Peter Reinhart’s Sprouted Whole Wheat Pancakes

Peter Reinhart’s Bread Revolution tackles baking with even more “weird flours” with a special emphasis on sprouted grains and heirloom grains (though there is also some recipe for a bread made from ground up grape seeds).  Many of these recipes are only for the die-hard (and I do not include myself in this group, so draw what conclusions you will about the recipes), but many are quite accessible.

What I really love are the sprouted whole wheat pancakes.  If you’ve ever made pancakes with whole wheat flour you’ll know that while healthy, they really aren’t as good as pancakes with white flour.  The sprouted wheat pancakes don’t present this problem–they are tender, light, 100% whole wheat and still 100% delicious.  Apparently sprouted whole wheat is even BETTER for you than whole wheat so, eat up!

(Click here to find the book on amazon)

Sprouted Whole Wheat Pancakes

  • 1 cup + 1 T sprouted whole wheat flour (4.5 oz/128g)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1t sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (12 ounces/340g)
  • 1 egg (1.75oz/50g)
  • 2T melted butter (1 oz/28.5g), plus more for the griddle.

Mix the dry ingredients together, then mix the wet ingredients together, then stir the wet mix into the dry until just combined.  Note:  The batter is fairly thin.  Make pancakes!  (I like to add blueberries).

Blackberry Farm Griddle Cakes (Gluten-Free Pancakes)

I fortunately don’t have to worry about gluten-free cooking, but I do often find myself looking with interest at gluten-free recipes.  I have quite a collection of flours going and am always curious to find new ways to use them.  But for the dabbler stocking all the ingredients necessary for a gluten-free pantry can seem a bit much.  If you’re going to use it all the time, a home-made mix that requires you to stock up on ingredients ranging from arrowroot powder to sorghum makes perfect sense (and is hopefully more economical than some of the store-bought varieties though I understand that extra expense is par for the course when things must be free of gluten).  But for me, it seems like a lot to buy.

Blackberry Farm Gluten-Free Pancakes (1 of 5)

May 2013’s Bon Appetit cover showcases a beautiful stack of pancakes from the famous Blackberry Farm restaurant.  I was immediately curious, and only when I read through did I realize the recipe was for gluten-free pancakes.  Even better, it “only” required four other varieties–buckwheat (which I have on hand for pancakes anyway); cornmeal (polenta); brown rice flour (which I use for bread proofing) and oat flour (which I bought for the occasion, but which you can make easily from regular oatmeal in the food processor).

Blackberry Farm Gluten-Free Pancakes (3 of 5)

With that, this iteration of Sunday morning pancakes.  I had actually been wanting to try buckwheat pancakes for a while but was a bit nervous about what my picky eaters would say.  So this mix seemed like a good test run, as I knew the oat flour–the largest component–would mellow the buckwheat flavor. A quarter cup of maple syrup didn’t hurt either.  The lack of gluten ensured these pancakes were tender and light (an unprompted observation from my husband).  And happily they puffed up beautifully as they cooked quickly–a virtue when I’m griddling up as fast as I can for 3 hungry boys.

Blackberry Farm Gluten-Free Pancakes (2 of 5)

A few comments.  As I mentioned I used polenta which maybe was a bit too coarse a grind for the purpose–my husband liked the slight crunchy texture they provided, but next time I think a finer grind would work better.  While the recipe doens’t so require, I found that the batter got thicker after the first batch as it absorbed more liquid, so I’d suggest a five minute rest after the initial mixing.

Blackberry Farm Gluten-Free Pancakes (4 of 5)

And one more.  I made yet another change from the original recipe–I didn’t add the quarter cup of melted butter.  For no reason other than that I misread the recipe.  I liked my accidental low-fat version well enough, but as it was not a considered change to the recipe, I also thought it was only right to let you know!

Blackberry Farm Griddle Cakes
Make your own oat flour by whirring up rolled oats in your food processor. You can make this into a “mix”: Triple the dry ingredients and store them in a jar. Use 2 1/4 cups of “mix”; all the other measurements stay the same.
Ingredients
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Butter (for skillet)
Instructions
  1. Whisk egg, buttermilk, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk oat flour, cornmeal, rice flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients, then allow the batter to sit for five minutes.
  3. Heat a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat; lightly brush with butter. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/4-cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bottoms are browned and bubbles form on top of griddle cakes, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until griddle cakes are cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.

 Blackberry Farm Gluten-Free Pancakes (5 of 5)

Baked Pumpkin Bread

While we prepare for Hurricane Sandy here in Brooklyn, I thought it would be good to make a nice autumn quick bread. Pumpkin Bread! I forgot how delicous it was until my husband and I bought some from a little girl on the sidewalk selling some. Think lemonade stand, but replace that image with warm, nutmug bread. Yum.

So since schools have been shut down for tomorrow because of the storm and parts of the neighborhood have been evacuated, I decided what better time to make a loaf? The grocery store trip that was supposed to be just a quick stop, ended up being forty minutes in line because everyone decided to stockpile.  Other customers bought water and crackers and canned soup. I bought sugar for baking. Go figure.

One of my least favorite parts of being pregnant is that I can’t lick the bowl when making chocolate chip cookies. However, with this recipe, I can add all the ingredients, eat as much batter as I please and then add the egg in at the end and not touch a drop of it. It may sound crazy, but it is my favorite part of baking. My sisters have often complained about my fingers getting in the way of their baking.

I took this recipe from allrecipes.com. It was listed under “healthy’ options, but don’t be disappointed. It was really delicious. I think the biggest difference is it cut down the egg and butter ingredients and replaced it with buttermilk. It is no way a low sugar bread.

Pumpkin Bread

Recipe Type: Baked Goods
Cuisine: Dessert/Breakfast
Author: All Recipes
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 60 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 8
An easy 10 minute mix and then an hour in the oven.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup of solid pack pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp of butter, softened
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients together and then the pumpkin, brown sugar, buttermilk, egg and butter until well blended. Pour into a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Bake for 1 hour or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean from center.

So it’s really sort of amusing.  As my oldest sister works a ton of hours, takes care of two kids and somehow manages to make homemade salsa along with tons of other amazing treats, and my other sister is off scavenging for walnuts (ps, don’t forget to enter her giveaway here!) I find a bit of time to actually make me some quick bread! Well, hopefully I am still living up to my reputation as the sister with the easiest cooking advice.

See Sara’s Super-Moist Sweet Potato Bread and Whole Grain Sweet Potato Muffins for more fall treats.

Blueberry Brown Sugar Yogurt Coffee Cake - sliced

Blueberry Muscovado Coffee Cake

So, the title I’ve bestowed upon this cake is a bit of a mouthful.  (I’m also not going to try to turn that into a food pun, just in case you were worried.  You can keep reading without trepidation).

Mark, one of my good friends from law school, his wife Anna, and sons were up from New York over Labor Day weekend and we planned for them to come over that Monday morning.  We went to law school together and somehow kept ending up in all the same classes–from first year criminal law and civil procedure, to both landing summer internships in Sarajevo (yes, really!) to bankruptcy 3L year (the last few weeks of which saw Mark dashing out more than once at a text from Anna, who was due to go into labor with their first any day).   Nowadays, we even work at the same law firm, albeit in different offices.

Sometimes you just keep running into the same people, and in cases like this, it’s a good thing.

But we hadn’t seen each others’ respective broods for some time, if we’ve met the little ones at all.  Now that firstborn who attended our wedding as a crawler is in second grade, and Mark and Anna’s second boy is 2 1/2, just between my preschooler and toddler.

Of course, this immediately sent me planning out the morning table.  Brunch is one of my favorites–plenty of excuses to bake!  We fried up our CSA bacon (which I made in our new griddle, which turned out to be way to shallow for fatty heritage breed pork), brewed up coffee (four young boys between us all–need I say more?) and I made this:  I had a few things in mind when I went thinking about what to make.  I wanted a recipe using yogurt:  I always have plenty of glass jars in the fridge gleaming white with my most recent homemade batch, and yogurt results in a tender crumb.  I wanted something a bit unique, and so I got on my toes and pulled the muscovado sugar off the top shelf– that ultra dark, ultra flavorful, ultra special cousin of ordinary brown sugar — you may remember seeing it here on Valentine’s day.  And blueberries, because, well, aren’t blueberries just sort of required for breakfast baking?

One of the best things in the world is friends who, no matter how long its been, you can pick up with wherever you left off (especially as the intervening birthdays pile up).   Though hopefully, it won’t be too long until that next time we get together.

Brown Sugar Blueberry Yogurt Coffee Cake (recipe adapted from the Washington Post and 101 Cookbooks)

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon muscovado brown sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 2 large egg whites (I think you could also simply use two eggs).
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries (I used frozen blueberries)

Crumb topping

  • 3/4 c whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c muscovado or dark brown sugar
  • scant 1/2 t salt
  • 1/3 c unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a springform pan.

For the crumble, stir together the flour, sugar, oats, and salt.  Stir in the melted butter.  Put in the refrigerator.

For the cake, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl, whisking to mix well.

In a separate medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, canola oil, the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.

Stir the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients, only until just combined (lumps are OK).  With a spatula, gently fold in the blueberries.  Pour into the prepared springform pan and sprinkle the crumble on top to cover.

Because I used frozen blueberries (not defrosted and straight from the freezer!) my cake took about 50 minutes to bake, but if using fresh blueberries bank on 25-35 minutes.   Either way, a tester should come out clean when done, and the cake should be well risen (see the before and after shots below).  If the crumble topping starts to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil until the cake is done.

Serve warm, tastes best when accompanied by conversation with good friends.

Dried Apricot Scones

This post was originally published on Honest Cooking

Like I imagine most of us, I have to plot and plan a bit to  make sure I use up perishables before they go bad.  It’s always good to have a few “go to” recipes for these cases, as often enough the clock is ticking!  Take sour cream, for example.  I often buy it, with the knowledge that “it’s good for baking, and it keeps a while”–but soon enough, I find that the generous-sounding three weeks I had to use it have flown by.   I also buy a lot of cream without really thinking it through, and when I inevitably haven’t used it, I make crème fraîche, a French cultured cream that is very similar to sour cream (though preferred by many chefs).  I just add a  little buttermilk to my cream (about a tablespoon per pint) and let it sit out until it thickens (up  to 24 hours).  Rather surprisingly, this actually extends the life another week or even more, leaving me with something rich and lovely to either cook with or dress up berries.  But soon enough, that extra time I’ve bought myself has evaporated, and I’m scrambling to put that creme fraiche to good use.

Enter these scones.  Although scones are traditionally made with lots of thick, rich cream, there’s no reason you can’t make scones with creme fraiche or sour cream–it’s the same basic item, after all.  In contrast to cream, however, these ingredients are slightly acidic, so you use both baking powder and baking soda (in contrast to just baking powder for a sweet cream scone).  Baking soda needs an acid to react with in order to create rise and lift in dough.  Remember the school science project where you make a volcano erupt with the help of vinegar and baking soda?  Kind of like that, but not so dramatic.  Well, unless your measuring is way off.

This same acidity creates tenderness and tempers the sweetness of the resulting scone.  But thanks to the sprinkling of brown sugar on top and the bursts of intense apricot flavor studding each bite, these are unmistakabely a morning treat (or brunch, or afternoon, or…you get the picture).  These are delicious served with lots of sweet butter, but I didn’t have to tell you that.

This recipe is easy to retro-fit to sweet cream if you’d prefer–use a tablespoon of baking powder instead of the baking powder/baking soda combination.  

Dried Apricot Scones with Crème Fraîche or Sour Cream, adapted from Bon Appetit (via epicurious)

  • 2 cups (240g) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons (71g) cold unsalted butter, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup (160mL) sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (85g) chopped dried apricots
  • 1 egg, beaten (for glaze)
  • Additional brown sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Mix dry ingredients.  Add butter and rub it into the flour mixture (or use a pastry blender) until it resembles cornmeal. (Alternatively, pulse until desired consistency in a food processor).  Stir sour cream and vanilla together, then quickly stir into the dry mixture to form a rough dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and sprinkle with chopped apricots. Knead dough just until apricots are incorporated. Flatten dough into 8-inch round and cut into 8 wedges. Transfer wedges to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg. Sprinkle with brown sugar.  Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

To make dried apricots easier to chop, either chill them in the fridge first, or lightly oil your knife. Try to work butter into the flour as quickly as possible: keeping the dough cold is the key to light and flaky scones.

These scones are a good fallback because nearly all the ingredients can be kept in the pantry. You won’t be put in the slightly absurd situation of buying more food in order to use up food you already have, and you can substitute in other kinds of dried fruit or nuts to use what you already have.

Panacea Granola

This recipe dates waaaaaaay back to 2002 when I ran my first marathon.  My friend Hannah and I decided to train for a marathon while we were living in “Western South Dakota” a.k.a. Eastern Montana.  There was little to do but craft and run on long gravel roads.

We trained for the 26.2 mile excursion by driving from our house for 10 miles, parking, and running from home to the car.  There was nothing out there to see but pasture lands, horses, and big, big sky.   Hannah and I decided to go cheap and planned our run for June in Denver because a) we could drive there, b) her parents lived there and could put us and our cheering crew up for the weekend, and c) there was enough time to train.

Hannah and I had a large cheering crew and the obliged by wearing our signature KAHGB (“Karen and Hannah Going Ballistic), bright pink shirts imprinted with their names.   My dad agreed to run the 1/2 marathon with me and proudly sported the 100% cotton shirt on the run.

I will NEVER forget mile 18, parched and cranky.  The race was poorly run and didn’t have enough water.  Up in the distance, like a mirage on the desert, I saw a tall man in a bright pink shirt.  At the ever-so-mature age of 23 I thought, “Oh, there’s my daddy.”  And there he was with a bottle of water and a hearty “GO Karen!  You can do it!”

The run itself was pretty miserable — a marathon in the “mile high city” and at least 98 degrees at the end which also coincided with one of the worst forest fires the region has seen (I believe it was started by a forest worker who randomly burned an old love note??).   As a result, after surviving the run, we had to shuttle back in doors immediately because of all the smoke.  Being Denver, there isn’t a whole lot of air conditioning because the HOT days are so rare.  Hannah’s parents didn’t have air conditioning and normally relied on open windows to cool off.  That wasn’t an option with grey skies and soot!

Fortunately — there was Panacea Granola to snack on!  Hannah’s parents had collected this recipe on a trip to the San Juan Islands which are north west of Seattle.  They had stayed at a lovely, quaint B&B and found this recipe.  We ate it –  or rather inhaled it – quickly, and it was non-existent, save a few crumbs within hours.

I normally snack on this by the handful.  I don’t know that I’ve ever compromised the flavor with milk, but that’s just me.

Ingredients:

3 Tb of canola oil

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of molasses

1/4 cup of honey

3 cups of oats

1 cup of sliced almonds

1 cup of dried cranberries

1/3 cup of sesame seeds

1 cup of almonds

1 cup of walnuts

1/2 cup of pecans

1/4 cup of wheat germ

1/4 cup of ground flax seed

Combine the oil, sugar, molasses and honey in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.   Combine oats, nuts, and grains (basically, everything else) in a large bowl.  Carefully, pour sugar mixture over the oat mixture and stir to evenly coat.  This should not be “goopy” or overly sticky. There will probably still be a good deal of dry mixture left over — that’s just fine.  Line 2 rectangular cake pans with foil or parchment paper.   Distribute the granola evenly between the two.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, stir, and bake an additional 10 to 15.

Fresh from the oven!

Fresh from the oven!