Trying to get more whole grains into your diet? We are, too. It’s one of our New Year’s resolutions for 2015. Now, we aren’t too big on making resolutions, as they seem so, well, final and inflexible. Or so ambiguous that you can’t really get a handle on them — our “more whole grains” is such an example. We don’t know how much whole grain we were eating, so what’s “more?”
In this case, it’s obvious. Often when we make pancakes, we use all-purpose flour, or cake flour, so even adding just a touch of whole-wheat flour would be an improvement. But, we went all the way with these pancakes: 100% of the flour is whole wheat, and they’re still tasty and light. Scratch up a batch yourself, and you’ll see.
It may sound as if white whole-wheat flour is a contradiction in terms, but it’s whole-wheat flour milled from a different variety of wheat; not surprisingly, it’s white wheat, as opposed to the more common red wheat. So far, we’ve only seen white whole-wheat flour in the King Arthur brand, but we happen to think that’s the best national brand, anyway. We make our own buttermilk, and we suggest you try it. It’s really easy, but this recipe should work with store-bought buttermilk, too. Egg: free-range. Always use unsalted butter for any cooking, why have a dairy help with what you’re making? Vanilla extract and maple syrup should be real, not imitation — we figure that, if we can’t have the real-deal, we’ll do without.
Procedure in detail:
Preheat griddle. Making pancake batter is so fast and easy that your griddle will just have time to heat up while you mix, allowing you to start cooking as soon as you finish. So, place a griddle over medium-low heat and allow it to get nice and hot.
Mix dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Then add the pecans — you can whisk them in, or not. It won’t make much difference. Set the dry ingredients aside for now.
Mix liquid ingredients. In a larger bowl — we use a 4-cup measuring cup — whisk an egg until it’s light and completely blended. Add the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and maple syrup, and whisk thoroughly. Now, while whisking, slowly stream in the melted butter. This will help it become incorporated instead of just solidifying.
Mix together. Pour the dry ingredients on top of the liquids, and, using a large spoon, give everything a few quick strokes to mix the two together. Lumps are okay; in fact, if you beat out all the lumps, you’ll have rubbery, flat pancakes (not knowing, I did that once years ago; never again).
Cook. By now your griddle should be hot, so wipe it down with just a bit of shortening and scoop on large tablespoonfuls of batter. Let cook, without disturbing, until the edges start to look a bit dry and bubbles are forming in the center, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook the same amount of time on the other side.
These pancakes are an easy way to add whole grain to your diet. The pancakes are very tender, and taste somewhat like buckwheat pancakes, with more of a bran texture than pancakes made using white flour. The pecans complement the slight nuttiness of the whole-wheat floor, and the maple syrup and vanilla add just a touch of flavor and sweetness. Between the two of us, we had no problem eating the whole batch of pancakes for breakfast. Five stars, because they’re really good, and there’s nothing easier to make than pancakes — well, buttermilk is easier.