Multigrain Pancakes

Published November 1, 2006.

Why this recipe works:

We found the secret to a light and fluffy whole-grain pancake recipe in a package of muesli, a mixture of raw whole oats, wheat germ, rye, barley, toasted nuts, and dried fruit. But pancakes made with whole muesli were chewy and gummy, so we converted the muesli into a flour (in the food… read more

We found the secret to a light and fluffy whole-grain pancake recipe in a package of muesli, a mixture of raw whole oats, wheat germ, rye, barley, toasted nuts, and dried fruit. But pancakes made with whole muesli were chewy and gummy, so we converted the muesli into a flour (in the food processor) and then set out to find the perfect combination of muesli "flour," all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, and leavening to achieve a properly light whole-grain pancake recipe.

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16 (4-inch) pancakes, serves 4 to 6

Familia-brand no-sugar-added muesli is the best choice for this recipe. If you can't find Familia, look for Alpen or any no-sugar-added muesli. (If you can't find muesli without sugar, muesli with sugar added will work; reduce the brown sugar in the recipe to 1 tablespoon.) Mix the batter first and then heat the pan. Letting the batter sit while the pan heats will give the dry ingredients time to absorb the wet ingredients, otherwise the batter will be runny. Unless you have a pastry brush with heatproof bristles, a paper towel is the best means of coating the pan surface with oil. Pancakes will hold for 20 minutes when placed on a greased rack set on a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven. Serve with maple syrup or Apple, Cranberry, and Pecan Topping (see related recipe).

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups no-sugar-added muesli (6 ounces), plus an additional 3 tablespoons
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (3 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (2 3/4 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. 1. Whisk lemon juice and milk together in medium bowl or 4-cup measuring cup; set aside to thicken while preparing other ingredients.

    2. Process 1 1/4 cups muesli in food processor until finely ground, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes; transfer to large bowl. Add remaining 3 tablespoons unground muesli, flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk to combine.

    3. Whisk eggs, melted butter, and vanilla into milk until combined. Make well in center of dry ingredients in bowl; pour in milk mixture and whisk very gently until just combined (few streaks of flour and lumps should remain). Do not overmix. Allow batter to sit while pan heats.

    4. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon oil and brush to coat skillet bottom evenly. Following instructions below, add 1 tablespoon batter to gauge temperature of pan. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto 3 spots in skillet, using bottom of ladle to spread batter smooth if necessary. Cook pancakes until small bubbles begin to appear evenly over surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and cook until golden brown on second side, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer. Serve immediately. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing surface of pan lightly with oil between batches and adjusting heat if necessary.

Technique

Let That Batter Rest

To get light, fluffy pancakes, it's important to let the batter rest while the pan heats (a full five minutes).

Properly rested batter will maintain its shape when poured into the pan and will produce tall and fluffy pancakes.

The flour needs this time to absorb all the liquid, thus ensuring that the batter sets up properly. Skip this step and the pancakes will run together in the pan and cook up flat, not to mention misshapen.

Recipe Testing

Multigrain Makeover

Some multigrain pancake recipes load up on unprocessed grains-great for flavor but bad for texture. To avoid gummy, chewy pancakes, we made our own multigrain "flour" by processing store-bought muesli cereal in a food processor. To give our pancakes a subtle hint of that hearty whole grain texture, we added a few tablespoons of unprocessed muesli to the batter.

Perfect Combo: Processing some muesli into "flour" and...

Too Toothsome: Pancakes made with unprocessed muesli had great flavor but too much chew.

...leaving some whole gave us great texture.

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