I love pancakes. Any of my friends will be able to attest to my deep and undying devotion to them. Their fluffy, not-too-sweet deliciousness will always hold a special place in my heart (maybe literally, depending on how much butter and syrup I use).
At any rate, while they aren’t the world’s healthiest breakfast food, pancakes can be an acceptable start to the day. The key is to substitute in healthier ingredients. Obviously.
What I love about this pancake recipe is just that: its flexibility. I’ve tried a myriad of substitutions (mostly dictated by what I had in my kitchen at the time), and these pancakes have always come out as delicious and fluffy as ever. This is not because I’m some sort of pancake goddess – it’s because I understand basic ratios and substances that need to go into a pancake.
A quick lesson in the anatomy of a pancake: you need some sort of flour, a leavening agent (usually baking powder + salt), a fat (oil, butter, etc.), and something to hold it all together (usually eggs and a liquid). Then add in any sort of extras you want (nuts, berries, vanilla, etc.). I’m not positive, but I think sugar technically falls under the “extras” category for pancakes – as in, I don’t think it serves a chemical purpose other than making them taste better. Let me know in the comments if I’m wrong!
FATS: This original recipe calls for melted butter as the fat. If you want to sub in an oil for butter, use about 75% of the quantity that the recipe calls for (1.5 tbsp oil instead of 2 tbsp butter). If you want to sub in a nut butter (peanut butter, etc.) for the butter, use 25-50% more, depending on the oil content of the nut butter. There’s more in nut butter besides just fat, so you need more of it to ensure that you get the right amount of fat. If you’re nervous about these substitutions, do a partial substitution (like 1 tbsp butter and 3/4 tbsp flax oil).
FLOUR:The flour is pretty versatile – just make sure you don’t have something that’s too
coarse. For example, if you want to use flax meal, combine it with all-purpose or whole wheat flour (1/2 cup of each). Try ground oats. Try rice flour. Try almond meal. Whatever you want. Just keep the consistency not-too-far away from all-purpose flour.
EGGS: Vegans can sub in a bunch of different things for eggs (a good list of them is here). Those watching their cholesterol can try 2 egg whites in place of 1 egg. The consistency may vary slightly, but as long as the batter sticks together, you’re fine.
If you’re trying to substitute a different leavening agent, good luck. I know nothing about that, so I can’t help you. Let me know how it goes in the comments!
Aight. Now that you know probably more than you ever wanted to know about pancakes, here’s the actual recipe! And there was much rejoicing!
These pancakes freeze exceptionally well – just let them cool completely and then wrap up 5 or 6 in a square of aluminum foil.
1 cup flour
1+1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar (I used brown this time…and maybe a smidge more than 2 tbsp…ahem…)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk (I’ve also used almond milk, soy milk, and water with equal success)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1. Melt the butter. Let it cool slightly while you do the next steps.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together the egg & milk.
3. Add the melted butter (or other fat) to the egg & milk.
4. Make a dent in the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients in and stir until just combined.
***Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert pancake-flipper. They look like hell but they taste like heaven, and I’m not ashamed to say it. Peace.