Monday, May 17, 2010

Pancakes with Fiber - but don't tell anyone

I like pancakes for breakfast on weekend mornings. Not the banal, overly leavened things you get from certain mixes, but a nice, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth pancake. Unfortunately, they tend not to be so good for you -- lots of sugar and not much fiber.

Why can't something that tastes so good have fiber that is so good for you? It can!

Sneaky Pancakes
1-1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
4 tablespoons sugar
1-3/4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (add up to a second if you prefer heavier cinnamon flavor)
2 eggs
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cup milk

Mix the dry ingredients together. Beat eggs and milk together, then add butter (mix well while adding to prevent the butter from lumping). Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring to combine. A few small lumps should remain. Let rest for 1/2 hour or so.

Heat griddle. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter on the griddle and let cook until bubbles form and pop on the top surface. Carefully lift the edge to check how brown the underside is. If the underside is brown, flip and let finish cooking until the bottom browns.

This recipe should make about 8 - 10 small pancakes.

When I make the pancakes, I preheat my oven to about 170°F (77°C) so I can keep them warm until they are all done. Then we can sit down and eat breakfast together instead of one person eating while the other cooks (and then eats alone).

The wheat bran I use is 8 grams of dietary fiber per 1/3 cup (not really great, but think how bad it is without the bran). Split between two servings, that's not great, but it's a little better than most US cereals.

This recipe uses a bit more fluid than most recipes, but that is because bran is often somewhat dry, which is why it gets compared to cardboard. The eggs in particular add a richness that offsets the coarseness of the bran, providing a much more luxurious mouth-feel and tenderness.

I like how the cinnamon comes out in this recipes. I think it helps distract you from thinking about how "healthy" the pancakes are. Then again, I really like cinnamon.

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