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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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  • Hi Nikki, I've been meaning to leave a comment on so many of your posts, however it seems every time i've finished reading i leave the laptop to get to the phone or whatever mundane task takes away my attention. Not this time however! I too love the look of those fluffy American stacks o' pancakes... and the dripping syrup and slowly oozing pad of butter... but alas my heart always turns to the frenchie style of crepes. Your pancakes for today look abdolustely divine... and I am totally sold on the fibre aspect. Shall give these a go in a few weeks... I've had my fill of buttery goodness today :)

    By Blogger deborah, at 3/01/2006 12:14:00 am  

  • Omg how fantastic does the pancake stack look!

    Dammit, I should have done that too, it makes them look so much more decadent.

    As you saw on my blog, I did the boring circle of pancakes on a plate. Yawn.

    xox Sarah

    By Blogger Sarah, at 3/01/2006 12:56:00 am  

  • Although these look sublime, I just can't bring myself to break with this tradition on the day itself - they have to be the thin ones for me today!

    By Blogger Sam, at 3/01/2006 02:21:00 am  

  • I've never heard of Pancake Day either. Shame on me!

    It's too late now for breeakfast but perhaps I could have pancakes for dinner. :-)


    By Blogger Pim, at 3/01/2006 05:54:00 am  

  • Ok, this is a bit odd. I was reading your journal, and considering commenting that I've never heard of pancake day. I'm american, and I guess it's more of a UK thing from the website. Then, as I was scrolling the comments, NPR playing in the background, they did a mini-piece on Mardi Gras, including mentioning that it's also known as Shrove Tuesday, or pancake day.

    The first time I've heard of pancake day, and I hear about it twice in the span of about 30 seconds. Odd. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/01/2006 08:03:00 am  

  • Oh yes they look tempting. And I'm glad to see that low GI wholemeal virtue is cunningly offset by a big lump of butter. But to weigh into the thin v thick debate, I too have blogged my preference for the thin lemon and sugar version!

    By Blogger Reb, at 3/01/2006 08:53:00 am  

  • I totally agree with you, wholemeal pancakes are jsut as good & I love them too. Always nice to think you are being a bit healthy too!

    By Blogger Ange, at 3/01/2006 11:10:00 am  

  • Hi Niki - I've never heard of Pancake day either and unfortunately just now (at almost 10 PM on what is apparently pancake day) read yours and Nic's blogs - darn! I may have to celebrate it a little late - yours look delicious!

    By Blogger Cathy, at 3/01/2006 01:59:00 pm  

  • I've tucked this one into my "Recipes to Try" Folder. Trying to substitute with wholemeal flour can be tricky so it's great to have something designed for it. And the black and white plate ? is a great background!

    By Blogger plum, at 3/01/2006 09:22:00 pm  

  • Plum - I actually also have a wholemeal chocolate & nut cake which was fabulous and some wholemeal choc chip cookies on my site. Should be listed in my baking archives. :-)

    Saffron - Thank you so much for your kind words! I agree that I love the thin pancakes, but these were nice for a change.

    Sarah - Yes, but your 'cakes were beautifully, perfectly round!

    Sam - Yes, I understand! :-)

    Pim - Welcome to a new (and wonderful) tradition! Something defninitely to make in your feasting calendar!

    Julie - hehe. Odd indeed! It's funny; I never thought pancake Tuesday was a British thing; I thought it was world wide. I think it's also celebrated in the German-speaking world, actually? But I could be wrong there.

    Reb - Not much butter though, for 12 pancakes! Although it was very tasty to slather each cake in lots of butter and syrup. Yum!

    Ang - I'm really coming around to wholemeal flour. I love the texture and flavour of it. Plus I use an organic, stone-ground flour I just get in my local supermarket, which isn't much more expensive than the plain white stuff!

    Cathy - Oh, but you must. What better excuse to make pancakes!

    By Blogger Niki, at 3/02/2006 10:47:00 am  

  • I'm just glad I could help, Niki. They really look fantastic!

    By Blogger Nic, at 3/02/2006 10:55:00 am  

  • Nic - thanks, and thank you!

    Owen - I like your style! Gin; what a fabulous idea!!!

    By Blogger Niki, at 3/03/2006 12:55:00 pm  

  • Hi Niki, googled to your site because I had buttermilk, wholemeal flour and wanted to make pancake. I made some adaptations to your recipe. One ingredient I do not have is baking soda so I decided to adapt - allow 1 hour for the batter to set (hey, this is a vital part of other pancake recipes :-) to give the baking powder more time to rise. I also mixed the batter well, as otherwise there would be large lumps of unbroken wholemeal flour.

    My pancakes did not taste as expected; I thought I'd be getting large pikelets. The pancakes were floppy, and a bit dense.

    Taste test: It wasn't burnt. It was filling. It was too floppy for my preference. It was too dense for my choice. It was cooked. It was bland. Only lots of syrup or topping would make my recipe appealing.

    What does the correct pancake from your recipe taste like? Texture-wise, flavour-wise?

    Thanks, Sockii

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/12/2007 10:51:00 am  

  • hi

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/05/2010 02:21:00 am  

  • By Blogger jimmychooshoes, at 8/20/2010 01:30:00 pm  

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