The evolution of a recipe can be a funny thing. These corncake, hoecakes, griddle cakes, pancakes…whatever you want to call them…were going to have shreds of wilted greens stirred into the batter. That morning though, I opened my crisper drawer to find the kale had evaporated. Apparently we’ve fully transitioned into a vegetable loving family who nibble on green things, and lose track of our kale without even trying. It’s very concerning behavior – I blame Matt. He’s very much into sneakily hiding greens in our morning smoothies.
Good thing it was my birthday weekend, so a sweeter breakfast was in order, and with Deb’s strawberry griddle cakes fresh in my mind, I reached for the pint of strawberries, plump, deep red and overripe from our CSA. In our lazy, no-children household, breakfast doesn’t happen until 10 or 11 o’clock on the weekends and I want to stay satisfied and full until dinner time so I’ve been looking into whole grain pancake recipes. According to this month’s Cook’s Illustrated, my happy source for science in the kitchen, pancakes are the perfect baked good for whole wheat flour (the lower gluten content makes it nearly impossible to over mix which is what causes tough, dense cakes) so I did some substitutions and tweaked this recipe to be 100% whole grain.
These are my ideal pancake. They cook up thick and fluffy, absolutely stuffed with more strawberries then I ever should have attempted, all held together with a cornbread type batter, that’s just slightly nutty from the whole wheat flour and browned butter, slightly sweetened with real maple syrup. My favorite part is where the strawberries meet the pan and caramelize just a tiny bit. They hardly need toppings, but a small pat of butter and the lightest drizzle of additional syrup pushes this pancake into the indulgent breakfast category (without the guilt).
This recipe was inspired by several sources including Cook’s Illustrated, Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan, and Smitten Kitchen.
- 1.5 cups (240 grams) cornmeal, stone ground
- 0.5 cups (80 grams) white whole wheat flour (see Note)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup + 4 tablespoons buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 cups (250 grams) sliced strawberries
- butter or cooking oil for the griddle
- Preheat the griddle or a large skillet over medium heat. We have a griddle that can replace the center burner on our stove but a cast iron skillet works too.
- Whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk, maple syrup and melted butter. Whisk until combined. The batter will be quite thick but the strawberry juices will further thin it. Stir in strawberries.
- Melt butter or spray griddle with oil (I prefer to use butter for it's flavor). Spoon batter onto hot skillet and cook until golden brown (a couple spots can be darker brown). Flip and repeat for the other side. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning the butter or cooking the pancakes too quickly on the outside before the inside is done. Continue with the rest of the batch adding additional butter or oil in between as needed.
- The pancakes are best right off the griddle but can be kept warm in an oven at low heat if needed. I like to moisten a towel and place it over top to help prevent them from drying out.
-I keep leftover buttermilk frozen into ½ cup cubes (using our special ice cube tray for drinks). Then I always have it when I need it and don't waste most of the carton if I don't get around to baking again soon.