These pancakes have an amazingly light, tender texture for a 100% whole wheat recipe. If you enjoy pancakes for breakfast but want a healthier version, this recipe is for you. I've sweetened the batter slightly with maple syrup because it compliments the natural nuttiness of the whole wheat flour, but you can substitute any sweetener of your choice.
My recipe is inspired by one from Cook's Illustrated. I learned a few things about pancakes from the experts there:
- There's no need to use a portion of white flour in this batter; the texture is surprisingly light and tender without it.
- Oil is preferred to butter in pancakes because it yields a golden, evenly browned pancake--butter is more likely to burn.
- There's no danger of over-mixing whole wheat batter, as is the case when using white flour. The bran in the wheat flour cuts through the gluten strands as it's mixed, and that keeps the pancakes from becoming tough. So, you can whisk this batter to your heart's content without fear of overdoing it.
Use fresh ingredients for the best results. Check expiration dates.
- Make sure your whole wheat flour is fresh--it has a considerably shorter shelf life than white flour. Whole wheat flour should be stored in the freezer if it won't be used right away.
- Make sure your baking soda and baking powder are fresh. They are the leavening ingredients. If they're old and inactive, you may have flat, dense pancakes.
Step-by-step photos for making
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:
- whole wheat flour
- baking soda
- baking powder
- vegetable oil
- maple syrup
Step 2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Create a well in the mixture.
view on Amazon: wire whisk
Step 3. Whisk the wet ingredients in a separate medium bowl.
Step 4. Pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients. Whisk until batter is smooth. It's okay if there are a few tiny lumps. The batter will be thick--don't thin it!
Step 5. Add a little oil to the bottom of a non-stick griddle or large skillet and heat on medium heat. (Set an electric griddle to 350 degrees.) Use a paper towel to wipe the oil all over the surface, leaving behind just a thin film.
view on Amazon: 12-inch non-stick skillet, non-stick stovetop griddle, electric griddle
Step 6. When the pan is fully heated, a bead of water flicked onto it should bounce, but not immediately evaporate. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup or large scoop to pour a portion of batter onto the hot pan. Use a small rubber spatula to spread the batter into a 4 to 4-1/2 inch circle.
view on Amazon: large scoop, small rubber spatula
Step 7. When bubbles form on top and just begin to pop, place a spatula (I prefer a fish spatula for this) under the edge and peek underneath to see if it's browned enough--it usually takes 2-3 minutes. Flip it over and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes until browned.
- TIP FOR FLIPPING A PERFECT PANCAKE. To get a clean, well-placed flip, slide the spatula under the pancake and raise it about 3" above the pan. Without moving your arm, flip the pancake over in one quick motion moving just your wrist. Repeat. Simply the lift pancake up and twist your wrist to turn it back over into the pan. Repeat. The pancake should land with accuracy and tidy edges. Practice a little, and you'll soon be a pro.
view on Amazon: fish spatula (safe for non-stick pans and perfect for pancakes)
To keep pancakes warm, place a cooling rack inside a baking sheet and spray it with a light coat of cooking spray. Place it in a 200 degree oven. Add cooked pancakes to the pan as they are finished. This way you can make an entire batch and serve everyone hot pancakes at the same time.
view on Amazon: 13 x 18 baking sheet (you can also get these with a lid); 12x17 cooling/baking rack (fits perfectly inside the baking sheet; rated #1 by Cooks Illustrated)
Look at that yummy stack! Some fresh fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup are all they need.
Refrigerate or freeze leftovers. Pancakes can be refrigerated in a sealed container for 1-2 days or frozen up to a month. If you freeze them, to prevent sticking place a piece of parchment or wax paper between them before adding them to a freezer Ziploc or containter.
view on Amazon: pre-cut small wax paper squares
There are two ways to reheat pancakes. They reheat amazingly well, so they're great to keep on hand in the refrigerator or freezer.
- TO REHEAT IN MICROWAVE: Place 1 or more frozen pancakes spread on a plate, uncovered, and microwave 20 seconds for 1 pancake, 45-60 seconds for 4 or 5. (If pancakes aren't frozen, microwave 1 for 15 seconds or 4 to 5 for 35-45 seconds.)
- TO REHEAT IN OVEN: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread out pancakes on a baking sheet and cover wtih foil. Bake for approx. 10 minutes until warm.
I prefer the microwave method--they turn out great--but the oven method works well, too.
Make it a Yummy day!
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes
Servings: makes 18-20 pancakes
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (plus more for greasing griddle/skillet)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (may substitute honey or granulated sugar)
- 2 large eggs
To large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; whisk to combine and form well in center.
To separate medium bowl, add buttermilk, oil, vanilla, maple syrup (or other sweetener), and eggs; whisk to combine into a uniform mixture.
Pour wet ingredients into well of dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth. (No need to be concerned about over mixing the batter when using whole wheat flour.)
Brush griddle or large non-stick skillet with 1 teaspoon oil and heat over medium heat. (Set electric griddle to 350 degrees F.) Wipe off excess oil with a paper towel, leaving a thin film of oil on the surface.
Using 1/4-cup measuring cup or large scoop drop portions of batter onto hot skillet/griddle and use a small rubber spatula to quickly spread it to a 4 to 4-1/2 inch circle. Let cook until bubbles form on top and begin to pop (2-3 minutes). Gently lift up edge with spatula to peek underneath ; when browned, flip pancake over and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until browned. Eat pancakes right away or transfer to warm oven. Continue cooking remaining batter.
TO KEEP PANCAKES WARM:
Place a rack inside a baking sheet; spray rack with cooking spray. Place in 200 degree oven. As pancakes are cooked, place them on the rack in the warm oven until ready to serve.
TO REFRIGERATE LEFTOVER PANCAKES:
Place leftover pancakes on cooling rack until completely cooled. Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
TO FREEZE PANCAKES:
Stack 4-5 pancakes with parchment paper between each and place in freezer Ziploc or airtight container. Freeze for up to 1 month.
TO REHEAT IN MICROWAVE:
Place 1 or more frozen pancakes spread on a plate, uncovered, and microwave 20 seconds for 1 pancake, 45-60 seconds for 4 or 5. (If pancakes aren't frozen, microwave 1 for 15 seconds or 4-5 for 35-45 seconds.)
TO REHEAT IN OVEN:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread out pancakes on a baking sheet and cover wtih foil. Bake for approx. 10 minutes until warm.
3 Weight Watchers SmartPoints per pancake.
These 100% whole wheat pancakes are surprisingly as soft and fluffy as white flour pancakes with the added nutrition and fiber of whole grain. They can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen. #pancakes #wholewheat #easy #makeahead #freezer #wholegrain #healthy #theyummylife