Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Autumnal Whole Wheat Pancakes, Or, Joy For Your Belly

I know it's been a while since I put up a recipe here--that's because I've been too busy to do much baking!  Teaching can really eat your life if you're not careful.  Anyway, we've been eating these pancakes at least three times a week lately.  The whole wheat gives them an excellent, chewy, dense texture, and makes them really stick to your ribs, and the apple cider lends a slight appley flavor without being overwhelming.  Give it a shot.  (This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman's "Everyday Pancakes" recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, my food bible.)

Autumnal Whole Wheat Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk (plus up to 1/4 cup extra if needed)
1/2 cup apple cider
2 eggs
splash vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

extra butter for the skillet

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients thoroughly.  In a small bowl (or four-cup liquid measure), combine the buttermilk and cider.  Beat in the eggs, then add the vanilla and butter.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until mostly combined (a few lumps are okay).  You should be able to pour it thickly--if it won't pour, add a little more buttermilk.

Now, put a large skillet over medium heat.  This batter can handle tiny silver-dollar pancakes or giant ones as big as your head--just cook them until the bubbles that form in the center leave little craters.  In my house, we bang the spatula against the edge of the pan every so often to pop the bubbles and see if it's ready.  When they start to get all craterfacey, flip 'em and brown the other side.  Serve hot with butter (apple butter is also a great choice), syrup, and a large glass of cold milk.


Side note: I used homemade butter and buttermilk for this recipe, and boy howdy did it make a difference.  I found this tutorial easy to follow, and it barely took five or six minutes of shaking before the butter magically appeared!  I added a teaspoon or so of apple cider vinegar to my buttermilk, since the real stuff tastes more like skim milk than the cultured stuff from the store.  Give it a shot--you will not regret it.

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