pancakes and syrup

Do you ever go grocery shopping on Sunday afternoons? It’s not pretty.

Two days ago, I was weaving in and out of aisles at Whole Foods, repeatedly cornered or trapped by someone’s cart or, worse, by those two dark-haired women who stood in front of the entire yogurt section, chatting with sour faces that never once looked my way, for the solid five minutes that they’d commandeered the dairy case, and by the time I’d finally made it past them and to the baking aisle, my mindset was reduced to pure self-preservation: Flour. The only other thing I needed was flour.

There were people on my right and people on my left, with one couple edging towards me quickly. I scanned the shelves. No whole wheat pastry flour, but white whole wheat flour! That’s similar, right? I grabbed a bag. While I waited in line with it at the checkout, a surly balding man cut in front of me, pretending not to see me or my shopping cart that were inches away from him, and would you believe it, I let him.

That grocery store broke me, I tell you.

pancakes on a plate

Turns out, though, that the experience wasn’t entirely bad. Because white whole wheat flour? It’s different from whole wheat pastry flour in that it has more protein (13% compared to pastry’s 9%) and comes from a different flour (hard white spring wheat rather than soft white winter wheat) but has specific strengths: It offers all the fiber and nutrition of traditional whole wheat, for example, but with milder flavor and lighter color. It has a finer grind than regular whole wheat flour. It makes a good substitute for white all-purpose flour. It’s said to be great in breads, cookies, bars, etc.

Also, it makes a great pancake.

pancakes

A few hours after I got home from the store, I was hardly watching an episode of something on Hulu, when someone mentioned pancakes and, you can blame the rough morning if you’d like, but that’s all it took: I had to have pancakes. Five minutes and one Google search later, I was looking at 101 Cookbooks, the same site that brought me this and this, and Heidi called them her favorite pancakes, so I whipped up a half batch right on the spot.

These super-simple pancakes are thin and cakey, absolute perfection when a little overdone and topped by butter and maple syrup. I can eat about six of them, one sitting, no problem, and that’s saying something.

And when I ate them, happy, I kept thinking if all Sunday afternoons at the grocery store brought things like this, they wouldn’t be so bad.




Whole Grain Pancakes
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

I halved the recipe, and despite burning a couple at the beginning, I had enough pancakes to push me past full, with a plateful left for the next day. As written below, this recipe makes about 6 large pancakes, 15 medium ones or a whole bunch of little silver-dollars (which is what I ended up liking best).

Ingredients:
1 cups white whole wheat flour (or unbleached all-purpose)
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 1/8 cups organic buttermilk (or just a little over a cup)
1 large organic egg
1 Tablespoons butter, melted (melt in the pan skillet you are going to use)
extra butter, to serve (and for pan)

Directions:
Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt, in a large bowl. Add the liquids: buttermilk, egg and melted butter. Stir until it’s just combined and maybe still a little lumpy, being careful not to overmix.

Heat your skillet, pan or griddle to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. Test for the right temperature by dropping a bit of water onto the pan; if it dances, you’re ready. Pour batter onto skillet. When the bottom is deep golden and there are bubbles on the top, flip the pancakes with a spatula and cook until the other side is also golden.

Serve with butter and, if desired, pure maple syrup.

Cooksnaps
Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 33 Comments

  1. Caitlin

    And now I need, NEED, to make pancakes. When you mentioned that you had made them, I was too busy to make them too, but I think that I might have some free time tonight….. They look wonderful! (And yes, WF on a Sunday = scary!)

  2. Antonietta

    I know exactly what you mean about grocery shopping on a Sunday. I try to avoid supermarkets on weekends at all costs: but I’m not alone. Yesterday I went to the supermarket and it was so packed that I waited in line for 30 minutes. My ice cream was half melted by the time I paid for it, but I didn’t have the heart to leave it. – UGH!

  3. Jenn

    Hmm your experience sounds like shopping here on a Sat. Because just about everything is closed on Sundays, Sat. is the day for the mad rush at the store. I’ve never heart of white whole wheat flour before – it sounds really interesting! Next time my husband is away and I can cook delicious glutenicious things all for myself, I will have to try these pancakes :)

  4. Lisa

    oh my, grocery shopping on sundays is kind of awful here too but i somehow end up doing it every sunday anyway. I’ve never been closed off from the yogurt case though, that would have broken me as well.

    I’m jealous of your whole foods, we don’t have one here and I miss shopping there. oh and now I’m in the mood for pancakes.

  5. kate

    I’ve noticed so much lately that common courtesy has started to disappear, and no more so than when I’m at the grocer. I’ve come across people just like you did who stand in the aisles -often right. in. the. middle.- blocking access, people who walk around loudly talking on their cell phones (which I can’t stand no matter where I am) and all manner of rudeness and disregard. I may be overly sensitive, but at the same time, what happened to respect?

    But for me as well, a good pancake would make a morning like that virtually disappear. Heidi’s site is always good for soul-soothing foods.

  6. Jacqui

    i haven’t had traditional pancakes in ages, shanna. and lately, i’ve been wanting them something fierce. now, with this — well, thanks a lot, is all. also, grocery stores on sunday — i usually stay away until late sunday afternoons, and even then, madness.

  7. Sprout

    I also had a Whole-Foods-frustration kind of Sunday…. no creme fraiche! At least you soothed yours over with pancakes afterwards. Me? A Larabar (PB&J!) on my way to a different grocery store!

    Great post, thanks for sharing

  8. Celeste

    That was me on Saturday at Whole Foods, later in the afternoon.
    Crowded, crazy, busy.
    And I also bought some whole wheat flour, contemplated some blue cornmeal but thought my husband might not appreciate the changes in his Johnny cake.
    Question for you Shannalee.
    Have you worked with quinoa flour at all?
    I am intrigued about this ingredient after looking through a book at our Chapters.
    I do cook with quinoa but I need to read up more on this versatile grain if I want to bake with it.

  9. Lan

    shannalee, had i been with you, i would’ve, on your behalf, stepped up to those ladies and had them move over if they waffled past the acceptable few minutes. i would’ve then told surly, balding man where he could go and it would not be to the head of the line. i would’ve always kicked his ass on his way out too. i’m a sunday grocery shopper myself, but i usually go in with a plan, to divide and conquer. lists are split between myself and roommate and we make a point to be in & out within 30 minutes.

    i’m not a pancake fan so forgive me, however, i am interested in the white whole wheat flour you picked up. i’m always on the lookout for different flours to use for my baking.

  10. sara

    Yes! Pancakes have been on my “to-make” list for a while now. For some reason I never find time for them! Several months ago, I nearly had a nervous breakdown at a Trader Joe’s and since then I avoid grocery shopping on Sunday like the plague. Way too stressful!

  11. Fran

    That’s exactly how I get inspired to eat/cook. All it takes is a mere mention of an ingredient or a dish and I’m all over it. Working at Williams-Sonoma, I am around food all day and my cravings frequently change from minute to minute. My head going through the kitchen ingredient rolodex in my brain to determine if I have what’s needed to make the dish I’m craving at that moment.

    I avoid grocery stores on weekends, period. Working retail, my weekends are not set, always fluid, so I find a way each week to get to the market, avoiding the masses which makes the experience much more pleasant in most cases.

  12. Alicia

    I was at Whole Foods on Sunday too! Sunday night, though, and the place was nearly empty. Totally different than the Saturday after I left your house, when yeah, my experience was totally like yours, with a million samples of different foods thrown in. (I can’t turn them down!) I’m glad you found something good despite the chaos.

  13. lo

    It’s true. White whole wheat flour is a revelation. I’ve successfully subbed it in for all purpose use at our house, and it’s absolutely delicious.

    As for Sunday afternoons at the grocery store… the only time I can hack that is during football season, when it seems everyone else must be at home watching the game!

  14. kristen

    I have never used White whole wheat flour.. I guess I will have to make a trip to whole foods to find it and then make these pancakes! I dont know if I will be able to wait til Sunday though : )

  15. George Erdosh

    White wheat flour is simply white all-purpose flour. They use the name ‘wheat’ to imply something healthy. All flour is wheat flour but whole wheat is rich in the bran part of the wheat grain (thanks to they way it’s processed).
    If you have all-purpose flour, you can reduce the protein content, thus increasing starch, by adding cornstarch. Or mix 70% cake flour and 30% bread flour. Or simply add a small amount of cake flour to all-purpose flour.

  16. Shannalee

    Caitlin, A girl after my own heart. It is always a good time for pancakes.

    Antonietta, What!? So Mondays can be just as bad. Boo.

    Jenn, I think it’s so quaint when rural towns practically close down on Sundays. And you’re in Switzerland, right? Didn’t know that happened there! BUT I never thought how that would impact Saturday errands. Yuck!

    Lisa, Ha! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve said I wouldn’t do this again, but somehow I end up back there, too!

    Kate, You make such a good point. There is definitely a lack of respect out there. And to that man who cut in front of me: aside from the fact that, obviously, I WAS THERE FIRST – what happened to ladies first anyway?

    Jacqui, You are welcome, ha! And madness is right. That is the perfect word.

    Sprout, Ha. Whatever it takes, right?

    Celeste, I have not used quinoa flour, but I’m curious about it. I did make quinoa for the first time last month, and it is definitely going to have to grow on me. The flour might be different though. If you try it, I’d love to hear what you think!

    Kickpleat, Right? So glad you agree!

    Oh Lan, If only you had been with me! I could have used your gumption.

    Peggy, Yep! According to King Arthur’s site, “We routinely substitute white wheat for 100% of the all-purpose flour in cookie, muffin, brownie, pancake, and other recipes where the difference won’t be noticeable. Like, don’t make an angel food cake with it; but gingerbread? Chocolate chip cookies? Cinnamon muffins? Go for it!”

    Sara, Oh my goodness, a few months ago, I stopped at the TJ’s in Lincoln Park, and it was a ZOO. Even worse than Whole Foods this weekend. Lines like 15-people long, easy. Crazzzzy!

    Fran, That must be so fun to work at Williams Sonoma! All kinds of inspiration all the time!

    Amanda Mae, We do indeed! Yours look so impressive!

    Alicia, So what you’re saying then is I need to go late at night. Ugh, I know you’re right. I think I will just do that from now on (I hope).

    Lo, Ha! Oh I was there on Superbowl Sunday, I actually remember that, and it was crowded then too!

    Tim, Glad you enjoyed that, ha.

    Kristen, Definitely don’t wait until Sunday, for your own sake! Ha!

    George, Actually I don’t believe that’s true. Whole white wheat flour is different. According to an article from USAToday.com, for example, “Confusingly, it’s called ‘white wheat,’ made from a naturally occurring albino variety. But the resemblance to typical bleached flour stops there. Fans say flour made from white wheat has all the nutrition and fiber of whole wheat without the taste that some find unpleasant.”

  17. Maddie

    I just discovered your lovely blog, and I’m an instant fan! Your photos and prose are great, and I’m really admiring the site design too.

    Re: white whole wheat flour…love it! I used it in this weekend’s batch of yeasted waffles. Subbing half your AP flour for white whole wheat makes for the right combination of tenderness and heartiness.

  18. bodelou

    it is for reasons like Sunday at Whole Foods that I try to do my grocery shopping at off hours. like 7 am or 2 in the afternoon. less traffic. i like to wonder around and look for fun new things. its better than shopping for clothes, because all sizes fit perfectly!

    have you tried almond flour? I hear its even better for you than the whole wheat flour. don’t know much about it, but I am curious to learn more.

  19. AllisonMN

    i know what you mean about sunday grocery shopping. nightmare! for me? weekdays in the evening around 8pm. sounds weird but it works, hardly anymore there. grocery shopping a la solitude! i also use whole wheat all-purpose and i LOVE it

  20. Jacqui

    I love pancakes. They always make everything better; even bad grocery shopping days. Also love using white whole wheat flour, it’s so easy to swap out with pretty much any recipe.

  21. Hannah

    Oh, girl. I am so with you on this one. If anyone even mentions a pan or a cake I start craving them.

    I LOVE white-wheat flour. I wish I could find somewhere around here where I could buy it in bulk (like I do my regular flour), I’d consider switching to it almost entirely.

  22. Susan

    I love how you turned a frustrating experience into a positive one. Last week I was in the kitchen with my fiancee’s family and his mom and I were cooking home made bread. She handed me what was meant to be yeast, but it wasn’t. I didn’t know the difference and hours later the dough never rose. Instead, we made flatbread and it was great.

  23. Shannalee

    Maddie, Thanks so much! Glad to know about your blog now too – and that’s great you’re already a whole white wheat flour fan!

    bodelou, 7AM! That is actually pretty brilliant. And since I’m kind of an early bird lately, I don’t see why I shouldn’t try that sometime! Also love what you said about all sizes fitting, ha!

    Allison, Now I have tried weekday evenings, strictly around 6 PM, and I have to say: the place is dead empty. That’s good thinking!

    Jacqui, Oh good! Another positive vote for this flour! Thanks!

    Hannah, Right? I don’t know what it is about pancakes specifically, but it happens to me a lot! And PS if you see this comment – where do you buy your regular flour in bulk? I should look into that with specialty flours… I wonder if buying online would make sense.

    Susan, How clever of you guys! A good attitude is one of the best things to have when baking, especially when things turn out differently than expected. I wonder what the not-yeast was!

  24. Niki

    I so wanted pancakes the other day, but my mother was making french toast already. I said I wasn’t hungry b/c I didn’t want french toast at all, I wanted pancakes. Well, then I was supposed to get breakfast w/ the bf, but the water heater broke, so we ended up going to Menards to get a new one, then him and my dad spent a couple hours installing it… Needless to say, by the time we finally left, it was 5 hours after I woke up and I was starving so bad and my fav place to get pancakes was closed.
    I managed to have them the next day though. I kinda want some right now, w/ chunks of cooked cinnamon apples….mmmmm……

  25. Ann

    great post, but I got lost on the first lines… “two dark haired women….” would it had been different if it was 2 blonde women, two redheads??”??? didn’t think so.
    Now to those pancakes.Tried them, and they were so great!!!

  26. Elizabeth

    Shanna, another great post!!! I want some pancakes now. Maybe Elena and I will whip these up for breakfast…I will definitely let you know how they turn out; better than the Graham crackers??….hahaha

  27. Shannalee

    Niki, I’ve so been there with delays that end up being wayyy longer than you’d expected. Pancakes with cooked cinnamon apples sound like they’d be a real treat! I don’t think I’ve ever had that!

    Ann, Ha! Well, speaking as a brunette, I can assure you I meant no offense by it. It was just a description. Like the balding man in the checkout. He’d still have been rude with a full head of hair or a leather jacket or gym shoes. :) Glad you enjoyed the pancakes!

    Elizabeth, Gosh, I sure do hope these turn out better for you!! It’s hard to go wrong with pancakes, I think, though, so hopefully that will help. If I fail you again, I don’t know what I’ll do.

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