Lacy Spelt-Oat Bran Pancakes

P1050894Just as I strongly believe that every dinner by the beach should taste, at least in part, like fish, one of my cardinal rules of vacation is that mornings should start with a special breakfast. Like so many things, this is a direct result of growing up with my mother. When I was young, all visits from vacationing guests in the summer, and many weekend mornings in the winter, began with some sort of sweet morning baked good–pancakes, waffles, muffins, popovers, or scones were all in rotation. (I also think vacation is a great time to carbo-load.)

So, I promised Noah pancakes while we were in Rhode Island. My mother’s pancake recipe produces such good pancakes that I generally refuse to eat any others. I know they will just disappoint. Her pancakes are fluffed by buttermilk, baking soda, baking powder, and beaten egg whites. The cloudy pancakes that result are my back pocket recipe for making friends. When I was 15, lonely, and struggling to communicate in France, I made these to convince my French family I was worth knowing. It worked. I also made them for Noah early in our relationship to, you know, seal the deal.


When I make them these days, I split the recipe in half and make one batch for Noah and other people who eat gluten with regular flour and one batch for me with a flour substitute. Until this weekend though, I had never found a flour substitute or gluten free pancake mix I really liked. Saturday, I made them with a mix of spelt flour and oat bran. They were so good that I think I might make a whole batch this way next time and not even mention that they are wheat-free. The spelt and oat bran pancakes are less fluffy than the originals. As far as pancakes go, in fact, they are pretty thin. I would go so far as to describe them as lacy. Their delicacy doesn’t prevent them from doing an excellent job soaking up maple syrup or, later in the day, from making an excellent cold snack with a slice of sharp, hard cheese.


 Lacy Spelt-Oat Bran Pancakes: 

– 2 tablespoons butter

– 1 egg, separated

– 1 cup buttermilk

– 1/2 cup spelt flour

– 1/2 cup oat bran

– 1 tsp sugar

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 3/4 tsp baking powder

– 1/2 tsp baking soda

* Melt butter and allow to cool slightly.

* Whisk egg yolk into melted butter.

* Stir buttermilk into egg yolk-butter mixture.

* In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients.

* Gently and quickly stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients.

* Beat an egg white until stiff peaks form but before it becomes dry.

* Fold egg white into batter.

* Let batter sit for 5-10 minutes. The oat bran takes a few minutes to absorb the liquid so don’t worry if it seems thin and not quite mixed at first.

* Heat a griddle or pan.

* Add a thin layer of neutral oil to the pan.

* Using a 1/3 cup measure, scoop smallish pancakes out on to the griddle. (These are thin so they spread a bit when they hit the pan.)

* When bubbles begin to form and pop at the top of the pancake, 2-3 minutes, flip.

* Cook until both sides are brown.

* Enjoy straight off the griddle with maple syrup and then later as snacks.

Note: If you want to make the originals, simply swap the spelt and oat flour for a cup of cake or all-purpose flour. If you do that, there is not need to let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes. 

P.S. For another vacation breakfast: On our first morning in Rhode Island, I made this baked oatmeal receipt form Orangette and Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day. It’s awesome.



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