Will Bontrager
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Amish Cooking: Stories, Techniques, and Recipes

An Evolved Oat-flour Pancake

Whole-grain Oat Goodness as a Pancake

Even a perfect Amish-recipe pancake has room for improvement when dietary requirements or personal preferences are invoked.
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The Amish Home-made Pancakes recipe may be the best-tasting Amish pancake recipe available.

Yet, I tend to try and improve perfection.

The Amish Home-made Pancakes recipe contains sugar, which I needed to get rid of. I'm on a low-carb diet and the processed sugar was creating havoc.

And good-bye to the salt. I tend toward high blood pressure, which salt can aggravate.

White flour is also much higher in carbs than warranted for the nutrition it (does not) provide. It had to go. The only grain left in the recipe, then, was the whole wheat flour and the oatmeal.

I thought to myself, "Why not replace all the grain with whole-grain oat flour?!"

Oat plants and bag of flour

Whole-grain oats has much to recommend it:

  • It is high in fiber.
  • It is high in antioxidants (compared to wheat flour).
  • None of its carbs are from processed sugars.
  • It is low-glycemic (compared to wheat flour).
  • It is gluten-free.

All that in a pancake would be a really good-for-you meal.

So I set out to update the Amish Home-made Pancakes recipe, omitting the sugar and salt, and with all grains swapped out for whole-grain oat flour.

With oat flour at hand, I set out to do exactly that.

(Oat flour can be made at home with oatmeal and a blender.)

So I made some oat flour and set out to create the recipe. It would be based on the Amish recipe pancakes mentioned above, but with drastic surgery.

Because we have pancakes only on Sunday mornings, it took over a month of testing to perfect the recipe.

A tentative ingredient list was written out. The recipe and cooking instructions would come after a bit of trial and error.

First off, the leavening needed a bit of adjustment. The rise seemed late.

I tried replacing the cream of tarter with baking soda. That didn't work well. The rise happened before the batter hit the skillet.

I ended up adjusting proportions to a good balance of baking powder and cream of tartar.

The reason for the cream of tarter tests it that I didn't want to have to stock cream of tarter, just for pancakes, if I didn't have to. (I have to, so I do.)

Early on, I found out oat flour thickens slower than wheat flour. I needed to let the milk and dry mixture set for at least 5 minutes before starting the cooking. That also let the leavening work better.

Here is the recipe we ended up with.

Oat-flour Pancakes

Here is the recipe for the oat-flour pancakes evolved from the Amish Home-made Pancakes recipe.

Oat-flour Pancakes

(Evolved in the author's kitchen.)

1 cup whole-grain oat flour (can be made with oatmeal and a blender)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 egg white

2 tablespoons oil

3/4 - 1 cup milk

Oat-flour pancake on small platter

In a mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients.

Add the egg white, vegetable oil, about half the milk. Stir until much of the dry ingredients are moistened and the egg has been well distributed.

Add the the rest of the milk. (Start with 3/4 cup altogether and add more if needed.) Stir until all is wet and consistent. The thinner the dough, the thinner the pancake — and vice versa.

Let the batter stand at least 5 minutes to give it a chance to get a little thicker. The oat flour absorbs moisture slower than may be expected. (The batter slowly keeps getting thicker. If you take a long time making pancakes, more milk may be added to thin the batter.)

When ready, lightly grease a hot frying pan or griddle, medium to medium-high heat.

Spoon or pour pancake dough onto the hot surface until it looks like the resulting pancake will be about the right size. If uncertain, start with a third cup of pancake dough for one pancake.

Let cook 3-6 minutes or until bubbles on top of the pancake pop and don't close. (Timing depends on how hot the skillet is, how thick the batter is, and how much batter is in the skillet.)

Cook the second side until browned. This should take a bit less time than the first side, maybe 4-5 minutes.

Put the pancake on a plate. Add toppings as you prefer.

Yields approximately 6 pancakes at 1/2 cup of batter for each — about 10 carbs per pancake. (Using almond milk instead of dairy milk brings it down to about 9 carbs each.)

Note: The pancake batter gets thicker as it sits. Stir in more milk if it gets too thick. More milk, of course, will raise the yield.

Enjoy the taste. It's different than wheat-flour pancakes. To me, it tastes more wholesome.

Topping suggestions:

Topping can be butter, peanut butter, syrup with or without peanut butter, or topping suggestions from this pancake page.

~~~

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