Surprisingly great whole-wheat pancakes

Saturday morning I woke up and did not want eggs, because I had had a ridiculously enormous dinner on Friday night. I desperately wanted pancakes. But because I have some sort of metabolic/blood sugar/other (???) problem, I can’t eat regular pancakes for breakfast; after about half an hour I feel sick and miserable and tired and blah, and it pretty much lasts the rest of the day. So I figured whole-wheat pancakes might solve some of these problems.

I was highly suspicious of all the whole-wheat pancake recipes I found online (and there were VERY few), but this one had two testimonials—its own and that of the website it was adapted from—so I went for it, still highly suspicious. (Also, there was one of me, but screw that. Nonmarried people deserve pancakes too.)

First I made brown sugar, but only two tablespoons (actually I REALLY remember this as being a quarter-cup, so maybe I just did this entire recipe completely wrong), and without measuring the molasses (and yes, I googled that post so I could use the recipe), and then added the oil and some vanilla. A word about the buttermilk… I didn’t have any. What I did have was some rather old milk. It smelled such that I would not have put it in my coffee or drank it, but it seemed maybe OK for pancakes. I googled around and discovered that spoiled milk is not the same as sour milk (which I already knew), and that you should not use spoiled milk. Whatever. I decided that since it was kind of old, I just wouldn’t bother to add lemon juice or vinegar to buttermilkize it. Then I thought maybe I should. Then I was unable to open my lemon juice, which was one of those little containers that looks like a lemon, so I didn’t bother.

Anyway, I added the old milk, the flour, the baking powder, and the salt, and mixed a bit. Then the lumps freaked me out, even though I KNOW pancake batter is supposed to be lumpy, so I whisked until smooth, and added the water.

Then I cooked them. They spread a LOT in the pan—I should have added less water—but were REALLY GOOD. They weren’t the fluffiest pancakes of all time, and they didn’t develop crispy edges (maybe my fault? or because I didn’t butter the pan?) but they weren’t tough, they weren’t like shoe leather or rocks or whatever you’re supposed to compare whole-wheat baked goods to. They were good and sweet and nutty and whole. Deep-tasting, textured. (I know textured sounds gross… but whole-wheat pancakes have this texture—it just feels like you’re eating something substantial and real. It’s not just fluff. I really like it.)

Yum. (Also, these were SO SUGARY. That’s probably why they were so good. You should definitely add less sugar.)

Whole-Wheat Pancakes
from Pinch of Yum and the Inquiring Chef

2 tbsp brown sugar (or possibly 1/4 c, if you are me and possibly did this completely wrong but I really can’t remember); OR 2 tbsp white sugar + approx. 1/4 tsp (to be precise, 3/8 tsp) molasses (yeah, there is no way I did this correctly; I would have remembered doing the eight years of calculations this involved)
1 egg
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla (no measuring necessary)
3/4 c buttermilk (or 3/4 c milk + 2.5 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar)
1 c whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp water (possibly)

Combine brown sugar and egg (OR make your brown sugar; then add the egg). Add other wet ingredients; add dry ingredients; stir until just combined. (I still have no idea what this means. Are giant lumps really OK? How is that not gross? Mine still had baking powder clumps as it was.)

Make pancakes. I’m not going to explain how. OK fine, I will. Pour pancake batter into a hot pan. When there are lots of bubbles and the edges are dry (or until you’re spatula-ed up a corner and seen that the bottom is the color you want), flip, and cook more. Something like that.

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