Even though I’ve had a mainly vegetarian diet for many years, I’ve never really been much of a wholegrain type of vegetarian. Perhaps this has been a reaction to the overly virtuous, heavily wholemeal vegetarian food of the 1970s and ’80s. Recently, so many different flours and ancient grains have become readily available that it’s all become overwhelming: I’m already struggling to contain the chaos in my pantry, let alone if I embrace a range of new flours and grains.
I was late to jump on the quinoa bandwagon and became a reluctant convert, because it’s yet another thing to keep as a staple in my cupboard. Then, when I made Kim Boyce’s spectacular wholemeal chocolate chip cookies a few months ago with spelt wholemeal flour, and have been using it as my wholemeal flour of choice and slipping some in banana bread and other cakes with excellent results, there was not a murmur of a complaint from the kids – which is a good thing because, what the worth of a cake which won’t be eaten by children?
The ingredient list in these pancakes has nothing too scarily exotic on it though. The oat flour is made by whizzing some rolled oats in a blender or food processor. The only thing that made me baulk at this recipe was the addition of cooked oats from leftover porridge. The idea of waiting until I had a cup of left over porridge or, even worse, cooking some oatmeal and having to wash up a porridge pot to make pancakes seemed like way to much work. So, I just poured a cup of boiling water over a three-quarter cup of rolled oats and let them sit overnight. That was a great solution to the problem. If you forget to soak your oats the night before, a quick soak in boiling water for half an hour or so will also do the trick.
These pancakes are worth the extra effort. They are immensely satisfying and sustaining and there’s none of that bloated feeling that a traditional pancake breakfast can leave you with. I’ve even made them with white spelt flour, which makes them even more nutritionally dense and protein rich. This pancake batter is best cooked as soon as it is prepared but I’ve used leftover batter the next day for breakfast and it has still been good. This is as close as you will get to a virtuous pancake which, in itself, is a remarkable, remarkable thing.
Kim Boyce’s Oatmeal Pancakes
Makes about 16-18 pancakes
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup of oat flour (¾ rolled cup of oats blended until fine in blender or food processor)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoons sea salt
- 1¼ cups of milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup of cooked oatmeal (left over from porridge or 2/3 cup of rolled oats, with a cup of boiling water poured over them and left overnight)
- 1 tablespoon of molasses or 1 tablespoon honey
- 1¼ cups of milk
- 2 large eggs
- Extra butter for greasing pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together oat flour, plain flour, milk, baking powder, salt and two tablespoons of sugar.
- In a large bowl, whisk together, cooked oatmeal, molasses or honey, eggs and butter until well combined. Then gently fold in flour mix until just mixed. Be careful not to over work the batter or your pancakes will be tough. It should be light and fluffy with a few bubbles in it.
- Heat cast iron pan until some drops of water sizzle on it. Grease the pan with butter and drop ¼ cup of batter on to the pan. These pancakes are smaller and slightly more delicate to cook than normal pancakes. Cook on low medium heat, until golden on both sides. Serve immediately or keep in a low oven (100°C) until they are all cooked and ready to serve.
- These pancakes are more filling than normal pancakes. I have served these to my champion pancake eaters and they’ve both been only able to manage to eat three of them each.