Sunday, January 29, 2012

Whole Wheat Flax Pancakes

Two of my favorite rituals when I was a kid were Saturday morning pancakes or waffles and breakfast for dinner. As an adult, these still feel like special events and with football season over (for Packer fans), I'm switching out my weekly Packer snack for breakfast for dinner on Sunday nights. I love ritual and routine, so having this to look forward to goes a long way toward ameliorating the dread of returning to work Monday morning that so often creeps in on Sunday night. Since I've probably gorged myself on a meal out during the weekend, I want my breakfast for dinner to be at least somewhat healthy (most of the time), and that's where these whole wheat flax pancakes come in. Much more flavorful and hearty than their white flour counterparts, these nutty pancakes are the perfect companion to a healthy pat of butter and generous drizzling of maple syrup (and a side of bacon or sausage doesn't hurt either). If you've cooked up a batch of bacon before starting the pancakes, fry the pancakes in the bacon grease for extra crispy edges and just a bit of smoky flavor. Homemade pancakes take just a little more time than the just-add-water-mix kind, so next time the craving hits, whip up a batch of these pancakes instead and reward your efforts with flavor and nutrition.

Whole Wheat Flax Pancakes
makes about 12 pancakes
adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup dried buttermilk powder*
2 tablespoons brown sugar, maple sugar, maple syrup, or honey
1/3 cup whole flax meal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
1 1/2 cups water*
*Or substitute 1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) of buttermilk in place of the buttermilk powder and water

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Whisk together the eggs, oil or melted butter, vanilla, and water (and honey or maple syrup, if using).

3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, and whisk until blended. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes (it will thicken slightly). Add extra water or flour to adjust the consistency for thinner or thicker pancakes.

4. Preheat a griddle to medium high (350°F), and grease it well.

5. Scoop the batter by the 1/4-cupful onto the griddle.

6. Cook until bubbles on the top begin to pop, then turn and brown the other side.

7. Serve hot with maple syrup, or fresh fruit and yogurt.

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