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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Wholemeal pancakes for Shrove Tuesday


Shrove Tuesday aka Pancake Tuesday aka Mardi Gras today. Can you believe one of my workmates had never, ever in his life heard of pancake day? Where's he been living? One would think not in Australia, because it's pretty popular here. My family weren't particularly religious, but we always celebrated pancake Tuesday with hot pancakes for breakfast before going to school. It's a popular commercial event now, but I'd hazard a guess that not many kids nowdays know how it came about or of its significance in the church calendar?

Ever since I'd seen this recipe for wholemeal pancakes on Nic's blog I'd been thinking I'd give them a go on Shrove Tuesday. Usually we make thin style English pancakes that you sprinkle with lemon and sugar and then roll into a cigar. But I've always wanted to try my hand at those thick, fluffy, hefty American style pancakes that you get in restaurants when you're on holiday. The fact that Nic's recipe used wholemeal flour and low-fat buttermilk helped make my decision. Wholemeal flour is lower GI and has good-for-you fibre in it. Hmmm, yeah, ok, trying to convince people of the value of fibre in a pancake? Not easy. I have to admit everyone I told was pretty underwhelmed or horrified at the idea of healthy wholemeal pancakes. "Why bother?!" "Can't you just use a normal recipe?!" Well, if I'm going to make pancakes, at least I can make them healthily, and I can enjoy them. That's why! :-P

But these don't taste good-for-you healthy. These just taste really good. The wholemeal flour gives them a really interesting nutty flavour. And whoa, do they have heft. They're not heavy but they're really filling. Hearty, hefty American pancakes with flavour AND fibre. I actually found the first few a bit too thick for my Aussie girl liking, so thinned out the mixture with milk until I started getting the thinner, floppier pancakes I'm used to. I didn't have any maple syrup for the mixture or to drizzle over them, but I do have good old Aussie traditional golden syrup, which has always been my favourite for pancakes. Mmmmm.....look at that melting butter and dripping golden syrup flowing over the crispy pancake edges...
I've always wanted to do one of those stack-o-pancake photos, so I indulged myself. I'm quite happy with them. They look very moreish and evidently my family thought so; I've come home to only 2 left! Nic, thank you for a great recipe idea, and a way I can enjoy pancakes with a little less guilt.
Read on for the recipe:


Wholemeal buttermilk pancakes
Adapted (with thanks) from
Baking Sheet


2 cups wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1 cup buttermilk
1 or 2 cups milk (depending on the thickness you prefer)
2 eggs
2 tbsp melted butter
4 tbsp golden syrup (or maple)

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and allspice in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, milk, egg, butter and maple syrup. You can prepare up to this stage in advance and keep both bowls in the fridge overnight to have pancakes without fuss for breakfast the next morning.

Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just barely combined (still lumpy).

Heat a lightly greased frying pan over medium-high heat. Drop batter in in rounds. (Nic suggests 3 inches, but I think mine were a bit bigger and misshapen!) Cook about 1 1/2 minutes per side, until browned. Second side will take slightly less time than the first side. Serve drowing in syrup, or with savoury toppings.

Makes approx: 12.

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