G Daniela Galarza
THE WASHINGTON POST – My ideal pancake has crisp edges. It’s plump but not dense, a down pillowlike sponge that can absorb lots of salted butter and just enough maple syrup to tilt everything toward sweetness. Crucially, it needs to be easy to mix together on lazy mornings, before anyone has had their coffee.
This recipe, for oatmeal griddle cakes, fits the bill nicely – and is adaptable enough that it might just become your favourite pancake, too.
It was inspired in part by a large, dinner-plate-size griddle cake I was served at a restaurant called Salt’s Cure in Los Angeles. Light, but chewy, the pancake had crisp, lacy edges and was full of pockets of soft, dense oatmeal, barely held together by eggs
But this variation gets that pancake closer to my ideal. By making the batter in a blender, the nutty oats turn into a smooth flour and cook quickly into fluffy, rather than dense, cakes on a hot skillet.
Lots of double-acting baking powder means there’s no need to add salt, and they’ll be lofty with or without eggs, so they can easily be made vegan. To make them gluten-free, substitute your favourite gluten-free flour blend for the all-purpose flour.
If your blender is on the fritz, or you are trying to make breakfast quietly while others snooze, you can also whisk the batter together in a bowl. (Just be sure to use quick-cook oats rather than old-fashioned.) Made this way, your pancakes will turn out more like the Salt’s Cure version, with craggy edges and chewy bites of oatmeal.
To get crispy edges, I recommend frying this batter in a hot skillet that’s not just greased, but coated with a thin pool of fat. Ghee, coconut oil or vegetable oil – heated until barely smoking – work well here to ensure each pancake gets a crunchy ring around its edge.
OATMEAL GRIDDLE CAKES
Two servings (Makes eight four-inch pancakes)
Three-quarter cup (64 grammes) rolled oats, preferably quick-cooking
Half cup (120 millilitres) whole milk or buttermilk, plus more as needed
Quartercup (31 grammes) all-purpose flour or a gluten-free flour blend
One large egg
One tablespoon honey or maple syrup, plus more for serving
One and a half teaspoons double-acting baking powder
Ghee, coconut oil or vegetable oil, for frying
Butter, for serving
Fresh or cooked fruit, for serving
In the pitcher of a blender, combine the oats and milk or buttermilk. Blend on high until the oats appear finely ground and the milk thickens, about one minute. Add the flour, egg, honey or maple syrup, and baking powder and blend on high until just combined,five to 10 seconds. (Do not overmix, or the pancakes may be tough.) Scrape the bottom and sides of the blender to ensure there are no unmixed pockets of batter.
Place a 12-inch cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat, and add one to three tablespoons of ghee or oil, evenly spreading it across the bottom of the pan. As soon as it begins to smoke lightly, pour three to four small, roughly three-inch-diametre puddles of batter into the pan. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the pancake edges look dry and the tops are pocked with bubbles, two to three minutes. Flip, and continue cooking until the pancakes bounce back when lightly poked in the centre, another two to three minutes. Repeat with the additional fat and the remaining batter. Serve the pancakes hot, with butter, syrup or honey, and/or fresh or cooked fruit.