For a long time, I hated making pancakes. Mostly because I am a perfectionist in the kitchen and I could not get them to look 'pretty' and have a fluffy texture. After much perseverance, and many failed experiments, I have a deep respect for a good pancake.
The secret lies in the flour. Many people aren't exactly clear on the differences between bleached and unbleached flour. Over time, flour naturally bleaches to white and develops a finer, softer texture and helps with the development of gluten. But nowadays, manufacturers are not interested in waiting 6 months for this process.
Manufacturers use bleaching agents to achieve this process in weeks instead of months. Products like benzoyl peroxide, calcium peroxide and chlorine are the most commonly used. For those with a delicate palate, a slightly bitter aftertaste can be detected in products made with chemically bleached flours. And even if you don't have a very sensitive palate, try eating foods made with unbleached flour for a month or so and then switch back. You will taste the difference.
Today's pancake recipe uses a blend of whole wheat flour and unbleached flour. These bad boys have a light, airy texture and are high in protein (as flour processing affects protein levels). And one of these pancakes has about as many calories as a bowl of Special K cereal (about 110 calories). Enjoy!
A few tips before you get started:
- Heat your griddle or skillet to 375 degrees for ten minutes before you begin to cook. (If you put a drop of water on the griddle and it begins to jump around, you've got it right).
- If you are not using a non-stick or well seasoned griddle, you can lightly grease your cooking surface with a teeny tiny bit of butter. (If you use too much, you will get a chewy crust on your pancake.)
- Make your batter in a large measuring cup so you can pour it right onto your cooking surface.
Light, Fluffy Pancakes
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 cup buttermilk (See Ingredient Substitutions page for alternatives)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
In a large bowl, beat egg until fluffy (foamy). In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add all dry and wet ingredients to the egg and whisk together. If you would like to add nuts, berries or chocolate chips, this is the time to do it. Let the batter rest for about three minutes.
Pour about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. As soon as bubbles form across the top of the pancake and the edges begin to cook, use a large spatula to flip. One side will always brown better than the other.
Serve immediately with warmed syrup.