Friday, May 20, 2011

Oatmeal Pancakes

I haven’t really talked about Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain yet, but that’s only because I’ve been too busy making recipes I’ve bookmarked online to make those from my own cookbooks. This book, however, is awesome. You see, I’ve been trying to incorporate more whole grains in my diet. That’s why, a few years ago, I started using almost exclusively white whole wheat flour instead of plain white flour (the exceptions are angel food cake, crêpes and certain pastries). I love it, but that still limits me to only wheat. I got a glimpse of different grains when I started using more gluten-free flours. And Good to the Grain makes it easy: it is divided into chapter focused on specific grains, so that once you buy a bag of, say, quinoa flour, you can focus on the quinoa flour chapter without having to worry about also buying rye or teff. And North America in general is so used to wheat (almost exclusively) that it’s become the “neutral” taste; any other grains taste so new compared to it!

These pancakes are, obviously, from the oats chapter. They have slightly different consistency than “regular” pancakes because they call for cooked oatmeal in the batter, which makes for a very moist pancake. You can make it easily by bringing 2 cups of water, 1 cup of rolled oats and a pinch of salt to a boil, then simmering for 5 minutes and letting it cool a bit after that. The recipe also calls for oat flour: I didn’t have any, but I pulsed about 1 cup of rolled oats in the food processor until finely ground and used that instead. While I loved these pancakes, I should warn that despite their small size, they are quite filling. The Engineer and I had 2 each and could eat no more (I found it near impossible to come up with a weekly menu and grocery list right after eating them and feeling so full).

Dry mix
¾ cup oat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat, of course)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp Kosher or coarse salt

Wet mix
3 Tbsp unsalted margarine, melted and cooled slightly (plus extra for the pan; or use butter)
1 ¼ cups lactose-free whole milk
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 Tbsp unsulphured (not blackstrap) molasses
2 large eggs

Sift the dry ingredients (oat flour, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) together in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the margarine, milk, cooked oatmeal, molasses and eggs together until thoroughly combined.

Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a light hand is important for tender pancakes; the batter should be slightly thick with a holey surface.

Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan or griddle over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Rub the pan generously with butter; Kim Boyce says this is the key to crisp, buttery edges, but I used canola oil here.

Working quickly, dollop ¼-cup mounds of batter onto the pan, 2 or 3 at a time. Once bubbles have begun to form on the top side of the pancake, flip the pancake and cook until the bottom is dark golden-brown, about 5 minutes total. Wipe the pan with a cloth before griddling the next pancake. Continue with the rest of the batter.

Serve the pancakes hot, straight from the skillet or keep them warm in a low oven. They are wonderful with maple syrup, but would be great with fruit too.

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