Thursday, February 17, 2011

vegan "buttermilk" cornmeal pancakes

I'm picky about my pancakes (in fact, I'm picky about a lot of things – but that's a topic for another post!). I need them to be fluffy, but also be mostly whole wheat flour or cornmeal or another hardy, non-white flour. I prefer taste like they're made with buttermilk, or at least a dash of lemon juice to balance out the oodles of maple syrup I'll be piling on. Blueberries are pretty much the only fruit product I enjoy in my pancakes, though I could maybe accept bananas. (This recipe is wonderful with blueberries. There's a note about them in the ingredients list. I just didn't have any when I made these and photographed them.) And no nuts are allowed in my pancakes at all. 

Since I started working full-time, I've been preparing less elaborate breakfasts, but I love having my very particular pancake fix on the weekends. Especially since the stove in our apartment has an awesome griddle built-in. It's actually really exciting for a rental kitchen.

So here is my "buttermilk" cornmeal recipe, inspired by a buttermilk pancake recipe in The Joy of Cooking. Which obviously did not originally call for soy yogurt.

Makes about a dozen 5-6 inch pancakes, which will please even an arbitrarily picky person (or this arbitrarily picky person, anyway!).


whisk together in a large bowl:
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

combine in another bowl:
1 cup soy milk
2/3 cup soy yogurt
1/2 cup vegan margarine, melted; alternatively, 1/2 cup safflower, canola, or other mild oil
1/2 cup maple syrup / agave / honey
2 cornstarch eggs (4 tablespoons cornstarch mixed separately with 4 tablespoons cold water) 

1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (optional)
vegan margarine for frying up the pancakes

Mix the liquid ingredients quickly into the dry ingredients. Fold in the blueberries. Don't over-mix, or the pancakes will be too tough. It's okay if they're a little lumpy and not completely mixed. Sometimes I get pockets of agave in my finished pancakes! It's a yummy surprise.

Get a large frying pan or griddle hot. Melt a little vegan margarine in the pan. Using a 1/3 cup measure, scoop the batter out and pour into the pan. Cook the pancakes until they're brown on the bottom (you'll be able to see that the edges are brown) and bubbles are forming on top. Time will vary depending on what kind of pan you're using and how hot it's gotten for the first batch, but it should be 3 -5 minutes. Flip pancakes over with a thin spatula. The second side should go much faster; you'll be able to tell both sides are down when the bottoms are a similar golden brown and the whole pancake is somewhat firm to the touch. 

Transfer to plates (or into a slightly warmed oven to keep them hot while you make the rest or prepare any other breakfast foods). Repeat with remaining batter.

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