Whole Grain Blueberry Pancakes

pancakesI must confess: as someone who owns quite a few cookbooks (not exactly 101, but it’s getting there), and who actually does a lot of cooking, it seems odd that I don’t own the Joy of Cooking. I don’t own Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, I don’t own the Betty Crocker cookbook, I don’t even own Julia’s masterwork on French cooking.  Considering that my cooking career began well before the Internet, it seems odd that I don’t have more of these great classics, but maybe it’s because I have the one solid, basic cookbook that I can always turn to: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.  Must be my New England Yankee upbringing, but this is the book that I trust for old-time favorites, especially baked goods, and is my go-to recipe for pancakes, or as Fannie called ’em, Griddlecakes.

So when Melissa & I decided to indulge in blueberry pancakes for breakfast yesterday, out came the battered and stained Fannie Farmer.  I substitute whole white wheat flour for the white flour and increase the liquid in order to thin the batter (and accomodate the heartier grain), but even with those changes, the basic recipe is just as good as it was in 1896.

Adapted from Griddlecakes, The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 13th ed., Marion Cunningham.

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Whole Grain Blueberry Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4.5 oz (1 cup) whole wheat all-purpose flour (soft white wheat)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 and 1/4 – 1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk or milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted, plus extra for greasing the griddle
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • maple syrup, butter, and fresh fruit for garnish

METHODS

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. 
  2. Beat 1 and 1/4 cups of the buttermilk, the egg, melted butter and honey together in a separate bowl.  Add all at once to the flour mixture and whip lightly, with a fork, until the mixture is just incorporated; do not overbeat.  Add additional buttermilk or milk as necessary in order to achieve a thin, pourable batter (to your preference).
  3. Heat butter over moderate heat in a large griddle or frying pan until a few drops of water fizzle and scatter across the pan.  Drop pancake batter from a 1/4 cup measure onto the pan to make ~6-inch pancakes.  Keep at least 1 inch between pancakes in order to facilitate turning the pancakes over.
  4. Sprinkle blueberries on top of each pancake (I use about 8-10 blueberries each for this size pancake), then cook the pancakes until the tops are full of bubbles and the underside is lightly browned.  Flip the pancakes carefully with a spatula and cook the other side until the pancakes are browned and cooked through the middle.  (Slice a small slit in one of the early pancakes to ensure the middle is cooked through; then you will know how long each one needs to cook).  Adjust the heat under the pan as necessary to prevent burning the outside of the pancakes before the middle is cooked.
  5. Stack the pancakes on a plate in a 200 degree F oven (or serve hot off the griddle to the waiting crowds).  Serve with butter, maple syrup, honey, fresh fruit or whipped cream.

OPTIONS

  1. You can substitute other flours, or a combination of flours, for the soft white wheat in this recipe.  Pancakes are quite forgiving in that they do not need a rise, kneading or long baking time, so they are quite adapatable to many whole grains.
  2. Any fresh or frozen berry will work equally as well as blueberry.  If using frozen strawberries, you will want to thaw them first, for several hours in the refrigerator or by warming in the micrwave, so that upon thawing they do not make the pancakes soggy.  Smaller berries, like blueberries and small raspberries, can go directly onto the cooking pancake frozen, as they will thaw on cooking.  I do not like to add frozen or fresh berries to the batter itself, as they stain the batter, and more delicate berries tend to fall apart.

STORE

These pancakes are actually quite good re-heated, and will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  You can also freeze pancakes, and then toast or fry them, for up to 3 months.

SEASON

Blueberries are in season in August here in the Hudson Valley, but since they freeze so well, this is a treat you can enjoy all year round.

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