Let me start by asking a usual question with unusual meaning: how are you all doing? I hope everyone is safe at home and sticking to self-isolation as a part of the COVID-19 lockdown.
This pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s life in many ways, hasn’t it? Like you all, I am trying to make this self-isolation period lively by indulging myself in some of or the other activity at home. Be it cooking, art, crafting, writing or reading, I try for it to not be mundane as much as possible. When it comes to cooking we as a family are trying to stick to non-perishable food as much as possible.
Today, I was in a mood of cooking, so thought of making pancakes. One of the reasons to choose it is that it doesn’t require any exotic ingredients and can be made with just a few items available at home. Moreover, it will be different than the regular chapati’s (Indian Flat Bread) we make with whole wheat flour. It’s been nearly 7 years since I was introduced to pancakes, and from then on, I tried many recipes to perfect the pancakes. When I started exploring the recipes for Pancakes, one of the issues I had was the flour that is traditionally used to make pancakes.
For me, a shift in the tide came in when I started baking cakes with whole wheat flour, and I wanted to try making pancakes using the same flour instead of all-purpose flour or Maida. So that’s how my hunt for recipes started when I repeatedly failed to achieve the perfect texture and fluffiness. After trying and testing many recipes that came from home cooks to chefs from different parts of the world, I successfully got the formula for making it right according to my palate’s demand.
So, let us dig into the recipe.
Whole Wheat Pancakes
To make the batter:
- Whole wheat flour – 1 ¼ cups
- Buttermilk – 1 cup
- Eggs – 2 no’s
(Yolks & Whites separated)
- Butter (Melted) – 4 Tablespoons
- Baking Powder – ½ Teaspoon
- Baking Soda – ¾ Teaspoon
- Salt – 1 Teaspoon
- Sugar – 2 Teaspoon
- Lavender OR
Vanilla Extract – ½ Teaspoon
- Butter – 1 Tablespoon for cooking
- *For Toppings:
- Blueberries (Fresh or Dried) OR Raisins – ¼ cup
- Butter for serving as required
1. Take the separated egg whites into a deep bowl and by using a whisk/hand blender whisk the eggs until you get soft peaks and keep it aside. If at all, you did not achieve it, still there is no need to panic or try to do another batch. All that is required is to incorporate air into the egg whites. So, if at least the volume of the egg whites is doubled in size, then that means you are still in a safe zone. So, go ahead with the next steps by not overthinking about it. Remember, cooking is supposed to be joyful. I strongly suggest you not to spoil your mood by sulking.
2. Add the rest of the wet ingredients, buttermilk, egg yolks, melted butter & lavender extract into another bowl. I love using lavender extract in making pancakes instead of vanilla as it adds subtle flowery & earthy flavour to it which I like. But, it is entirely optional. If you do not have lavender extract, please go ahead and use vanilla extract.
3. Once you added all the wet ingredients to the bowl (from step 2), mix them throughly using a whisk or a fork until they are perfectly combined and keep it aside.
4. Now, into another bowl add all the dry ingredients; Whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & sugar. I advise you to sieve the flour, baking soda and baking powder to avoid any lumps in the batter and also to incorporate air into it. The reason being the whole wheat flour unlike all-purpose flour tends to be denser than the latter.
5. Now, add the wet mixture (from step 3) into the dry ingredients and mix well using a spatula by gently fold the wet and dry ingredients. Make sure not to over mix the batter as it will lead to loss of tiny air pockets that form in the mixture which in turn aid in making the pancake light & fluff. Otherwise, the pancakes turn out to be flat and lifeless.
6. Add the whisked egg white mixture into the batter and again use a spatula to fold the egg whites into the batter. Be as gentle as you can and don’t over mix the batter. Trust me, you don’t want to break the air pockets as it is imperative when working with whole wheat flour.
7. Now comes the step you cannot skip no matter what. Once the batter is ready, keep it aside to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes. Just cover the bowl with a lid and go and don’t open it for another 20 minutes. This step is essential to relax the gluten developed, which is essential for the pancakes to be tender after cooking. If you take the risk of skipping this step, then you might end up with chewier pancakes.
8. After 20 minutes, turn on the stove and heat a non-stick pan or an iron skillet on medium heat.
9. Once the pan is adequately heated, lower the flame and add ½ tablespoon of butter and spread it across the pan. Once you grease the pan using ½ tablespoon of butter, it will easily last until you make 3 to 4 pancakes.
10. Take a ladle full of batter and add it onto the greased area of the pan. Do not forget to keep the heat on a low setting.
11. As soon as you add the pancake batter onto the pan is the time when you add your favourite toppings to it. I chose dried blueberries, but I suggest you be bold and try different toppings. After all, cooking is supposed to be fun!
12. After 2 or 3 minutes you will see small air bubbles pop up on the surface, that’s an indicator to flip the pancake. Do not be discouraged if the first pancake doesn’t come out well. It happens all the time. Trust me, I have had my fair share of this issue with both pancakes and Dosas alike.
13. Once flipped, do not cook the other side for more than a minute or so. As it cooks partially when you cook the first side.
14. After a minute, flip the pancake and check if it is cooked thoroughly. Then take it out into a serving plate.
15. Following the steps from 10 to 14 until you finish the batter. Add another ½ teaspoon of butter into the pan in between to cook the pancakes if needed. The result will be an amazingly light and fluffy pancakes as you can see below.
16. Stack the pancakes in a plate (preferably 3 to 4 pancakes). And, serve them hot by adding a small dollop of butter on top, syrup of your choice (maple syrup/honey/chocolate sauce) and fresh or dried fruit toppings.
The recipe will yield around 7 to 9 pancakes depending on the quantity of the batter you use to make each pancake.
Let’s hope this recipe makes your lockdown period a wee bit sweet & salty.
Thats all for today folks. I sign off with a hope to see you soon!