Saturday, October 16, 2010

Homemade Whole-Grain Pancake Mix

Whole grains are coming on strong, and our aim at King Arthur is to make them easy for you to swallow—literally! The following pancakes are just shy of 90% whole-grain; and they're absolutely delicious, featuring the sweet-nutty taste of oats and wheat.
This recipe comes courtesy of Susan Reid and Susan Miller, two of the authors of King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking. Thanks, ladies!
Step-by-step photos illustrating how to make this mix and pancakes are available at Bakers' Banter, our King Arthur blog.

By volume:

By weight:

Directions

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 1large 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).

Recipe summary

Hands-on time: 20 mins.
Baking time: 4 mins. to 8 mins.
Total time: 60 mins.
Yield: 10 cups dry mix; enough for 80 pancakes

Tips from our bakers

  • This mix is remarkably easy to use. The proportions couldn't be simpler: 1 cup of mix, 1 cup of buttermilk, 1 egg. If you're not in the habit of having buttermilk around, reconsider: you can freeze leftover buttermilk, in 1-cup portions, for future batches of pancakes.
  • These pancakes hold in a low oven for half an hour without getting tough or rubbery, and they're more than willing to act as a vehicle for any kind of fruit addition. A partial list of combinations that have made successful appearances so far: peach, raspberry,banana-walnut, cheddar-apple, blueberry, and cranberry-apricot.

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