You know you’ve hit a low point when . . . you decide what’s for breakfast based on what will keep the morning dose of antibiotics down. This was my rationale today, as a means to end the latest bout of plagues that have tormented my poor children!
Not that there’s any wonder-ingredient invovled. This simply falls under the category of comfort food for breakfast. Originally, the recipe was inspired by an Austrian chef at a charming Seattle bed and breakfast where we stayed seven years ago. Breakfast was delicious, thick pancakes that were light in crumb, yet didn’t fall apart with a drizzle of syrup or a dollop of cream. It might not be very American, but I like pancakes that are thick and fluffy- no flapjacks, please. So, once we returned home, I set to work trying to recreate these perfect (in my book) pancakes. And as all good “interpretations” go, I thought it would be nice to make them a bit more rustic with polenta and a hint of cinnamon for warmth. They are not sweet like so many pancakes are, though you can certainly top them with all the syrup, fruit and cream that you like. This time I just added some chopped pecans which toast nicely on the griddle, a bit of syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar. My little patients were happy, and so were we.
by Stephanie Kunstle
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp. polenta (also known as corn grits- you may also substitute more finely ground corn meal)
- 2 Tbsp. wheat germ
- 1 and 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- Optional: chopped pecans, 1 cup fresh fruit, or chocolate pieces
- Preheat an iron skillet or griddle for about 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat (butter should melt over it, but not burn).
- Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl with a whisk.
- In a large liquid measuring cup, add buttermilk and whisk in eggs until well-beaten.
- Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until well combined.
- Let batter stand for 5 minutes to allow it to rise slightly.
- Add a pat of butter to skillet or griddle to coat the cooking surface. Ladle pancake batter of desired amount onto griddle, and then add the pecans, chocolate, or fruit (you can also fold fruit into the batter, but where it will land in your pancake is much more random). Watch for bubbles to form around edges, then flip to allow pancake to continue cooking. (Note: if your griddle is too hot, the pancakes will cook quickly on the outside, but the middle will be raw, so be sure to keep the heat just hot enough.)
- Serve with powdered sugar, warmed maple syrup, or whatever makes you happy (I’ve seen them enjoyed just plain, with peanut butter, Nutella, freshly whipped cream, and fruit over the top).