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Recipe Test: A Favourite Fluffy Pancake Recipe Gone Wrong

Toronto Food Safety Training Tip: "Whey is the yellowish liquid that is leftover after milk is curdled. It has a long shelf life and can last up to 6 months in the refrigerator". If it smells unappetizing or changes colour, time to toss.

The COVID-19 virus continues to plague our world. Home cooks and chefs around the globe are busy cooking up a storm to keep their sanity. And so I cook.

I woke up this morning feeling well and ready to nourish my body. I decided I wanted something different for brunch. My usual brekky would be steel cut oats, berries, and milk or fresh fruit with organic whole grain cereal. Today was going to be different. I craved my fluffy pancake recipe which I will share with you at the end of this post. The thing about that recipe is that it is white carbs. Being isolated and not moving as much made me rethink this recipe. How could I turn it into something a little more whole grain?

My wild scientist brain took over and decided, add 1 cup whole oats and…. “Oh I have lots of whey left from when I made yogurt a couple of weeks ago. Let’s swap equal parts whey for the milk…yah that will work! It worked in my cookie dough yesterday. Whey is full of nutrients and healthy bacteria”. And because we’re adding whole oats, maybe swap the organic white cane sugar for brown sugar. This is going to be good.”

So I mixed up the batter. It smelled amazing and actually made a lovely mixture. The acid in the baking powder and the whey got it all fluffy, the way it should (get it?). I was excited…eureka! I’m onto something.

I didn’t feel like standing over a frypan, so I took out my Griddler. Put it on grill/Panini to heat to the right temperature of 350 degrees F…and away I went. Portioning out the pancakes. Then I waited for the little bubbles to surface. I waited for those little cakes to get gorgeous golden brown. And…I waited…and I waited. They seemed to be cooking. I turned one over and it was cooked but white. I waited and waited. No change. Then I realized, ohhhh I put the Griddler on grill instead of griddle!??! So I changed the setting. Waited for it to heat up… and proceeded to cook a bit more. I poured on some new batter. And still…nothing!??! White and cooked through rather densely, but no real browning.

Then I decided to taste one. It tasted pretty good. The flavour was balanced.

The texture, well not so much; dense, sort of like an English muffin. I plated two with wild blueberry compote and a dollop of homemade yogurt. It was yummy, but dense. Not fluffy like I had hoped.

So what went wrong? It must be the whey. Not sure if whey in a pancake will brown or work with baking powder and add leavening. Adding the oatmeal wasn’t the issue. Due to worrying about running out of baking powder during this crisis, I only added two teaspoons of double active baking powder. Not sure what happened. Regardless of the texture, they tasted yummy and were delicious with my coffee. I froze the rest to be toasted like an English muffin. And that’s the end of the story.

I really started self isolating on March 10. I had the foresight to stock up on groceries March 14. I haven’t been out of my condo since. Video messaging and keeping in touch with family and friends has helped me get through to today. One day at time dear peeps. Please continue self-isolating to be safe and well. Enjoy healthy cooking to keep your spirits and immunities up.

Fluffy Pancake Recipe

Makes about 10 pancakes (2 per person works)

1½ cups organic flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

1 egg

1¼ cups milk

¼ cup avocado oil or melted butter, more for cooking

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt with a wooden spoon. Set to the side.

  2. Make a well in the middle and add: egg, milk, avocado oil or butter, vanilla.

  3. Mix until just combined until there are no longer any large lumps. A few are ok. Do not over mix.

  4. Cook the pancakes in a non-stick or heavy based pan like cast iron over medium low heat.

  5. Cook the pancake for 2-3 minutes each side.

  6. Repeat with remaining batter.

  7. Serve the pancakes stacked high with butter and maple syrup.

You can add other flavourings to the pancakes such as blueberries or chocolate chips. Add the extra ingredients at the same time as you combine the wet and dry ingredients.

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