Multigrain pancakes and making buttermilk pancakes with a twist

The topic of pancakes comes up quite often here, and frankly, I'm at it again!  There are a million variations to everything and I'm happy to try as much as humanly possible when it comes to food. That goes for pancakes and other things.  The way I look at it, it's a good thing we eat so often!
For today's "pancake talk", let's chat about two things...

Multigrain Pancakes

Let's start with these multigrain pancakes, a recipe that caught my eye in the latest issue of Cooking Light.  I'm reluctant to label things with titles like "healthy" or not (to my way of thinking, use common sense and enjoy everything in moderation) but it's more than fair to say these are a terrific, feel-good, option when it comes to pancakes.  It's made with both old-fashioned oats as well as white whole wheat flour.
The only unusual step in making these pancakes is first soaking old-fashioned rolled oats in buttermilk for about 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.  This gives the oats a chance to soften and bloom slightly (very smart).  The process is easy enough but I was a little skeptical about how these would turn out...would they actually taste good because not only are we using oats and whole wheat flour, there's no butter/oil in the batter and just a tablespoon of maple syrup to sweeten the batch.
Well, my family and I were very pleasantly surprised.  Somehow, these pancakes turned out creamy in the center (thanks to the soaking process, according to Cooking Light).  Soft and fluffy, they were perfectly tasty.  They might not be very rich in flavor on their own but paired with some fresh berries and/or bit of maple syrup, it is a very well-balanced pancake breakfast!  You can also follow Cooking Light's cue of making a nut butter sauce to go with these (more on that later...) for a fantastic, healthy pairing.  

My son finished his 3 pancakes in no time and I was impressed with how much he liked them.  These pancakes are both kid- and adult-approved!

Making buttermilk pancakes, with a twist

Now for this second segment of our pancake talk, I didn't try a new recipe per se...I tried a new technique.

I recently read this article from Food52 about a genius tip on how to make fluffier buttermilk pancakes.  I'll cut straight to the chase and tell you the "trick"...you know how you separate an egg and beat the egg white to fold into a pancake/waffle batter to make an extra fluffy result?  Well, this tip suggests you put the whisk down and skip the whipping, and simply stir in the egg white at the end of making the batter.   
I don't know about you but I don't often take the extra step of whipping egg whites when I make pancakes because it's extra work and cleanup.  This idea of stirring in the egg white without whipping sounded like a perfectly easy twist to try, so I did. Instead of using the recipe provided, I took a basic buttermilk pancake recipe I often use at home and simply followed the technique of separating the egg and reserving the white to stir into the batter at the very end.  
I had some blueberries on hand so I made blueberry buttermilk pancakes.  I'm afraid I didn't go so far as to do a side-by-side comparison to show you (you can see a comparison at Food52but I can tell you that we had a very fluffy batch of pancakes using this egg white technique.  My husband definitely thought they were fluffier than usual.  I don't know if it's positive thinking on my part but I also thought they were fluffier than the norm.  It sure doesn't hurt to give it a try so the next time you make pancakes, consider making them with this little twist and see what you think (I'd love to know)! 

In conclusion, all these fantastic pancake recipes and cooking techniques give us more reasons to enjoy pancakes for breakfast.  That's a very good thing!


A little "behind-the-scenes" chatter of these two recipes...

Multigrain Pancakes

This recipe actually reminded us a lot of the Nutella oat pancakes I've made in the past, but minus the Nutella.  And while that recipe uses quick-cooking oats, this one involves old-fashioned ones that you soak for 10 minutes in buttermilk.  This soaking process gives the pancakes a unexpected creamy interior texture.
With such a short soaking time, by the time you finish prepping the dry ingredients and messing about in the kitchen in the usual way, it's time to proceed by adding a lightly beaten egg (I did not separate the egg and try the tip for extra fluffy pancakes in this case), a tablespoon of maple syrup, and vanilla extract.  No oil or butter involved. 
Gently stir in the dry ingredients (white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and mix until just combined.  Lumps are good in pancake batter, as you know.  
To cook the pancakes, I warm and lightly grease my griddle.  If you aim for portion control, you can make up to 12 pancakes using a scant 1/4 cup of batter each.  I like my pancake size to be a bit more generous (and I think we can afford to be generous here) and use a 1/3 cup measure for each.  Because there's no oil/butter in the batter, use a gentle hand in flipping the pancakes but it's really not an issue.
Now, let me circle back to the nut butter spread talked about in the recipe.  To cut down on the sugar and up the fiber/nutrition content, Cooking Light suggests making an almond (or other nut) butter sauce by whisking almond butter, an equal amount of warm water, and a little maple syrup together.  Since I sometimes spread peanut butter (and sprinkle coarse sea salt) on my waffles, I thought this was an interesting idea.  But since I didn't have almond butter on hand, I grabbed my peanut butter and made myself a little PB sauce/spread (shown in the photo above).

It's actually such a smart idea to thin out/stretch your nut butter with a little water!  A little goes a long way and even though peanut butter is thicker, making it harder to make a pourable sauce, I just smeared some on my pancakes and the flavor was so strong that I found I needed just a little.  It's a really good idea but if you're into the classic and prefer more sweetness, like my husband does, a little macerated strawberries and maple syrup works beautifully.

Buttermilk Pancakes, with a twist

I'm so happy this post gives me the perfect excuse to put this straightforward classic buttermilk pancake recipe on my blog for quick reference!  

I rotate between a few buttermilk pancake recipes but this has been my favorite as far as easy and tasty goes (otherwise, these overnight buttermilk pancakes can't be beat) and I've been using it often lately.  It's from Christina Lane's savory cookbook - the only thing I do is add salt that was missing in the recipe.  It starts with a cup of flour, a cup of buttermilk, an egg, and is just a simple, classic recipe that makes a tasty batch of about 8 pancakes (depending on the size you like to make).
For the twist, I separated the one egg in the recipe and stirred in the unbeaten egg white at the very end.  Don't whisk or whip it, just gently stir the egg white into the batter until just incorporated.
I had a great batch of blueberries on hand so I made some blueberry pancakes (my husband loves blueberry muffins and pancakes).  After lading 1/3 cup or so of pancake batter onto the griddle, I just sprinkled some fresh blueberries on top.  Let it cook a few minutes as usual and flip.
All this pancake talk is making me crave breakfast!  Here's to the next weekend when we can get flipping and eating our flapjacks again.

Recipes:

Multigrain Pancakes (Fluffy and Creamy)
Adapted from Cooking Light (recipe featured in March, 2017 issue)

- Makes 9-12 pancakes, depending on size - 

2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/3 cups buttermilk (nonfat or lowfat)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 oz. (about 3/4 cup) white whole-wheat flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
For serving (optional suggestions): almond butter sauce*, fresh berries, maple syrup 

Combine oats and buttermilk in a large bowl.  Let stand for 10 minutes (this soaking process helps make for a creamy interior texture in the cooked pancakes).

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.  

Stir maple syrup, vanilla, and egg into the oat mixture.  Add the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined.  

Heat and lightly grease a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium.  Ladle batter onto the griddle (use a scant 1/4 cup of batter to make up to 12 pancakes; I prefer larger pancakes using a 1/3 cup measure).  Cook for 2-3 minutes, until tops are covered with bubbles and edges start looking cooked and set; flip and cook for another minute or so.  Serve warm with desired toppings/accompaniments.

*Almond butter sauce: Whisk 1/4 cup almond butter with 1/4 cup warm water and 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup until smooth.  You can substitute with another kind of nut butter.  If you use peanut butter like I did, your sauce will likely be a thicker consistency that's more like a spread.


Classic Buttermilk Pancakes (with an optional twist*)
Pancake recipe adapted from Comfort and Joy: Cooking for Two by Christina Lane; tip for extra fluffy pancake from Dana Velden via Food52

- Makes approximately 8 pancakes, depending on size - 

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten* 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, butter, and vanilla extract.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.  There should still be some lumps in the batter. 

Heat and lightly grease a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium until hot.  Ladle 1/4 to 1/3 cup measure of batter per pancake.  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes, then flip and continue cooking the other side until golden brown. Serve warm with your choice of accompaniments.

* Optional twist: This is a a tip for making extra fluffy pancakes by separating the egg and stirring the egg white (without whipping) into the batter at the last step.  If doing this, separate the egg and add only the egg yolk into the batter when combining the wet ingredients.  Continue with recipe and gently stir the egg white into the batter at the very end.  Cook according to instructions.




25 comments:

  1. So very soft and fluffy! We eat quite a bit of pancakes too, but usually sourdough pancakes since I always have rye/einkorn starter in the fridge.

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    1. Pancakes are breakfast comfort food...and your sourdough pancakes (!) sound amazing!

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  2. Thank you for these brilliant tips! You make me want to eat pancakes this morning. Soaking the oats and adding the egg whites at the end make perfect sense. Thank you very much for passing these along!

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    1. You are so sweet, Tricia. Glad you find the tips I learned interesting, too. The nut butter sauce is a good one as well. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I love that you're trying new pancake techniques! It's funny how something seemingly small can make such a huge difference. These look awesome!

    Sues

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    1. There's never not something new to learn! : )

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  4. I totally agree with you. I have more and more horror of reading "healthy" "vegan" "0% fat"... I think we should stop following these trends and focus on the joy of eating, live and share... When I travel in underdeveloped countries, people are HAPPY to be able to eat one meal a day in order to survive.
    That said, these pancakes look fantastic and I will definitely try the buttermilk pancakes, with a twist... with plenty of blueberries.
    Have a great rest of the week, Monica :)

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    1. Yes, I think it's all meant well but sometimes we can get a little too crazy with all these titles and monikers. I definitely want to enjoy and savor and have everything in moderation that I want to have. Hope you're having a great week...I have a feeling you are. ; )

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    2. You know, it's always a pleasure to come see your cooking adventures despite my hectic life and the lack of time...Happy Sunday, dear ;)

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  5. Thank you for all of the awesome info you have shared. It would be a lot easier to follow & piece details together if you had DATES (YEARS included) in your posts & comments. Thank you again :). .
    aloe and mucus cleanser

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    1. Definitely a lot of shortcomings on this little blog space, I'm afraid.

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  6. That is one very tempting stack of pancakes and I love that your mix is made from oats and whole wheat flour.

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    1. Yes, those pancakes were surprisingly awesome. I'll definitely make them again - great with fruit.

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  7. I would love a huge stack of these gorgeous pancakes on my plate. Great idea to thin out the nut butters to make them pourable and for sure some banana with my nut butter would have everyone smiling. Take Care

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    1. And how about just a little bit of chopped walnuts on top of that sauce and bananas...great idea. Thanks for stopping by, Bobbi!

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  8. Yay for pancakes, our favorite weekend breakfast! I love all these variations you are sharing. They look amazing! Is it the weekend yet? I'll take two of each please :)

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    1. I have to stop coming to my own blog and looking at these pancakes because it makes me want some and I thought I was the savory breakfast eater in the family. : ) Yay for weekends, breakfasts, and pancakes. Hope you're doing great, Kelly!

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  9. we love pancakes and these sound wonderful, love adding oats to baked goodies and other things;)

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    1. Same here...I love the texture of oats in baked goods...it's funny how it can also become creamy as it does in these pancakes. Hope you enjoy a stack of good pancakes this weekend for breakfast. ; )

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  10. Replies
    1. I know - sometimes I wish I could have a huge stack but with that first recipe, it's not all that unreasonable. ; P

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  11. How soft and fluffy these pancakes look. Love the twist. We love pancakes here, so I can tell we would love these with blueberries.

    Anu
    http://www.mygingergarlickitchen.com/

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    1. My husband loves blueberry pancakes but I never can keep them around long enough to cook with them...just once in a while!

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  12. I haven't had pancakes for ages, and now you have me craving them for dinner! I would love some fluffy ones, for sure :)

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    1. Yes, time for some pancakes when you next need a little comfort food in the morning? :) Thanks for swinging by, Bianca...enjoy the weekend.

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