September 27, 2011
There are those mornings where everything is awesome, then continues to be awesome throughout the day. Example: I woke up early! I went for a long run! I sat down and studied! I made/wrote/published my awesome Breakfast Tuesday post! Yeah! Ready for the day! (Cue variation of the ready-for-the-day dance.)
Then there are those mornings where everything seems awesome, then something goes horribly wrong, points out all the other failings of the morning, and then you have to stifle tears of frustration all throughout the day. Example: I woke up early! I went for a run! I took out my books to study! I made my breakfast and… burnt it to crisp! I didn’t even wake up that early! I whined inside my head the entire time I was running! The thought of studying made me so nervous I almost had a minor panic attack! I can’t do this! (Cue laying on the carpet and staring at the ceiling.)
If you haven’t guessed by now, this morning was more the second than the first. I thought everything was good, and if not good than pretty standard, and then I destroyed my breakfast and couldn’t help but look back on the morning and begrudge myself for everything. Seems dramatic because it totally is. I realized how very dramatic it all was just before I resorted to spending my day off curled up, most likely in the fetal position, on my carpet. I took a breath and sat down, looked out the window and watched the sun bounce on and off the leaves. Enter perspective. I’m only human, and if burning my breakfast is the worst thing to happen all day then it’s a darn good one. Still hungry, I got up and went to work on a second pancake. The only thing I had to do differently was lower the heat. That’s it. Problem solved and breakfast on the table. Can I apply this reasoning to everything else today? Who knows. For now, enjoy a skillet apple pancake and say “Hello” to fall!
Skillet Apple Pancake
(Recipe adapted from delish.com, originally “Puffy Apple Pancake”)
Yields one 8 to 9 inch pancake, perfect either for yourself, if you’re also a breakfast monster, or two people
Notes: I substituted oat flour for all-purpose and brown sugar for granulated, so I imagine this recipe is ripe for any number of flour-sugar combinations. My only concern is that I didn’t add any baking soda to balance the acidity of the brown sugar, though I’m not sure it’s important when the quantities are this low. I could be wrong! I used a Cortland apple instead of Granny Smith, so it seems like you could use any apple that you would use in an apple pie or crisp – one that will retain its shape and texture when baked. As for the slicing, you can dice the apple as well. I made some slices thicker for varied texture, but none of the slices were over half an inch thick.
1 medium to large apple (see note), cored, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup oat flour (see note)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (see note)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup milk
Optional (but delicious): Powdered sugar for serving
1. In medium mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt together. Whisk in egg, vanilla, and milk until just combined. The batter will probably be lumpy, which is totally fine.
2. In an 8 or 9-inch skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. When butter is melted, add apple slices. You don’t have to do any meticulous apple slice arranging, just make sure the apples are distributed as evenly as possible over the bottom of the skillet. Pour batter evenly over apple slices. Cover skillet with lid or aluminum foil.
3. Bake pancake, covered, over medium-low heat 10 to 12 minutes. Keep an eye on it after 8 minutes though, as it seems like this pancake wants desperately to burn.
4. When top of pancake is dry and puffy, and edges are golden brown, take off the heat. Put a plate, large enough to cover the skillet with room to spare, upside down over top of skillet. Using potholders, flip skillet upside down over plate, so the apple side of the pancake is now the top.
We all know I love me some pancakes, yes sir-ee. Pancakes might, in fact, be my favorite Breakfast Tuesday treat and may well be the reason I started posting breakfast recipes once a week. That and this website, amazing. Every time I gush about pancakes as a food item, the first thing I point out is how easy they are to manipulate. You could find a way to incorporate any type of flour, wheat, oat, or corn product and you could probably find a way to use any and all types of fruit (though that adventure would require a little more culinary creativity, it could be done).
I fell in love with this pancake recipe on account of the brown sugar, something I don’t normally see, and the use of oat bran/wheat germ. Wheat germ is something that I use weekly, as a topping for various hot cereals, but never have I used it as an ingredient in a baked good. In fact, that really hadn’t occurred to me until just recently, when I came across Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for wheat germ cookies. And oat bran, well, it’s a little embarrassing that I don’t think I’ve EVER even bought oat bran. I liked it well enough in cereal and didn’t really think I’d have any use for plain ol’ oat bran. Boy was I wrong. These ingredients not only added an amazing textural contrast to the juicy blueberries but also upped the flavor quotient, turning what can be a sometimes-bland breakfast treat into an interesting meal. I’d like to think these are kinda-sorta healthy, but try not to delude myself like that too often.
The only thing I’d do differently next time is separate the eggs and whisk the whites before folding them into the batter. I’m not sure if that would do anything, but it’d be worth a try to see if there are any changes in overall fluffiness.
Enjoy, and happy Breakfast Tuesday everyone!
Whole Grain Blueberry Pancakes with Oat Bran and Wheat Germ
(Adapted from Pinch my Salt)
Yields 16 to 18 pancakes using a ¼ cup measure
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup wheat germ
½ cup oat bran
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 to 1 ½ cups blueberries (I’m sure different berries would work, too.)
(If using a cast-iron skillet, preheat over medium heat.)
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. Set aside.
2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together milk, sour cream, and eggs.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until just combined.
4. Stir in butter and blueberries. (Optional step: Let batter sit for 10 minutes. I’m not sure why this works science-wise, but my pancakes tend to cook more evenly and have a better texture after resting.)
5. Scoop batter into greased, preheated skillet by the ¼ cupful, cooking pancakes on each side over medium heat until brown on each side. (You will know pancakes are ready to flip when the edges are dry and bubbles start to pop up in batter.)
Serve immediately, or, if you’re me, keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days, reheating as necessary
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
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
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.