I was not always such a fan of pancakes. For starters, standing over a skillet for 20-30 minutes first thing in the morning, inevitably results in having hair that smells like frying for the rest of the day, especially if you have a small kitchen with poor ventilation. Also, more importantly, unless you have a very good recipe, the end result can be less than satisfying for the work you put in. Bad pancakes are heavy, dense and not even remotely nutritious.
Good pancakes on the other hand, are light and fluffy on the inside and ever so slightly crisp and crunchy on the outside (my preference), and can be quite healthy, with the addition of whole grains and fruit. I have found some recipes without eggs (vegan) that approach very-goodness, but I have yet to find a completely vegan recipe that I am as thrilled with as this one from the Gourmet Today Cookbook. These pancakes adapt excellently to being made with whole wheat pastry flour and also contain cornmeal, which gives them wonderful texture.
Blueberry Corn Hotcakes, adapted from Gourmet Today, 2009
A while back I believe I posted a recipe from the 2004 Gourmet cookbook that was also light and and delicious, but involved separating and whipping the egg whites — a lot of work at breakfast time. These pancakes are just as good, and require less effort. Love that!
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (do not substitute whole wheat)
3/4 cup stone ground cornmeal (not coarse “polenta” style)
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tap salt
2 large eggs (preferably organic, cage free)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or soy milk, mixed with 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar — what I always use)
3 Tbs vegan buttery sticks/margarine/butter, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (we did not have berries and the pancakes were perfectly yummy without them)
Preheat oven to 200º F
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk/soymilk-vinegar mixture, and melted butter/margarine (careful that the butter is not still piping hot, or you will scramble your eggs) in a bowl until combined. Whisk into flour mixture until just combined. Fold in berries, if using (batter will thicken as it stands).
Brush a 12-inch non-stick griddle or skillet with oil (I use spray) and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Be careful not to start out too hot, or it will be hard to get your pan to cool down — you can always turn the heat up a little if you need to. Working in batches of 3-4 (less if you are working with a smaller skillet) drop 1/4-cup measures of batter onto griddle and cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides and lightly browned, 1-2 minutes. Flip hotcakes with a spatula and cook until edges are light brown and cakes are cooked through, 1-2 minutes more. Transfer to a heatproof platter and keep warm, uncovered in the oven while you cook the remaining hotcakes. Brush or spray griddle with oil between batches and adjust heat as necessary.
Sever with warm maple syrup and butter.