I have a confession to make. I had some whole milk sitting in my fridge for, oh, just a teeny tiny little while, waiting patiently to be used in these oh so delicious pancakes. You see, I was really craving pancakes and I really wanted to find a fun new recipe for you to try. That’s how much I love you.
But then things came up, life happened, and the next thing I knew this carton of milk was breathing its last breath, sitting on the top shelf of my fridge with one day left before its expiration, begging me to use it. Obviously. Doesn’t everything in your kitchen beg to be consumed?!
I also had this bowl of gorgeously ripe strawberries at the peak of their altogether too short summer season that I knew would be the perfect accompaniment to these crisp buttery pancakes. So I grabbed one of my very favorite cookbooks, Good to the Grain (which I’ve told you about before!), and flipped to the oatmeal pancakes recipe.
If you aren’t familiar with this book, I highly highly recommend you check it out. It’s a brilliant compilation of recipes that use various whole grain flours, like oat and rye and barley. The recipes are delicious and easy to follow, and each section begins with a brief description of the specific type of flour the recipes call for. In short, it’s afreakingmazing. And although my friends and family often have to ask me to translate the meaning of my shortened words and ridiculous phrases, I think that one’s pretty self-explanatory. Yep. It totes is.
As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed my luxurious hour in the kitchen gathering ingredients, measuring flour, whisking, stirring, singing along to the music I had blaring in the background. And of course my very favorite part — placing the food just right and snapping snapping snapping away. I have so much more to learn about food photography and many more ways to improve my own pictures, but I just love the challenge and process of capturing the perfect shot. Food is beautiful, isn’t it?!
Finally each pancake had been cooked and crisped, and I was ready to sit down for lunch. Oh yes friends, breakfast is best as lunch or dinner. I had a Skype date with my sister scheduled, which meant she had to very jealously watch me eat my fluffy pancakes from 3,000 away. I would have given anything in that moment to have her sitting next to me in person, talking about our days, sharing life, and laughing at the little things. Few people in life can understand you like a sister can, and I was reminded over lunch that day of why I truly love food. Yes, it’s delicious. Yes, it’s beautiful. But above all, it brings people together.
From Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce with Amy Scattergood (published 2010)
Yields: 12-18 pancakes depending on the size of your scoop!
Butter for the pan
3/4 cup oat flour (you can get this by grinding, in a coffee grinder or food processor, one cup of whole rolled oats)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup cooked oatmeal (see step 1)
1 tablespoon unsulphured (not blackstrap) molasses
1. Make the cooked oatmeal by bringing 2 cups of water, 1 cup of whole rolled oats, and a tiny pinch of salt to boil in a small saucepan. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool on the stove while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter. Whisk together the butter, milk, oatmeal, molasses, and eggs until thoroughly combined.
3. Using a spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. For tender pancakes, it is important that you use a light hand while folding the batter with the spatula. The batter should be slightly thick, with a holey surface.
4. Although the batter is best if used immediately, it can sit for up to 1 hour on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator. When you return to the batter, it will be very thick and should be thinned, 1 tablespoon at a time, with milk–take great care not to overmix.
5. Heat a pan or griddle over medium-low heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Rub the pan generously with butter; this is key to crisp, buttery edges. Working quickly, dollop 1/4-cup mounds of batter onto the pan, 2 or 3 at a time. Once bubbles have begun to form on the top of the pancake, flip the pancake and cook until the bottom is dark golden-brown, about 5 minutes total. Wipe the pan with a cloth before griddling the next batch. Rub the pan with butter and continue with the rest of the batter. If the pan is too hot or not hot enough, adjust the flame accordingly to keep results consistent.
6. Serve the pancakes hot, straight from the pan.