My father (aka Mo) is something of a pancake connoisseur. He spent a bit of time working at the International House of Pancakes as a short order cook during his youth. He found their pancakes to be so bland and unimpressive that he set off on a life-long mission to create the best pancake he could. This meant that I grew up with excellent pancakes. His were nutty and full of belly-satisfying whole grains. One of his secrets is the addition of honey-toasted wheat germ to the mix. Sadly, this ingredient has gotten increasingly difficult to find over the years.
Despite the challenges to find the appropriate wheat germ, he still makes a good pancake and has passed that knowledge on to me. I've always been an eager study when it comes to food and so hungrily drank in his pancake wisdom as a small child. He recommends to carefully monitor your heat, so that the insides of the pancakes cook completely before the outside gets too dark. He always greases his griddle with vegetable oil, wiping off the excess with a carefully folded paper towel. Lastly, he teaches that you know it's time to flip your cakes when the bubbles start to pop at the edges and don't close back over themselves.
In some parts of the world, tomorrow is known as Mardi Gras. Others know it as Shrove Tuesday and still others simply refer to it as Pancake Day. For those of you who like to eat a big stack of pancakes before heading into the austerity of Lent, check out the recipe for Mo's Famous Pancakes after the jump and get cooking! Mo's Famous Pancakes
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour so that they are entirely whole wheat)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
That's a basic pancake batter recipe. You can be like my dad and add a cup of honey toasted wheat germ (regular wheat germ works as well if you can't find the honey toasted kind). I like to add a cup of uncooked millet, as it gives the finished pancakes crunch and a little extra protein. You could also stir in some finely chopped pecans, they add wonderful nuttiness.
You have now made enough pancake mix for two batches. Spoon half of the mix into a resealable container and stash away.
In a large bowl, beat two eggs with 1 cup of milk (you can use half milk and half buttermilk if you want to give your cakes a slightly tangy flavor). Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil and stir briefly. Spoon in the half of the pancake mix that you are using, incorporating into the wet ingredients in batches. If it feels too stiff, you can add a little bit more milk.
Heat your griddle or skillet over medium high heat and grease it lightly with a little vegetable oil (butter burns too easily). Pour your batter onto the griddle in approximately quarter cup increments. They cook quickly, so don't wander away during this process. They are ready to turn when the bubbles on the outer edge of the cake pop and stay mostly open.
Serve with butter and maple syrup, jam or honey. They are excellent reheated the next day if you have leftover.
Filed Under: Ingredients
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