Thursday, December 28, 2017

Recipe - Whole Wheat Blender Pancake - in a blender!

In my recent experiments grinding my own wheat flour from wheat berries, I came across a recipe to make whole wheat pancakes in the blender.  No bowls to wash and I get to use my Vitamix?  Sold!

The original recipe came from Mel's Kitchen Cafe [recipe HERE].

Photo from Mel's Kitchen Cafe


Doesn't it look great?

My first attempt using this recipe was a disaster.  Following the directions to blend for 3 minutes in Step 1 yielded a thick batter that looked more like dough AND was steaming when I opened the lid.  I should have taken that as a hint.  Proceeded to add the rest of the ingredients as the directions state and it quickly became clear that it was too thick to blend and my awesomely powerful Vitamix was starting to overheat.  In a final attempt to save this, I added yet more liquid and tried to cook it.  Bad idea.  The batter remained gooey in the middle and wouldn't solidify.  That one got binned.

Never having messed up on pancake before, I looked in the comments and discovered quite a number of other people who had similar issues with the recipe when using a high powered blender like the Vitamix or Blendtec!

Attempt #2 began with only half the recipe.  Partially because I was cooking for 2 kids under 5 years and partially because I wouldn't feel as bad if this batch was also botched.  Below is my modified version of Mel's recipe that works with Vitamix or Blendtec blenders.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup wheat berries/kernels
  • 1/2 cup milk + 
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine the wheat berries/kernels and the buttermilk in a high powered blender [like Vitamix or Blendtec] and blend on high for 30 seconds - 1 min, until the mixture is smooth and thick.
  2. Add the 1/2 cup milk and the remaining ingredients and blend until the batter is smooth [about another 30 sec].
  3. Cook the batter on a hot griddle for pancakes or in a waffle iron for, well, waffles!

NOTES ABOUT THE RECIPE

This version of the recipe is especially tailored for high powered blenders like Vitamix or Blendtec.  You can definitely still make pancakes in a regular blender but your blend time would be 3 times as long.  Mel did state that there are no substitutions for the whole wheat berries for this recipe.  I assume that's because 1 cup of freshly blended wheat berries DOES NOT EQUAL 1 cup of store bought wheat flour.  Its the same concept of 1 cup of sugar vs 1 cup of packed sugar.


NOTES ABOUT THE FINAL PANCAKE

Final pancake is soft, yummy and filling.  It is however, no where near as fluffy.  This is inherent to WHEAT FLOUR (store bought or freshly milled) in any pancake recipe.  I imagine you can retain some of the fuffiness by substituting half of the wheat flour with white flour.  You'll have to weigh the wheat berries before blending and only use half the weight.  Then add in the white flour after the step 1.  I have not tried this so it is all theoretical at this point.  I did also notice that adding in agave yielded a flatter pancake than just sugar.


POSSIBLE FUTURE ALTERATIONS

We have grown accustomed to eating Japanese style pancakes (AKA hottokeki or hot cakes) which are fluffier and sweeter.  This is due to their using CAKE FLOUR and a larger amount of baking powder.  Having tried making hottokei with store bought wheat flour before, I know that a wheat based pancake batter will never be as fluffy as its counterpart.  Nevertheless, I would still like to try meld the best of both worlds given how easy it is to make in a blender!  In the mean time, here's my favorite hottokeki recipe: http://bossacafez.blogspot.com/2012/08/japanese-pancakes.html?m=1

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