One week from tomorrow, my teeny tiny baby girl will leave home and enter the the big kid world of elementary school…aka morning kindergarten. As much as I hated hearing it when I was knee deep in the world of diapers and spit-up, the baby and preschool years really did fly by! I have absolutely loved being a (mostly) stay-at-home mom, planning playdates, teaching our girls the basics of our family’s values, and just the process of helping and watching them grow. In an attempt to give her (and Ellie) a nutrient dense start to their school days, I’ve been busy stocking our freezer with nourishing food that will fill their bellies without taking a long time to prepare. One of the foods both girls absolutely love are these 100% whole wheat buttermilk pancakes. However, I am a realist, and know that making pancakes from scratch on a school morning is not going to happen! For that reason, I’ve rewritten this 100% whole wheat buttermilk pancakes recipe to use an entire quart of buttermilk. You can easily cut the recipe in half and still have a couple dozen cakes, but it seems that whenever I do that, the rest of the buttermilk ends up spoiling in the fridge and going to waste.
Now, making this many pancakes at once does take quite a bit of flipping, so be sure to set aside a full hour of your day to get them done. However, you will be rewarded over and over when you’ve stocked your freezer with four to five dozen pancakes. Once the pancakes have cooled, freeze them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a labeled and dated freezer bag. (This method will keep the pancakes individually frozen, not all clumped and mushed together.) When the morning rush seems like more than you can possibly handle, pull out some pancakes, pop them in the toaster, set out some fruit, and order will be restored to all. (Okay, that may have been a bit too much to promise. But, at least everyone will get some breakfast.)
If seeing the ingredient “white whole wheat” flour sounds like an oxymoron to you, let me clear that up for you. White whole wheat flour is 100% whole grain, and one of my favorite flours for baking. It is made from hard white wheat, as opposed to hard red winter wheat (the dense chewy kind that makes baked goods taste heavy). This gives it a lighter texture, color, and flavor while still offering a heaping portion of whole grains. White whole wheat has been popular in Europe for centuries. It is just as nutritious as red wheat, but with a more mild, sweet flavor. It is also less dense. White whole wheat is a good source of manganese, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium. It also helps you maintain a stable blood sugar level. (I just copied that from the “Ingredients” section of my cookbook. Did you all know that I share the health benefits of every single ingredient used in every single recipe?!?)
Okay, now that we’ve got that straightened out…here’s the recipe! Enjoy!!!
100% Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes
4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 quart cultured buttermilk
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick, preferably organic), plus more for the griddle
Melt butter and let cool for about 5 minutes.
Heat a griddle or large flat skillet over medium heat while you prepare your batter.
Combine your dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients listed under “dry ingredients”. Stir well to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
Combine your wet ingredients: In a second mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and milk. When eggs are fully scrambled, whisk in slightly cooled butter. It will start to solidify in little chunks. Keep whisking, this is fine.
Test your skillet: Flick a drop of room temperature water onto skillet. If it sizzles and dances around the skillet for a few seconds before evaporating, you are good to go. If the water just stands there, wait another minute and/or turn your heat up a notch. If it evaporates instantly, turn your heat down a notch.
Combine your batter: When skillet is ready, stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until combined. (Do not over stir or they won’t be as light and fluffy as you want!)
Make your pancakes: Brush griddle with just a bit of butter. Add batter, 1/4 cup at a time to griddle, leaving at least a 1/2 inch between each pancake. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes on the first side, until the edges are set and small bubbles creep up to the top. Flip and cook for another minute, until second side has reached a golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool. Repeat, repeat, repeat, and remind yourself how grateful you are going to be for all of these pancakes on busy mornings. Then repeat again.
Troubleshooting: If your pancakes are too dark, turn down your heat a notch. About halfway through your pancake making, take a moment to wipe away the old butter. It will be super browned by now and can cause your pancakes to get too dark prematurely.
Notes: These pancakes are naturally vegetarian and nut-free. I have not tried making a gluten-free version of this particular recipe, but see no reason why it wouldn’t work equally well using Pamela’s gluten-free baking blend. (That’s the one I’ve previously used for gluten-free pancakes.) If desired, stir a pint of fresh or frozen blueberries into the batter just before scooping the pancakes. When kept properly frozen, these taste fresh for a good 8 – 10 weeks.
Disclosure: I am fully aware that I may be just a tiny bit over dramatic about Annie starting kindergarten. Especially since it’s only morning kindergarten and three hours a day. BUT I CANT HELP IT!! It is such a big milestone!!! (I will be the mom crying on the first day. My poor husband.)