I’ve made a few important discoveries about food so far during my 20 weeks of inconvenient eating. The first is that homemade granola really is the best (see my recipe week 14). The second, baking bread is pretty simple once you find a recipe you can handle, and plan to bake on a day when the humidity doesn’t mess it up (my favorite recipe, week 19 – and it also makes great hamburger buns). The third and most important, chocolate chips are a great addition to almost anything! I add them to granola bars, banana bread, pancakes, and blueberry muffins. And my final important discovery so far – why in the world would anyone want to eat pancakes made from a boxed mix?
I’m not a big “sweet breakfast” kind of gal, in fact I can’t even buy sweetened yogurt because it’s typically too sweet for me. On occasion, however, I do enjoy a nice pancake with real maple syrup and butter although for years I couldn’t find a boxed mix that I really liked. I finally figured out that the reason I don’t like the boxed mixes is because there isn’t much about them to like. Most mixes are pretty simple ingredients and you need to add your own egg, oil, or milk (which the box usually says is “optional”) to get any chance of a good flavor.
I don’t know why I never thought about making pancakes from scratch before this year, but I’m here to tell you it is one of the best-kept culinary secrets of all time. Scratch pancakes are easy, so very flavorful, and when you find a great recipe like this one – they are a real crowd pleaser!
Whole Grain Pancakes
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup corn meal
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs (white and yolks separated)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups whole milk (more if needed, I used buttermilk)
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the egg yolks, oil and 1 1/2 cups milk in another bowl and add to flour mixture, mixing until smooth. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes to allow flour to absorb the liquid – the batter will thicken.
If batter is too thick to fall easily from a spoon, stir in 1 – 2 tablespoons additional milk. It should drip from your spoon or whisk rather easily, but not quick and runny.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in a bowl with an electric mixer at a moderately high speed until they just hold stiff peaks. Now gently but thoroughly fold the egg whites into the batter using your whisk.
Your mix is ready for the griddle. I add blueberries and/or chocolate chips to the pancake once I pour the batter into the pan, rather than mixing them into the batter – which will give you a better fruit/chip distribution.
Simple but important pancake-making tip: make sure your pan is hot enough so that a splash of water “dances” when it hits the pan, but not too hot so that it cooks the pancakes too quickly. Flip pancake over once bubbles form in the batter indicating the first side should be cooked and nicely browned.