This favourite flavour is often our first heat, the first cooking of the day for my family. A batch of these pancakes is a great way to spin a strong dose of whole grains into a get-out-of-bed treat and to kick-start a nutritious day.
Yield: 4 Servings
1 cup (250 mL) of all purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) of whole-wheat, grain or almond flour
1 cup (250 mL) of oatmeal flakes
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of ground nutmeg or cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt
2 cups (500 mL) of any milk or water
1/4 cup (60 mL) of vegetable oil or melted butter
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of honey (or brown sugar)
2 eggs (or 4 for added richness)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of pure vanilla extract
A preheated pan is the first secret to pancake perfection. While you mix the batter, preheat your largest, heaviest skillet over your sweet spot, the medium to medium-high heat that gives the batter time to cook through while the surface browns. Your preheated skillet is at the perfect temperature when a few scattered water drops dance on it (just right) without evaporating (too hot) or just pooling still and simmering (too cool).
Whisk together the dry ingredients, including the brown sugar, if using, to distribute the fine powders evenly among the coarser ones.
Whisk together the wet ingredients and then pour them into the bowl of dry ingredients. Lose the whisk and grab a wooden spoon so it won’t clog in the batter. Stir the batter until it is smooth, but don’t overmix.
Spoon the batter into the preheated pan, evenly filling it with a lot of little pancakes or a few large ones. Smaller ones are easier to flip and are easy to pass out to a hungry crowd.
Watch for bubbles. As the batter heats through, the baking powder will activate and release leavening bubbles that rise to the surface. Keep an eye on them. At first, they’ll burst and disappear, but as the batter cooks through they’ll leave behind a telltale hole.
When the pancakes are evenly covered here and there with holes, it’s time to flip. Because the batter is heated through, and the first side is already browned, the second side cooks faster.
You can get ahead of a crowd by stashing a plate full of pancakes in a warm oven. Cover the plate with a bowl, and they’ll stay fresh and warm while you cook more.
The first three cups of flours and grains can easily be custom blended. Use any mixture you like as long as it measures three cups in total. You may also use any milk, like cow, soy, rice or a blend. Honey adds lots of complex aromatic flavour but you can also add 1/2 cup (125 mL) brown or white sugar to the dry ingredients. If you like experimenting with spices, you can brand every batch with a new name and a new spice flavour. Simply varying your choice of spice completely changes the flavour of the pancakes. Just for aromatic kicks!
When I was a country inn chef, my guests loved starting their day with a bowl of this great-tasting homemade granola. It was one of my most popular recipes. Packed full of nuts, seeds, fruit and whole-grain goodness, it’s hospitable and healthy. Your own homemade breakfast cereal beats the camouflaged candy at your supermarket any day of the week.