How Do You Feel About Pancakes?

January 24, 2009

Except for the under 7 crowd, most people I know pass on pancakes for breakfast. I can hardly blame them. Who wants to start the day with some thick, get stuck in your throat, gummy pancakes drowned in sickeningly-sweet gooey syrup? Or worse yet, topped with aerosol whipped "topping" and some goopy berries. Think Denny's $2.99 Grand Slam Breakfast from your college years.

Well. My mom was very good to us in certain ways. Several days a week there were homemade cookies waiting for us after school (but all we wanted were Chips Ahoy...go figure!). She baked bread for us, her pie crust is among the flakiest best you will ever taste. What can I say? Her people are from Sweden, and they are known for their baking skills. She also happened to regularly make us pancakes for breakfast.

If you have not had homemade pancakes, I'm sure your mom was good to you in other ways, so don't be too bummed. But you really owe it to yourself to try them and taste the difference. You know how a home-grown tomato picked ripe from the vine tastes like a different thing altogether from a supermarket one in the middle of winter? That's the difference I'm talking about. These are thinner, lighter, and there are so many variations that can add flavor or texture.

Take for instance these pancakes C-Man and I made this morning. They have whole wheat flour and cornmeal in them, so there is that appealing slight crunch and nutty flavor. They also have beaten eggs whites which lighten the batter and make them almost melt in your mouth. And they aren't sweet at all! Which means you are free to drizzle some lovely real maple syrup over them. After you slather them with butter, of course! (I realize they aren't very exciting to look at, but I couldn't put up another blog post without a photo!)

Whole-Grain Pancakes

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. cornmeal
1 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. whole milk (plus more if needed)

Whisk dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, oil and milk, and add to dry ingredients, whisking until smooth. Let batter stand 5 minuted to allow flour to absorb liquid (batter will be thick). If batter is too thick to fall easily from a spoon, stir in 1-2 T. more milk.

Beat egg whites just until stiff peaks form. With a whisk, gently but thoroughly fold into batter. You want to keep as much air in the egg whites as possible, so it's important to be gentle. This is what is going to make them melt in your mouth, so don't hate me for this strict instruction.

Brush griddle with vegetable oil (or if you are like I am, use some leftover bacon grease) and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Reduce heat to moderate. Cook pancakes in batches (about 2 T. of batter for each pancake), until bubbles appear on surface, edges are set and undersides are golden (about 45 seconds to 1 minute). Flip pancakes and cook about 45 more seconds or until other sides are golden.

It's very important to serve these piping hot with lots of butter and real maple syrup (you can add a squeeze of lemon to the syrup if you'd like). Also, be sure to buy the "GRADE B" syrup -- it doesn't mean it's inferior to grade A, it means it's darker, richer and plain better.


  1. My husband makes us homemade pancakes every weekend, they are perfect. I love pancakes. We will have to try your recipe.

  2. You know a lot of people who don't like pancakes? Is that some adult right-of-passage that I missed out on? I have a love affair with pancakes (and their cousin, french toast). Would eat them at least once a week, if it didn't mean that my huge love affair would result in the rapid increase of my waist, hips, and thighs. My current favorite recipe is the buttermilk version of this one.

  3. are you serious?? i didn't know there was anyone who didn't like pancakes!! my mom made them for us every.single.morning through high school and i never was tired of them. i'm pretty partial to her recipe, but may give yours a try :)

  4. We <3 pancakes in our house too. The secret (not so secret now that I am saying so here) ingredient in our homemade batter is a little club soda. It makes the batter so light and fluffy.


  5. I love pancakes and would have no problem eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I read that about the Grade B and have yet to try it. Next time I hit Trader Joe's I will pick some up and report back.

  6. I'm a pancake lover myself but I must have real maple syrup not the high fructose kind. Thanks for the tip on Grade B - it can get a bit expensive.


  7. I love homemade pancakes, but I never order them at a restaurant if I want my pants to fit for the rest of the day. Blech!

  8. I'm one of those crazies who USED to loathe pancakes... had to be protein in the a.m. for me. Until lately. Not sure why, but around here, all of the sudden, one morning per weekend is all about "crack-cakes" -- taste so good, well you get it... I love the act of making them, too. Kind of zen.

  9. Mmmmmmm. I love pancakes. But I had a mom who made whole grain ones too. Maybe that is what makes the difference.

  10. we lerv pancakes here! We had Blaise a Pancakes & Disco birthday party yesterday!!! pancakes rule!


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