Light and fluffy pancakes, good on their own or soaked in maple syrup, made my family’s way!
I think I’ve mentioned that Sunday mornings are always family breakfast times. While I was growing up we had pancakes, every Sunday morning. The four of us around the table, the cat and the dog trying to be part of the fam and begging for table scraps. Every few minutes someone would jump up to flip the pancakes and before running back into the dining room to rejoin the conversation.
For a long time it was my dad’s job to make the pancakes. I should maybe say that this is the 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking‘s pancake recipe, but it is the one he used all the time and made all the adjustments you see below. It’s a family standard, now. My dad no longer makes pancakes every Sunday morning, but we do still eat breakfast together every Sunday…at least, that’s what happens when I’m home. I guess I don’t really know what goes on when I’m not there. Sometimes he makes pancakes, sometimes my mom makes coffee cake, sometimes I make whatever I’m in the mood for (usually muffins). Even my sister makes Sunday breakfast sometimes.
These pancakes are pretty traditional, but my dad’s adaptation is what makes them special (and better than basically any other pancakes I’ve had). Made with a large proportion of whole wheat flour, these are nonetheless light and fluffy. They get an extra boost of flavor from a combination of milk and yogurt in the liquid mix. In fact, my grandparents were under some impression that there was a super secret special ingredient in them the first time my dad cooked up a batch for them.
My favorite way to have pancakes is with chocolate chips in them. No shame. Yes, I am twenty-two, why do you ask? Blueberries are good too, when they’re in season. Sometimes chopped apples sprinkled with cinnamon. But you can, as with any pancake recipe, sub in your favorite mix-in for chocolate chips or blueberries. Raspberries, walnuts, banana slices…go for it! When I have it on hand, I also toss in a spoonful of ground flaxseed and wheatgerm for extra nutrition and flavor, but I’ve left those out from the recipe below.
Oh, and furthermore, while you probably shouldn’t overdo your pancake consumption, don’t limit these to just Sunday mornings. They are also a fantastic Friday lunch or brinner.
Whole Wheat Pancakes
Makes 12 pancakes
Adapted from Joy of Cooking (1975) by my dad
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup white flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 T granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 3 T vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 cup yogurt (I use low-fat)
- 1/2 cup milk (I use skim)
- optional: chocolate chips, blueberries, etc.
Place a nonstick skillet on the stove and turn the stove to medium to allow the pan to preheat.
In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flours, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Whisking (or sifting) allows air in, which helps ensure fluffy pancakes.
In a small bowl or a large (2 cup) liquid measuring cup, beat eggs with oil, yogurt, and milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until just incorporated. Add another splash of milk if it seems too thick–it should pour relatively easily but not be overly runny.
Spray or grease your skillet with flavorless oil (like more canola or vegetable oil). Flick a few drops of water onto the pan, if they sizzle and dance, it’s hot enough. If not, give it another minute.
Scoop batter by about 1/4 cupful onto the pan. Sprinkle a small handful of chocolate chips or blueberries onto the batter up side. Cook on the first side until the air bubbles from the baking powder’s reaction pop and leave holes on the surface of the pancake, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook through, about another minute. Our pan at home conveniently fits four pancakes at once, my pan here only fits three. Remember to always use a plastic spatula NOT metal when cooking on nonstick! Serve hot.
If you’ve got leftovers, store them in an airtight container (zip-top bag, etc) in the fridge and pop them into the toaster to reheat as desired.