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I like pancakes. I like waffles too, but I like pancakes more. My idea of a good pancake is one that's light, fluffy, and has that taste you can only get when buttermilk is somewhere in the batter. I used to enjoy them made the old-style way from regular pancake flour (the store-bought kind), but here of late I've come to prefer a mix that has a bit more variety in it.

One day I stopped in at a local whole-foods store and bought a small quantity of every flour they stocked – oat, spelt, buckwheat, rice, and so on. I took all of those, plus some corn meal, white and whole-wheat flours, and began experimenting. After numerous breakfast trials, I finally arrived at a mix that had plenty of whole-grain flours, met all the requirements for a good pancake, and was worthy of being dubbed the Everything Pancake Mix. It'll produce a pancake or waffle that tastes great and is good nutrition to boot. I've served it at various nodermeets, and it rarely fails to win compliments.

Let's get to cookin' up a stack of pancakes!

THE BASE MIXTURE

First, let's make the base mixture. This is actually a sort of pastry mix, and aside from its job here in the Mix, can be made up in quantity and used for other purposes such as biscuits, pie crusts, scones, and so forth. Even with the shortening added, it requires no refrigeration; just put it in a container with a tight-fitting lid and it'll keep fine.

  • 5 cups (750 gm) self-rising flour
  • 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable shortening
  • 1 (15 ml) tablespoon salt

Combine the flour and salt. Then, add the shortening and use either a pastry blender or a fork to cut it into the flour. Use a cutting motion to work the shortening into the flour; when the mixture resembles coarse corn meal, you're finished. Set this aside and move on to the main mix.

THE MAIN MIX

Here's where we get to the heart of the Everything Pancake Mix. The ingredients listed below are those that I usually like to put in the Mix; feel free to add or subtract ingredients as your taste and availability dictate. The idea, of course, is to get a good variety of grains and get away from the usual bland pancake mixture. This formula will make around twelve cups of Mix, enough to keep you and your friends or family in pancakes for months.

  • ¼ cup (40 gm) spelt flour
  • ½ cup (75 gm) barley flour
  • 1 cup (150 gm) oat flour
  • ¼ cup (40 gm) rye flour
  • ½ cup (75 gm) soy flour (SOY!!)
  • ½ cup (75 gm) brown rice flour
  • ½ cup (75 gm) buckwheat flour
  • ¼ cup (40 gm) semolina
  • ½ cups (175 gm) whole wheat flour
  • ½ cups (175 gm) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (75 gm) corn meal (white or yellow)

It's pretty easy from here – just mix all the flours and meal together. Mix 'em well, and after all the ingredients are well combined, add the Base Mixture. Again, combine thoroughly, and now the Mix is ready for use! It's good for not only pancakes, but waffles, muffins, quick breads, and the like. You can store the Mix in an airtight canister to keep it fresh and ready whenever the urge for pancakes strikes.

Now then, it's finally time to make some nice, fluffy pancakes! Here's the recipe I use and it always produces good results. This recipe will produce six to eight medium-sized pancakes (just a little over the size of an average compact disc):

  • 2 cups (300 gm) Everything Pancake Mix
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking powder
  • 2 to 2½ cups (250 – 375 ml) milk, buttermilk, or sour milk (buttermilk makes the best pancakes!)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Combine the Mix, baking soda, and baking powder until well blended. Add the buttermilk and eggs, and stir until you have a smooth batter that's almost but not quite pourable. You may need to adjust the amount of Mix or liquid to get the batter to that point.

Lightly grease a griddle or non-stick pan. Heat up the griddle or pan, and when it's ready, pour a scant half-cup of batter on to the griddle. Cook until the pancake begins to show surface bubbles, then flip it carefully and continue cooking until the pancake is golden brown on both sides. Cook 'em all up and serve with your favorite syrup or dust with powdered sugar. These pancakes are just the thing to fortify you for a pleasant day of noding!

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