Here's a recipe that puts a slight twist on regular old pancakes. The inclusion of rye flour affords marginal health benefits while adding flavor and a little heartiness to your flapjacks.

Put them on a breakfast plate with butter and maple syrup. Also, too, if you make the batter thin enough and the cakes small enough, they are very elegant blini. The extra flavor and mouth-feel from the rye might overwhelm your fine caviar, so throw them on a platter of lox or other smoked fish.

Here's a fun song to sing while you make them (this version's kinda fun as well, until you realize that Woody Guthrie's mind is deteriorating):

It's early in the morning, so get your mind right: put 2 oz. of your finest rye whiskey into a coffee mug; top it off with hot coffee, leaving room for cream and sugar, to taste.

Equipment

You probably have everything you need already: a sifter, assorted measuring cups and spoons, two mixing bowls, a whisk, a gravy ladle, a spatula, and a large flat pan. Cast iron is king, and the best choice is the kind that covers two of your stove's burners at once. Those plug-em-in electronic ones are okay, too, especially if you want to take the pancake show on the road.

Rye Pancakes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup rye flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 to 1 cup of buttermilk* (use the high end of the range for thinner pancakes)

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 egg

Scoop a half cup of all-purpose flour into your sifter, and sift it onto a piece of wax paper. Do the same thing with the rye flour, so you have your different flours each in their own piles on the wax paper.

Place your sifter in the larger of your two mixing bowls. Use a spoon to gently place the sifted flour into the half cup measure, and -- gently, again -- level off the half-cup. Throw the flour into the sifter. Do the same thing with the rye flour, GENTLY!

You may notice that you have leftovers of both flours on your wax paper. But you measured a half-cup of each before the first sift, and then you just took a half-cup of each from its respective pile to combine them for the second sift. How is this even possible?

It's Jesus magic of the loaves-and-fishes variety; you can't explain it. Just pray a prayer of thanksgiving, and put the leftovers in a container that seals tightly. Add to it each time you make this recipe, and eventually you'll have enough of the blend that you can just use it instead of the separate flours.

Now, add the baking powder and baking soda on top of the flours in the sifter and sift into the mixing bowl.

Did you turn the heat on your pan/griddle to medium heat yet? Well, you had better.

Beat the egg, melted butter, and at least 3/4 cup of the buttermilk together until they're thoroughly combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and whisk just enough to get it smooth and not a single pass of the whisk more.

The griddle is hot enough when you flick some water drops on it and they immediately sizzle. Grease the hot griddle with the grease you like the most (probably not the version with the reality show cast). If your griddle is well-seasoned and/or "non-stick," you can probably skip the grease.

The law of pancakes tells us that the first batch is always burned; throw them away or give them to the dog. Adjust the heat down, so the rest don't get burned.

Ladle the batter onto the griddle. When there are a lot of little bubbles and/or you see the edges of the pancake start to get dry, flip it. Cook for another minute or two. Then stack them on a plate in the oven set to warm (175 F degrees).

When you're out of batter, ring the breakfast bell and enjoy.

This recipe should yield about a dozen pancakes, depending on the size.

*If you don't have buttermilk, just put a little white vinegar or lemon juice in the bottom of your measuring cup and top it off with regular milk. Let that stuff get acquainted while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

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