Sunday, April 3, 2011


I tried to come up with a really cool alliteration for the title of this entry. However, these pancakes were so good, I just couldn't come up with a fitting "P" word to describe them. I have been experimenting with different flours lately. I have this great grain mill that I was only using for grinding wheat. I felt like there was so much more that I could do.

Not long ago, I got some oat groats and started making oat flour. If you don't know, oat flour has a very low level of gluten, which can be either good or bad. In a scientific sense, gluten is what makes for good yeast bread. It makes the dough sticky and respond properly to the yeast. Different kinds of grains, even different kinds of wheat have differing amounts of gluten. Therefore, oat flour, because of its low levels of gluten does not make for great yeast bread on its own. I can be great for quick breads, cakes, or muffins that use baking soda/baking powder. I thought it would be fun to try in pancakes. I started with a combo of wheat and oat flour. I followed the recipe exactly, just substituting oat flour for part of the wheat flour. They tasted fine, but came out more like crepes than pancakes. The batter was way too runny, and they did not fluff up at all. It was a very good lesson in the texture of oat flour and how it works.

That brings me to last Friday. I've been wanting to try spelt for quite some time. Spelt is an ancient variety of wheat. It has a higher level of gluten than oats, but for some people that have a gluten intolerance, they are able to tolerate spelt, I've read. The problem with spelt is the cost. The same bucket of wheat that I can get for around $40, costs about $100 for spelt. Definitely not something I want to pay for on a regular basis. However, I did want to try it. I splurged for a small one gallon bucket, and it came in on Friday. I decided to give it a go making pancakes again. I mixed it with the oat flour to make a nutritionally packed pancake. I had no idea how they were going to turn out, or what they were going to taste like. However, taking my lesson from my first attempt with oat flour, I changed the recipe a bit to adjust the amount of liquid. The pancakes came out really light, fluffy, and delicious. DH and I are both very particular about how we like our pancakes. However, those particulars are very different. In this case, we both agreed that these pancakes were fabulous. The 12yo said, "For some reason, these pancakes are really good." The picky 8yo, who doesn't like much of anything, ate them without complaint.

The Recipe:

  • 2 cups spelt flour

  • 2 cups oat flour

  • 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder

  • 6 Tbsp sucanat

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 cups almond milk

I also added a smidge of vanilla and cinnamon. I can't tell you how much though, because I didn't measure.

For those of you who don't have a grain mill, you can buy both spelt and oat flour at the store or health market. The next day I also made bread substituting spelt for 1/2 the wheat in my normal recipe. The bread came out really soft and yummy. I am starting to think that spelt may be worth the splurge.