Friday, January 14, 2011

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I can’t remember exactly when I started cooking with whole-wheat, but my kids don’t know a difference. They have probably only had white bread a couple times in their life. They eat whole wheat pasta, and when they eat rice, they eat brown rice. I usually try to find bread that has at least 3 grams of fiber per slice. I’m a whole grain freak. I think it started when I was trying to get my cholesterol down 7 years ago. So, I’ve definitely been doing it since before the kids were born. I know that some people think that they don’t like whole wheat, but if you keep trying different combinations, you will find something that you like.

I change all of my recipes to whole-wheat. I usually use only whole-wheat flour without adding any white flour for my recipes. The only time I have a problem is with bread. I’m still trying to tweak my bread recipes. I need to do more research on gluten and where to find it. So, if any of you know about this, let me know! But, for my muffins and pancakes I use only whole-wheat flour. My recipe for Whole-Wheat pancakes is below. You can add any kind of add-ins you like. We add Chocolate Chips sometimes. You could try Blueberries also, but my kids don’t like real blueberries in baked goods.

Also, I always put less sugar in recipes than some people do. I’m always trying to figure out how little sugar I can get away with in a recipe before it becomes unpalatable. So, if you like your stuff sweeter, I would up the amount of sugar a little. But truthfully, with the chocolate chips and syrup (if you use it), they’re probably sweet enough! I made these pancakes yesterday for lunch and my kids finished all of them except one. This makes about 10 medium sized pancakes.

Funny story about these pancakes. A couple weeks ago we were going to give the kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. But, we didn't have any bread. So, we grabbed some leftover pancakes and they had peanut butter, jelly and pancake sandwiches. Sometimes as a parent, you've got to get creative! No bread, no problem. So, here we go!

Whole Wheat Pancakes

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
¼ cup White Sugar
2 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
2 eggs
1 ½ cups Milk (I use fat-free. Any kind would work. I’ve even used Almond Milk before)
¼ cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
Chocolate Chips (as many as you’d like)

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Mix all wet ingredients separately. I usually add my wet ingredients to my dry ingredients and mix together until just combined. I watched Alton Brown on one of his shows when he was talking about pancakes and he said don’t over-mix! If there are lumps, they’ll work themselves out while they cook. Since it is whole-wheat flour, it is best to let it sit for 15 minutes before you start cooking so that the flour has time to “soak up” the liquid. This apparently makes them softer and cakier. I didn’t know this until last week. I read it my King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains (King Arthur Flour Cookbooks) cookbook.
So, apparently my pancakes have not been as good as they could have been for the last 6 years! Live and Learn.

Heat the griddle or pan over medium high heat. I always try to start not too hot. I’ve burned a whole lot of pancakes in my life! You know it’s hot enough when you drop a teeny bit of water on the pan and the water “dances”. At this point, I usually take a stick of butter and grease the pan. I wipe the excess off with a paper towel. Next, get your ladle! I have found that my ladle is perfect for getting just the right amount of batter onto the griddle/pan. After I ladle the batter on, I add the chocolate chips. Use as many as you’d like. I usually use about 6 – 8 per pancake. It’s time to flip when you see bubbles that are “set”. You can usually use your spatula to look at the bottom and see if it’s as golden as you’d like before you try to flip. When you’re ready, flip! Cook on the other side until they’re the color you like and they look like they’re baked all the way through. And voila! Whole-wheat yumminess!

If you’re still unsure of trying whole wheat, you could start by using 1 cup whole-wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose white flour. Good Luck!

If you already use whole wheat flour, do you have any tips and tricks?

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