Whenever I go out for breakfast or brunch I have a silent debate about what to order. Usually, I will toggle back and forth between the different selections. Do I want pancakes? Eggs? My thoughts circle around in my head questioning which would be healthier, won’t leave me hungry in two hours, and what do I really want? It is ridiculous, but I must walk my way through the menu, weigh each option, assess my mood, then grant my wish.
On the occasion that I do choose pancakes, I feel as if I have made a gutsy decision. A cheer for a laissez-faire attitude to eat whatever I want, and stand up to the imaginary food police. When did pancakes become a guilty pleasure? A song comes to mind coaxing me to live by the wise words of Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry, be happy.”
Fortunately, I devised a solution to convince my inner grumblings and created a more “nutritiously dense” pancake breakfast. I substituted all-purpose flour with oat flour. I could be kidding myself, believing pancakes made with oat flour are healthier and a more nutritious choice then pancakes made with all-purpose flour. It is a whole grain after all. At this time I am not sure how reliable my nutritional information is. Yet, if we put the potential nutritional benefits aside, pancakes made with oat flour are moist, airy, and have a slightly nutty and sweet flavor. In other words they taste great, extra health benefits or not.
It is not just a straight swap of all-purpose flour with oat flour. Oat flour does not have the gluten proteins and will need extra leavening. Also, oat flour has more moisture than all-purpose flour, so you might not need the same ratio of liquid to flour. The easy part is, pancakes are the perfect place to start learning how to cook with gluten-free flour because of its free-form structure.
You can make oat flour by putting rolled oats into a blender and grind away. However, the flour will not get as smooth as the store-bought oat flour. The uneven gritty texture might be fine in some baked goods, but I prefer my pancakes light with a fluffy texture minus the granules. If you can find oat flour at your grocery store, buy it. Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur are two companies that make oat flour. Fortunately, Bob’s Red Mill is widely available at most grocery stores and usually costs around $3.65, and over $6.00 for gluten-free oat flour. If you want to make banana oat pancakes for someone with a gluten intolerance or celiac disease, make sure the “gluten-free” is written on the label.
I believe oat flour adds a nice flavor to pancakes and does not have that floury aftertaste that you sometimes get with all-purpose flour. Banana Oat Pancakes are a great way to sneak in some oatmeal for little ones, (and big ones) who are not so fond of eating a bowl of oatmeal cereal.
Airy Banana Oat Pancakes
- 3 Tb (43 g) melted butter
- 2 cups (200 g) oat flour
- 3 Tbs (56 g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tb plus 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1/4 tsp if using store bought ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups (375 ml) milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, separated
- ¾ cup (137 g) rough chopped bananas about 1 ½ bananas
Preheat oven to 225˚F. Place a baking sheet in the oven on a rack in the middle of the oven.
Melt the butter using a microwave or stove top. Set the butter aside to come to room temperature.
Sift the oat flour into a large mixing bowl
Add the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg to the bowl with the oat flour. Stir the ingredients so they are evenly combined with a wire whisk. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the egg yolks, milk, and vanilla together using a whisk until thoroughly combined.
Add the egg and milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix together until well combined with the whisk. The batter will thicken and you will see some air bubbles. Add the cooled melted butter and bananas then mix until just combined.
Add the egg whites and mix until well combined. You do not have to worry about over mixing with oat flour because there are no gluten proteins to toughen up the mix. Optional: whip the egg whites to stiff but not dry. Fold one quarter of the egg whites into the batter, then add the remaining egg whites. Carefully fold the egg whites until all mixed in.
Heat your grill or skillet to medium or medium/high heat. (I set my electric griddle to 350˚F, then turn in down to 325˚F when it is hot.) To test if your pan is hot enough, flick some water onto the surface of your heated pan. If the water bubbles, sizzles and dance, the pan is hot enough. If the water just sizzles, then the pan needs more time to heat up. If the water immediately evaporates, then the pan is too hot.
Melt butter on the griddle or skillet and spread it evenly over the pans surface.
Use a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup, scoop up the pancake batter and pour the batter onto the hot surface. Use a thin rubber spatula to help scrape out the batter from the cup. Continue to scoop and pour batter onto the hot pan until the pan is full but not crowded. My griddle I cooked 6 pancakes at a time, a 12-inch skillet will cook 3 pancakes at a time.
The pancakes will begin to bubble and some air bubbles will pop. Look for some air bubbles appearing in the middle of the pancake, about 2- 3 minutes. Flip the pancake using a sturdy spatula and cook the other side for another minute or 2. You want nice golden brown color on both sides of the pancakes and cooked all the way through in the middle.
Put the cooked pancakes on the warm baking sheet in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the pancakes.
Serve with warm maple syrup or your favorite fruit topping.
© 2017 – 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.
I love breakfast and will never skip this meal. Most of the time I enjoy a bowl of yogurt with fruit and coffee, or almond butter on multi-grain toast. No matter what I am eating, breakfast is a sacred and meditative time of day even if it only lasts for 10 minutes.
Our usual breakfast routine is self-serve. I stock our pantry and frig with our habitual breakfast foods. Joe does his thing in the morning, and I do mine. Joe makes us a big pot of coffee, so all I have to think about first thing in the morning is locating a clean mug. Sometimes it is the little gestures that mean so much. I love waking up and seeing a full pot of coffee ready and waiting. I can sip hot coffee and ease into the routine of the day.
Thanksgiving is a month away, and I am looking forward to having a full house and time to dig into a big breakfast shared with people I love. The kitchen table welcomes the family with a selection of cherished breakfast delights like eggs, pastries, bacon, fruit, coffee, and oj. Everyone is lounging around in their pj’s. The morning sleepiness gradually subsides, helped along by jokes and ease. A cherished moment of family down time before the holiday activities and cooking begins.
But why wait until a holiday to enjoy a breakfast meal together? I believe it is time for me to bring back an old tradition we had while dating. It is time for a breakfast date, and pancakes are on the menu.
Not just any pancakes though, Dutch Baby pancake made with oat flour. Dutch Baby Pancake, also known as German pancake, is one skillet sized pancake cooked in the oven. It is one of the easiest breakfasts to make, and has very few ingredients. It is delightful. Dutch Baby pancake is light and puffy, like popovers and crêpes. I believe there are two ingredients that make a Dutch Baby pancake stand out. Frist, add some freshly grated nutmeg in the batter instead of cinnamon. The warmth of nutmeg nicely compliments the oat flour. I like it more than cinnamon. Then, after the pancake is out of the oven, finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Wow. Don’t skip the lemon. A little squeeze of juice transforms the plain Dutch Baby Pancake into a regal delicacy.
Why change a good thing and substitute all-purpose flour with oat flour? Why not. Oat flour has a slightly nutty and caramel flavor making it a complimentary ingredient to use in a variety of baked goods. It is also a great gluten-free substitute for all-purpose flour. Replacing all-purpose flour with oat flour makes the butter taste butterier with a slight nuttiness. Also, you do not have to worry about over-mixing the batter when you use oat flour. Dutch Baby pancakes made with oat flour will not rise up the sides of the pan like a traditional one, but it will puff up randomly, creating hills and valleys for pools of butter and syrup to collect. This oat flour Dutch Baby pancake reminds me of funnel cake with its irregular shape.
This recipe is adapted from David Eyre’s Pancake, The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser
Want more recipes using oat flour? Try my Gluten-free Nifty Cake
Where to buy oat flour? Oat flour is widely available at some large supermarket chains, such as Stop&Shop and Whole Foods. It is also available at smaller specialty grocery stores like Mrs. Green’s and family run markets like DeCicco’s in Westchester and Putnam Counties. Bob’s Reb Mill is the most widely available brand of oat flour. They supply a gluten-free oat flour and a non-gluten free oat flour. Also, King Arthur, and Arrowhead Mills have oat flour, but they may not be gluten-free. Often, oats and wheat grow in fields next together and may cross-pollinate. As well as, oats and wheat are milled in the same facility. Unless it says Gluten-free on the label, the oats are cross pollinated or cross contaminated with wheat. Additionally, Amazon sells oat flour. However, compared to my grocery store, it is double the price.
Gluten-Free Dutch Baby Pancake
- 1/3 cup 1 1/2 oz/ 43 g oat flour*
- 1/2 cup whole milk 118 ml *see note for a dairy free alternative
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tea of freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 Tb butter 2 oz/52 g
- 1 Tb confectioners sugar
- 1 lemon
- *If you want to use all-purpose flour use 1/3 cup 1 5/8 oz/46 g of all purpose flour
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet, or sturdy oven proof skillet in the oven to heat up.
Sift the oat flour into a medium mixing bowl. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl and add to the flour. Add the milk and nutmeg and mix all the ingredients until combined.
Heat the skillet in the oven and add the butter. After the butter melts and stops bubbling, pour the batter into the center of the pan. The batter should spread evenly out. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The pancake should be evenly golden brown and set in the middle.
Sprinkle the Dutch Baby with powdered sugar and put the pan back in the oven for a minute or so.
Remove from the oven and squeeze the juice from half a lemon all over the pancake. Serve immediately.
You can slice it right in the skillet, or slide it onto a serving plate then serve.
Serve the pancake with fresh fruit topping of your choice, and or maple syrup.
Dairy free option: I made the recipe using oat flour and almond milk for a dairy free and gluten free alternative. Use the same amount of unsweetened almond milk as cows milk in the recipe. The Dutch Baby pancake will not be as puffy, but it still will puff up and taste great.
Dutch Baby is also great as a dessert. Drizzle it with Nutella or chocolate sauce and creme fraiche or ice cream. Any fruit topping with cream is a good option as well.
© 2016 – 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.
I made a new discovery this past week. As I was walking around the produce department I spotted a fruit that I had never seen before, lemon plums. The color was what first grabbed my attention, a warm vibrant yellow with a thin smooth skin. Their shape is somewhat similar to a lemon and somewhat similar to a plum, but longer and a little larger. These days anything bright and warm looking will hold the attention of any skeptical winter weary person. The end of winter is here and we North easterners no longer see the virtue in the color grey. I stared at these lemon plums as if I was watching a long summer sunrise. Entranced, I collected some plums to buy and bring home.
My research informed me that lemon plums are in season now and from Chile. They are rare and I was instructed to snatch them up when I saw them. Lemon plums are picked when they are yellow and unripe. As they ripen they gradually turn the color of a reddish-orange, the darker they get the riper and sweeter they will become.
© 2016 – 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.