I bought kéfir (pronounced kə-FEER) so I could try Kéfir Pancakes. Kéfir is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt that is made from kéfir grains and milk. I have made waffles with yogurt as the dairy, but thought kéfir sounded interesting. Kéfir is found in grocery stores near the yogurt.
Kéfir adds an interesting flavour to the pancakes. My wife even likes them without syrup, just some butter.
Milk is added to thin the kéfir. How much milk you use depends on how thick you like your pancakes. 1/4 cup milk on the 2-cup batter recipe will result in a thick pancake. I prefer mine fairly thin, so I use 1/2 cup milk. If you use 1/4 cup milk, spread the batter on the griddle with the bottom of the ladle. Note, this recipe does not use any baking powder. Kéfir is acidic, so only baking soda is added. Whisk the wet and dry ingredients together for a short period, as the baking soda/acid bubbling comes quickly. A long mix drives the bubbles out. You can add some baking power to help with the rise if you mix too much.
Recipe inspired by Kefir Pancakes – Hubert Cormier, nutritionist.
Included with each pancake recipe.
A common question in North America is why use a scale. When I went to baking school, the first thing we were told is to do measuring with a scale. Especially for flour. Flour packs and a cup of flour can weigh anywhere from 100 grams to 140 grams. I use 125 grams as a cup so regardless of whether you flour is packed or just sifted, 125 grams is a cup. For small measurements I do use measuring spoons.
Why grams and not ounces? Commercial baking is done in grams and my training is commercial.
You can freeze and reheat extra pancakes. Store in a freezer bag then reheat at 350°F/180°C for a few minutes.
One of my favourite things my wife bakes is pumpkin pie. She buys a large can of pumpkin puree and goes to town. She mentioned that a small amount was left over so I thought, what about a pumpkin spice pancake? This is a spin on my Lemon Milk Pancakes adding pumpkin and three spices. I found many of the other recipes too strong. The aroma of pumpkin pie was in the air. The only trick is the pumpkin tends to thicken up the batter. I found if I poured it then spread it out some the resulting pancakes were nicer.
Also the batter is orange so it turns dark quicker. Again, I thought the pancakes were done when it was just them turning dark. Great with butter and some maple syrup. If you have any left over, just place on a rack to cool then bag and freeze.
Watch the batter rise in the oven.
German Pancakes are popovers. They are also known as Dutch Babies, Bismarcks or Dutch puffs. Think of a cross between an omelette and a soufflé. Simple recipe of milk, flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and butter. Once removed from the oven, they collapse to form Yorkshire pudding-like sides with an omelette centre.
Serve with a fruit topping, icing sugar or your favourite maple syrup and butter.
2020 Feature recipe of the Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival.
Want your family to eat more whole wheat flour but they don’t like the taste? Try using orange juice instead of milk in your pancakes. The citric acid dulls the fibre taste and makes for an interesting flavour. I like to use orange juice with extra pulp for even more flavour surprises as you eat. As the juice has so much sugar, no need to add more. The sweet juice makes for a dark colour as the sugar caramelizes on the griddle.
My third waffle to pancake recipe is Simple Milk Pancakes based on my Simple Milk Waffles. Like that recipe, this is a foundation recipe to me. It is what I build others from. This is a light fluffy pancake. I prefer the Lemon Milk Pancakes. Mainly I use this as a foundation recipe to build on when I don’t want to add an acid.
In the Oat Gluten-Free Lemon Milk Pancakes recipe, I explain how I convert a waffle to a pancake recipe.
My second waffle to pancake recipe is Lemon Milk Pancakes based on my Lemon Milk Waffles. Like that recipe, this is a foundation recipe to me. It is what I build others from.
I was recently advised to reduce my carb and sugar intake. I have been exploring pancakes so I decided to take my Oat Gluten-Free Lemon Milk Waffles and convert it to pancakes. The bonus was that the oat waffles have no sugar. Pancakes require a thinner batter with less fat/sugar and more milk. My starting point to convert a waffle recipe to pancakes is:
I love my soft fluffy waffles, but I wanted to create savoury crisp waffles – something that you could pile toppings on, lift and eat without the toppings falling off. Reading recipes for other bread/cake products gave me ideas. Biscotti is an Italian biscuit that is baked, cut into slices, then baked again. The Italian word ‘biscotti’ translates to ‘twice-baked.’
When my waffles come off of the iron, they are slightly crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside. I thought, suppose you put them in an oven and bake until they are dry throughout? The oven temperature needs to be hot enough to dry, but not so hot as to bake them. I found 325°F/160°C/Gas 3 for about 20 minutes dries the waffles out without baking them more. The result is a light, crispy wafer.
One of the most challenging recipes for me was developing a gluten free waffle. My experiences with using gluten-free flours has not been very rewarding. I decided to look for an oat flour recipe. To start I took my Lemon Milk Waffle recipe and substituted oat flour for the wheat flour. The results were very tasty but fell apart. See there is no gluten in oat flour so there is no “glue” to hold it together.
Then I learned about Xanthan Gum. Xanthan gum is a thickening agent made from fermented sugars and commonly used in gluten-free recipes. Most gluten-free flours come with xanthan gum already mixed in. Xanthan gum has to be used sparingly or you end up with a batter like stiff jello. (I know from personal experience of my first batch. 🙂 )
Lemon Milk Waffles are by far my favourite waffle. They originated as a way to make buttermilk waffles without buttermilk. A common substitute for buttermilk is milk mixed with an acid such as lemon or lime juice or vinegar. Lime juice instead of lemon works well but leaves no taste. Lemon leaves a hint in the waffles that compliments a sweet waffle. I was also intrigued by a King Arthur Flour tip on taming whole wheat.
If you or your family are very sensitive to whole wheat’s sometimes assertive flavour, try substituting 2 tablespoons orange juice for 2 tablespoons of the milk in this recipe. The OJ tames whole wheat’s potentially tannic taste, without adding any citrus flavour of its own.