Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rainy Day Pancakes

I know, for most of you, a rainy day still means you have to get up and go to work. But, for me, it just means that I don't feel as guilty for not leaving the house all day. The plan for a cozy day? Whole grain pancakes with warm maple syrup and fresh strawberries. I've hinted at my love for PURE maple syrup before, but I seriously don't think I could live without it, especially when I'm cooking up some rainy day pancakes. So, if you don't have any pure maple in your kitchen, do your yourself a favor and run out to get some. It can be pricey, but it's sooo worth it.

The recipe for these golden-delicious pancakes is adapted from Heidi Swanson's recipe over at 101 Cookbooks, with a little of my own tweeking. I add oats that have been blended, it gives the batter a fantastically subtle crumb texture. For the ingredients I specify organic eggs, but obviously any egg will do. Though, I really stress buying farm fresh eggs rather than the cheap ones from the factory--they're free of antibiotics and added chemicals and the treatment of the chickens is more humane.

Whole Grain Pancakes with Warm Maple Syrup

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats, blended
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup pure, accept-no-imitations maple syrup
1 carton fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced

In a small saucepan, heat maple syrup on very low heat, whisking occasionally. When the maple is loose, turn heat off but leave on burner until ready to use.

In a blender, add the oats and pulse a couple of times, just enough to break up the oats. In a large bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Add the buttermilk, beaten eggs, and melted butter, stirring until ingredients are mixed. Be sure not to beat out all the lumps--overmixing will toughen the pancakes.

Heat your skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with enough butter to cover the pan, allowing it to melt but not brown. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet for each pancake, allowing it to cook until the bottom of the pancake is just golden brown. With a spatula flip pancake and cook until cooked through. Repeat until batter is finished. Quick tip: Do not over-flip your pancakes, it toughen the cakes and ruin your dreams of being in fluffy pancake heaven.

Serve pancakes with a warm maple syrup and sliced fresh strawberries and you are in for a perfect start to any day.

Yield: 10-12 large pancakes

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