I used to make pancakes almost every weekend. Stacks of simple buttermilk cakes dripping with maple syrup was a Sunday morning thing. Then, I think I developed pancake-guilt. I decided even weekend breakfasts should be a little healthier at least most of the time. If a pancake has some fruit in it or whole wheat flour or nuts, I feel better about serving it. So, of course I had to try the Flax-Coconut Pancakes from the March issue of Food and Wine. The recipe is from Elisabeth Prueitt of San Francisco’s Tartine. She too likes the idea of a healthier pancake, and she’s recently been using grains other than white flour since developing gluten-intolerance. For myself, I’m not concerned about the gluten content in baked goods, but I was happy to pull out my bin of various flours and starches and use some ingredients other than white flour. And mostly, these pancakes sounded like they’d be delicious with the coconut flour in the batter and the coconut oil on the griddle. I pushed the coconut flavor even further by adding some unsweetened, grated coconut. For serving, I couldn’t resist the usual drizzle of pure maple syrup, but I topped that with some chunks of fresh mango as well.
The recipe follows the typical pancake-making procedure but uses a few more ingredients. Brown rice flour, white rice flour, sugar, potato starch, tapioca starch, coconut flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, and salt were combined in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, eggs, milk, and melted coconut oil were whisked before being poured into the dry ingredients. I added a half cup or so of grated coconut and a little more milk to prevent the batter from being too thick. I spread melted coconut oil on a hot griddle with a silicone brush, and then the pancakes were cooked for a few minutes per side. Just like any other kind of pancake, when the surface bubbles, it’s time to turn the cake.
The pancakes had a subtle, warm, tropical flavor from coconut in three forms which was fitting with the mango chunks on top. The coconut and flax make these heartier than plain buttermilk pancakes, but most important, I was pancake-guilt-free serving these for a weekend breakfast treat covered in maple syrup.