Variety Flour Thursday (and Belated Breakfast Tuesday): Vegan Spelt Chai Pancakes

March 10, 2011

Breakfast Tuesday came and went this week, without my doing a darn thing about it. How does that happen? How does time pass without our taking the time to notice it? Deep meditations this morning. Well, less meditation and more baffled amazement. I decided to (try to) redeem myself for neglecting my blog duties by posting a recipe that is both breakfast AND variety flour, so you can have your breakfast delicious and good for you this week.

Just as a beverage, tea is a key component of my days, and I think about baking with tea all the time. Not only can you incorporate tea whenever there is water in a recipe, or use matcha green tea powder, but you can also do fun things like infuse butter, and I imagine you can do infuse oil  if you so desire. I love the subtle flavors and colors that tea imparts on a batter. Since it’s a breakfast recipe, I didn’t want to get too fancy, but the addition of chai to these spelt flour pancakes ups the flavor ante and makes them seem more intricately made than they actually are.

My only sort-of complaint with this recipe was how the batter came out watery, like it could barely hold itself together. My first few pancakes stuck to my skillet, even though there was ample oil to prevent it. I remedied the situation by lowering the heat and paying more attention to the amount of oil in the skillet, but would like a hearty pancake batter that could hold its own in case you wanted to add fruit or nuts. The next time I make these, I’ll probably add an extra tablespoon or two of oil to the batter.

Spelt Chai Pancakes

(Recipe adapted from Vegan Diner)

Yields between 7 and 8 pancakes

Ingredients:

½ cup boiling water

4 chai tea bags, or 4 teaspoons loose tea

½ to ¾ cup non-dairy milk, as needed

1 cup spelt flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

Pinch ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

Extra oil for greasing skillet

Method:

1. In a liquid measuring cup, steep tea bags or loose tea in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags, or strain, making sure to squeeze as much water as possible out of the tea bags or loose tea. Add milk to tea until you have one cup of liquid.

2. In a medium bowl, stir to combine dry ingredients. Add milk tea mixture and oil. Stir just to combine, being careful not to over mix.

3. While batter rests for 5 to 10 minutes, preheat skillet over medium heat. Test by dropping water on the skillet; if the water sizzles, you’re set!

4. Grease skillet with cooking spray or canola/vegetable oil. If using oil, pour a tablespoon oil into the skillet and then wipe with a paper towel until oil creates a thin layer over the surface.

5. Drop batter into skillet using a ¼ cup measuring cup and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until you see bubbles rising to the surface of pancake. Flip pancakes, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until bottom is browned. Add oil to skillet as necessary between batches.

6. Serve warm!

I know it’s not recommended, but I store my extra pancakes in the fridge (wrapped in tin foil or in an airtight container) for up to 2 days after making them, heating them up as needed for a snack or breakfast.

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