Who Wants Some Hot Oatmeal Pancakes?

It’s bleary out today, cold and grey and forbidding. Nothing better to do on such a morning than hunker down over a warm stack of hearty, healthy, cozy pancakes. What’s that you say? You’re pulling out the Aunt Jemima box? Noooo! Step away from the cardboard. There’s nothing wrong with good old Auntie J, lord knows until very recently S and I enjoyed her flapjacks very much. But why make pancakes premixed by a machine when you can have a ready-to-go mix assembled by your own loving hands? Yes, folks, that’s right. I’m talking ’bout making your own pancake mix. It’s the easiest thing since sliced bread! The recipe I’m loving lately comes from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion, and it’s a good one.

The basic idea is you spend a little time just once to make the mix, then keep it around–it’ll hold for up to two weeks at room temp, or indefinitely in the fridge or freezer–and when you’re hankering for some pancakey goodness you just put 1 cup of mix, 1 cup of buttermilk, and 1 egg in a bowl. I don’t keep buttermilk around, so instead I added dried buttermilk powder to the dry mix and use water for the liquid. I also use 2 egg whites instead of 1 whole egg, just to save the bit of fat and cholesterol. Honestly, though, S and I like these so much I usually do a one-and-a-half recipe each time: 1.5 cups of mix, 1.5 cups of water, and three egg whites.

Starting with whole oats for extra healthy oomph, they cook up light and hearty–but be careful to cook them slowly since I’ve found that the oats make them take longer to cook through than a regular pancake would. The edges will get too brown before the insides are done unless you use a low flame. My other handy-dandy tip: use a set of the pancake rings I raved about here. They make the pancakes cook more evenly and look so purdy! Serve with real maple syrup, none of that Mrs. Butterworth crap.

This recipe makes 10 cups of dry mix. Here you go:

Oatmeal Pancake Mix

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats

5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3 T sugar

3 T baking powder

1 T salt

1 T baking soda

1 cup vegetable oil

Grind the oats in a food processor until they are chopped fine but not a powder. Put the flour, oats, and all other dry ingredients into a mixer with a paddle. Mix on slow speed, drizzling the vegetable oil into the bowl slowly while the mixer is running. When all the oil has been added, stop the mixer and squeeze a clump of mix in your hand. If it stays together, it’s just right. If it is still crumbly, add another tablespoon of oil at a time until the consistency is correct. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature, or indefinitely in refrigerator or freezer.

To make the batter, whisk together 1 cup of mix, 1 cup of buttermilk [or water if you’ve added powdered buttermilk to the dry mix], and 1 egg [or 2 egg whites]. Don’t worry if it seems thin at first: the oats will soak up the liquid and the mix will thicken a bit as it stands. Let stand for at least 5-10 minutes before cooking.

[It’s still fairly thin when it’s ready to go. Here’s what it looks like:]

Heat a griddle over medium-low heat and lightly grease it [I use two nonstick frying pans with cooking spray]. Drop the batter onto it by heaping tablespoons [I use a small ladle] to make a 3-inch diameter pancake. When bubbles come to the surface and don’t break and the top looks almost dry, turn the pancake over to finish cooking. Keep the cooked pancakes in your oven set on “warm” while you make the rest.