whole grain pancakes, and I'm sure they will remain in my breakfast repertoire for many months to come. I'd venture to say that you could vary the flours in any way imaginable. I think I'll try buckwheat flour sometime soon - but probably will offset the heaviness with ap flour instead of whole wheat.

Any way you try them, I'm sure you will have success with these pancakes.

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