Batter Up! 3 Ways to Remix Your Pancakes
There’s nothing wrong with old-fashioned pancakes; but it never hurts to upgrade your brunch favorites with some new techniques. Boost the flavors (and nutrition) of ordinary flapjacks with these alternative bases.
1. Go Whole-Grain
Don’t limit yourself to all-purpose flour! Explore new tastes and textures by swapping in one of these whole-grain flours instead. Each substitute can be found in the baking section of most grocery and health food stores.
- Spelt: Spelt is a type of wheat that’s an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals. Slightly darker than all-purpose flour, spelt flour has a sweet, nutty flavor.
- Rye: Similar to barley, rye flour is a common cereal grain with lower gluten content and substantially more fiber than wheat flour. It’s marked by a slightly sour flavor.
- Buckwheat: Despite its name, buckwheat flour isn’t part of the wheat family at all. It’s actually gluten-free. Cup for cup, it has about 100 less calories and three more grams of protein than all-purpose flour. Because of its light texture and earthy flavor, buckwheat is commonly added to pancakes, waffles, and noodles (like Japanese soba).
- Oat: Oat flour is simply pulverized oats, making it an easy ingredient to make at home in a food processor. Boasting plenty of protein and healthy fats, oat flour is lower in carbohydrates than most other whole-grain flours and contains more soluble fiber than any other grain. Much like oatmeal and spelt, oat flour has a sweet, nutty flavor.
Tip: It’s best to mix in equal parts all-purpose flour and whole-grain flour to keep the batter from becoming too dense.
2. Up the Eggs
Increasing the ratio of eggs and milk to flour helps turn your thick pancakes into lacy, delicate crepes. From Dutch baby cakes to pannkakor (Swedish pancakes), here’s a few international options to help you pinpoint your preference:
- American Buttermilk Pancakes: Fluff up your traditional pancakes by adding a larger dose of liquid and two large eggs per batch.
- Dutch Baby Pancakes: Bake egg-rich batter in a buttered cast iron pan for a decadent Dutch baby pancake that’s as versatile as it is delicious.
- Crepes: For traditional crepes, add three eggs and two cups of milk to one cup of flour, creating a thin, springy texture that can be rolled with soft cheese and fruit, thinly sliced ham and gruyere, or Nutella and banana.
- Swedish Pancakes: Whip up a standard batch of pannkakor with four eggs, two cups of milk, and only a 1/2 cup of flour. The texture should be somewhere between omelettes and pancakes, and are ideally served with whipped cream and jam.
3. Substitute for Savory
- Shredded cheddar and scallions: Take a page out of the omelet playbook by adding a sharp cheese and spicy onion. Serve with butter and a drizzle of honey for a sweet and salty combo.
- Thinly-shredded zucchini and Parmesan: This is a little nod to the classic Italian combination of sweet summer squash and salty Parmesan cheese (and a great way to sneak a few veggies into your kid’s diet). Try it with a dollop of crème fraiche or a swipe of sweet tomato jam.
- Crispy bacon bits: Pancakes and bacon are a surprising but classic combo. The salty, rich pork plays off the mild sweetness of pancakes and pure maple syrup.
- Thinly-sliced jalapeños and chorizo: This Mexican-inspired pairing adds a spark to regular pancakes. Spicy, savory, and strangely addictive, these pancakes are delicious topped with a fried egg and a dash of hot sauce.