I was half way through writing my post about garden planters and outdoor furniture on Monday when I had the overwhelming desire for pancakes. Whole wheat pancakes – to be exact. My brain kept repeating the same mantra: pancakes, pancakes, pancakes, P-A-N-C-A-K-E-S-!- So eventually I gave in, stopped what I was doing and resolved to finishing my post on Tuesday. I hurried into the kitchen and got out the measuring cups, a few bowls and the whole wheat flour. It was the second time in a week that a recipe I was making called for Buttermilk. I never have it in the fridge, ever. Heck, this time I was out of both vinegar (I only had Tarragon white wine vinegar) and (regular) lemons! I am pleased to tell you that I tried this Buttermilk substitution with Meyer Lemons and it worked like a charm. It’s the acid that reacts with the milk and allows it to curdle replicating the taste of Buttermilk in a recipe. I am sure the real deal would likely taste better, but this is a pretty good ‘fake it til you make it’ (to the grocery store) substitution.Let’s get to making Whole Wheat Pancakes, shall we? This recipe is from Fifteen Spatulas who claims these are “The BEST Whole Wheat Pancakes (That Actually Taste Good)” and after making this delicious dish I don’t doubt her. Note: the only thing I would do differently next time is make them thinner. I felt like I had to keep many of them on the pan a little too long to cook fully and they turned out darker in color than what is optimal. They didn’t taste burned however, so not all was lost. They just turned out not as golden and pretty as the ones on Fifteen Spatula’s post.What you need from the Pantry and Fridge: The ingredient list below is for one batch of pancakes. I kind of feel like if you’re going to the trouble you should double it. I doubled this recipe and froze the leftover pancakes for another day. I simply wrapped them in tin foil (with a layer of tin between each individual pancake) and stuck the package into the freezer. When I am craving pancakes again, I will place them in a 150 degree oven until they defrost.1 Cup Milk
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice (or Vinegar)
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Teaspoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons melted ButterSide note: Don’t feel bad about butter! Butter is BACK – Mark Bittman says so. In my opinion, it never left. I am just happy to see it getting some good press. And if you don’t believe Mark, this article is in the same vein: Why Everything You Know About Unhealthy Foods Is Wrong.Method: Get out two bowls. In the smaller bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. Let the mixture curdle for about five minutes. It’s pretty cool. You’ll see things happening in the bowl as you are mixing the dry ingredients together.
Measure out the dry ingredients and dump them in the larger bowl together. Once you’ve added all of them, whisk them together so that the the whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt become homogenous. Set this bowl aside and revisit your curdled milk bowl. Mix the wet ingredients (egg, melted butter) into the “Buttermilk” until it is mostly smooth in texture.
Then, use a wooden spoon and pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir the mixture together – taking good care not to stir it too much. The mixture will be lumpy – which is optimal for light and fluffy pancakes.
I used my crepe pan – I got it hot and then lowered the heat to just below medium. It worked really well. I love my non-stick Berndes crepe pan. Because of it’s excellent non-stick surface, you barely need to add any additional butter. (BTW: Fifteen Spatula’s gives good tips for using an electric griddle – set it to 375 degrees.) Either way, the trick is to wait for a good amount of bubbles to form in the batter before you flip the pancake. If you do it too soon, the pancake will break apart.I place my finished pancakes on a cookie sheet and place them in a 200 degree oven to keep warm until I am ready to serve them to a group.
Add pats of butter and Maple Syrup (if you wish.)
Enjoy!This recipe has made the rounds! I tried it after seeing it on Fifteen Spatulas who adapted the recipe from Who Wants Seconds? who originally got it from Cooks Illustrated, who we all know tests a bazillion recipes before they decide to share which is best.