29 August 2010

From Prayer to Pancakes

How do you go from prayer to pancakes?  By reading this blog, for starters.  I decided I was never going to be properly focused like the "generate loyal readers and convert them to ad revenue" essays think I should be.   So this blog will be about whatever I'm thinking about, be it prayer or pancakes.   Sometimes it might be about both.  Bread, wine and salt belong in religion just as much as they belong on the table.

I love pancakes, so I often order them when we go out to eat, and mostly I'm disappointed.  Restaurant pancakes are almost always sad, thin floppy things with no flavor.  I am never disappointed by these pancakes, which are fluffy and hearty, with rich flavor and aren't all that bad for you.  We mostly use pure maple syrup at home, but growing up we usually had butter and molasses on our pancakes, and these pancakes can certainly hold their own against that team as well.

This recipe uses flax seed meal for an extra kick of flavor, but you can substitute three eggs instead of the flax seed meal slurry.  If you don't have fresh buttermilk, you can use powdered or add one tablespoon of white vinegar per cup of fresh milk in a pinch, but the flavor and texture won't be as good.  Fresh buttermilk keeps well and is useful in lots of baked goods as well as in mashed potatoes.  Try keeping some around the house and see if you don't love it, too.

Eggless Buttermilk Pancakes
3 Tablespoons flax seed meal
9 Tablespoons water
15 ounces  whole wheat (or white whole wheat) flour (about 3 cups)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted, plus more for the griddle

Whisk flax seed meal and water together in a small bowl and set aside.

Melt butter and set aside.

Measure out flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine.

Heat skillet or griddle to medium high.

Whisk together buttermilk, milk and flax seed meal slurry, which should have started to thicken.  Stirring constantly, slowly pour in melted butter.

Add wet ingredients to dry and stir gently until dry ingredients are just moistened.  This is a thick batter, more spoonable than pourable.  Don't overmix or you'll lose all your beautiful air bubbles.

Lightly butter the griddle.  Don't use too much or you'll deep fry the first side of you pancake.  I know this sounds like a good idea, but it's not.   Once the butter is melted and shimmering, use a serving spoon to drop about a 1/4 of batter on the griddle for each pancake.  Cook on the first side until the sides begin to look cooked, then flip and cook the second side for about one minute, keeping an eye on the heat under the griddle and the color of the pancakes.


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