Monday, June 27, 2011

Banana walnut pancakes for breakfast

So. . . let’s say that you and your boyfriend had a fight last night.

Wait, no, that’s not fair to you. You’re a lover, not a fighter, right? Right. So. . . let’s say that somebody had a fight with her boyfriend the other night. Hypothetically. Nobody you know, don’t worry.

All I’m saying is, if hypothetically somebody did have a fight with her boyfriend, then making these pancakes the next morning would be an excellent way to apologize. Stirring pancake batter is way easier than saying ‘I’m sorry,’ isn’t it?

Even if you didn’t have a fight, even if you don’t have a boyfriend, you should still make these pancakes. As far as breakfast goes, this one is full of crunchy, toasted bits of walnuts surrounded by fluffy pancake. And that pancake? Super tender from the addition of ripe mashed banana. It’s like a banana muffin melted into a pan and got all golden brown, and that’s good for you, because this is the only way you can pour pure maple syrup all over a banana muffin without getting some weird looks. . . even in Canada.

Oh. . . and did I mention they’re made with whole wheat flour?  Of course. So you can dig into this nutty, protein-packed goodness with the sense that you’re getting a nutritious start to your day. It totally cancels out the butter you’re going to put on these puppies. . . probably.


I love the Maillard reaction, don’t you?

And that fight someone might have had hypothetically with her theoretical boyfriend? Well, I haven’t met a man yet who can be mad at you while you’re handing him piping hot coffee and a plate of homemade breakfast.  Make these next weekend, you’ll see what I mean.

Check after the jump for the recipe and tips on making fluffy pancakes every time.

Banana Walnut Pancakes
makes 6-8 pancakes, depending on size

1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons salt
½ cup nonfat powdered milk*
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup walnut pieces
2 very ripe bananas
1-1 ½ cups water
Give the walnuts a rough chop. Optionally, if you’d like to toast them, toss them into a dry pan (no oil) over medium heat and let them go for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until your kitchen smells like toasty walnut goodness. Seriously, though, don’t let those suckers burn. Remove walnuts to a clean bowl or plate to cool slightly.

Assemble your dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, salt, powdered milk and sugar) in a large bowl and whisk to incorporate. In a separate medium bowl, mash the banana flesh with a fork and add egg, oil and vanilla extract. Add the wet to the dry, stirring until just combined.**  Now add the water: the idea is to only use as much as you need to bring the batter to the right consistency, so add the first cup slowly, combine, and then add the last half a cup as needed. When your batter is right, carefully fold in the walnuts.

Meanwhile, heat a griddle, cast iron skillet or a flat-bottomed pan over MEDIUM heat. Don’t crank it because you’re in a hurry, trust me here. You can test if your cooking surface is ready by flicking a couple drops of water on it; if the water dances a little before evaporating, you’re ready. Grease your griddle/skillet/pan with a little butter, and then ladle or pour pancake batter onto it, ¼ to ½ cup at a time, depending on how large you’d like your pancakes. Cook until the edges of the cakes seem set and little bubbles appear in the middle, 3-4 minutes, and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes.

Serve hot with butter and syrup or, if you’re like my boyfriend, honey and peanut butter. Yum.

* If you don’t have powdered milk, you can substitute the water for regular milk, operating by the same idea of adding as much (or as little) as you need.

** The number one key to fluffy pancakes is to not overmix your batter. If you mix the tar out of it until it’s completely smooth, you’ll have kick-started the formation of strands of gluten, and that leads to a rubbery pancake. Combine carefully; if there’s a few lumps left over, no worries, they’ll smooth out when you cook the cakes.

1 comment:

  1. This is honestly going to be the first recipe I try when I have my own place.

    Though, I might change my mind when you have another recipe up. You're going to turn me into a monster.


Thanks for reading. I'd love to hear what you have to say!