Perfect Pancakes

About this time of year, I start looking at all the freshly washed canning jars, bound to have to be washed again before canning season gets hectic in the summer.  And I start thinking about what I could put in them to make things easier for myself, rather than just storing them.  Because sitting on the shelf means they’re just taking space.  But filled with something, they’re the makings of a convenience meal.

When I was growing up, we used Bisquick to make pancakes.  And other things as well — in fact Bisquick was the baking mix of my growing up years.

Years later, when I was staying at my college roommate’s house in New Jersey before leaving for several months in India, her dad made us pancakes.  But they weren’t like any pancakes I’d tasted — light, fluffy and airy with a texture made to sop up syrup. Instead, they were hearty fare, with multiple whole grains, dense and chewier . . . with a stronger temperament made to hold up to a slather of peanut butter and jam . . .

I’ve often thought about the pancakes of my youth as well as the pancakes on the eve of India.  The pancakes of my childhood usually came from a mix, but the pre-India pancakes did too — just a home made mix.

My roommate’s father was kind enough to give me a copy of his recipe, and I’ve overhauled it over the years to be what I consider to be the perfect pancake mix.  Not so dense, but not so airy as well.  Easily made in quantity to have on hand.  And packed with more protein than the pancake mixes of old. And adaptable enough to make use of what you have on hand.

Measure 3 cups of flour into a bowl.  The flour can be white flour, whole wheat pastry flour (VERY NICE!), quinoa flour, soy flour, buckwheat flour, oat flour . . .  the texture will depend on the grains you use.  For lighter and fluffier, go with 2 1/2 cups white or whole wheat pastry, and then add in half a cup of another flour.

Add 1/2 cup oat bran.  You could also add wheat bran, but oat bran in my opinion makes a smoother pancake, without scratchy bits.

Add 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Add 1 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda.

Mix in 3 Tablespoons sugar if desired.

Mix thoroughly!!!  Then measure out 1 1/2 cups of mix and spoon into pint jars.  This makes about 3 pint jars.  A recipe for 12 pint jars is below . . .

If you want to make a buttermilk mix (I usually do) you can either add buttermilk as the liquid or part of the liquid, or add powdered buttermilk to the mix.  You could also add powdered milk to the mix. The milk or buttermilk will add protein to the mix. If you add powdered buttermilk, I usually add 4 Tablespoons per 1 1/2 cups mix. And I usually pass the powder through a sieve because it tends to clump.  Mixing it with the dry ingredients ensures a smoother batter.

MAKE THE PANCAKES:

First, pour the 1 1/2 cups of dry mix into a bowl.  I like to use a bowl with a pouring spout, like this liquid measure.

Then, measure out 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter to melt, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 2 large eggs.

Add the “wet ingredients” and follow up with 1 1/2 cups or so of liquid.  Or so, because depending on your ingredients and the humidity where you live, you may need more or less.  You could add buttermilk, or almond milk, or milk, or orange juice or even water.  It’s a matter of taste.

Mix and continue adding liquid until the consistency of thick cream.  Let it sit for 5 minutes or so.  It will get thicker as it sits.

Stir after about 5 minutes, and then see if it needs a little more liquid.  If you pour thin pancake batter, the pancakes will be thin, but if you like them thicker, the batter will need to be a little thicker.

Heat a griddle on medium high until 1 pat of butter bubbles.  (Substitute your own favorite oil here — for pancakes, mine is butter).

Pour on batter.

Check for bubbles that pop, as well as edges that start to dull as the pancake cooks.  Peek under side to see how brown it is . . .

Flip, cook, and enjoy!

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PERFECT PANCAKE MIX — make approx. 12 pints, 1 1/2 cups mix in each:

10 cups flour

2 cups different flour

2 cups oat bran

3 tsp salt

6 Tbsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

Mix thoroughly, put 1 1/2 cups in pint jar, layer 4 tablespoon buttermilk powder on top if desired,  screw on lid, keep in cooler place for longest life of mix.

To make pancakes — add 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 2 large eggs and 1 1/2 cups milk or other liquid.

Protein —  If you added quinoa flour for the “different flour”  you would have 160 grams of protein in the first flour, 32 grams in the quinoa flour, 48 grams in the oat bran, 60 grams in the buttermilk, for a total of 300 grams of protein, or about 25 grams per batch. Adding eggs and milk will give you 49 grams of protein per pint batch of pancake batter.  Not bad —

 

 

 

 

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