Friday, March 5, 2010

Tips For Success When Using Whole Grains And A Recipe For Blueberry-Corn Pancakes

Have you ever found that by in large wheat flour is usually heavier and generally produces weighter bread?  I have until just recently when I purchased stone ground whole wheat flour, fine grade.  In fact, a friend just asked me why her whole wheat hamburger buns did not turn out light and fluffy like mine did.  At the time I had no idea, so I ask another friend who had also had good success with her bread products.

When using whole wheat flour, the secret to lighter and fluffier buns is in the grade of the flour.  The finer the grade the lighter and fluffier your bread will be.  The texture of fine stone ground whole wheat flour is that of white flour.  I usually purchase stone ground whole wheat flour with a fine grade and my products turn out great.  Another thing that I have read and tried is allowing the wheat and warm water to sit for at least 15 -30 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.  For example, if the recipe calls for 7 cups of flour I will add 3 cups to 1 and a half cups of warm water and let it set for 15-30 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients.  This allows the grains some time to start working and the flour time to absorb the liquid.  When using cornmeal this same method applies.  Just this morning, I tried this when making delicious blueberry corn pancakes.  Also, when I thought  that I had purchased 50 lbs. of white flour this week, I opened it and discovered that I will be cooking using all whole grains for a while as it was enriched, unbleached, unbromated wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, folic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine mononitrate.  It did not affect the flavor or how the bread rose.

Blueberry-Corn Pancakes (from Whole Grain Baking)
(I doubled this recipe when I used it for my family of 7)

1/2 cup whole yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup boiling water
3 Tbs. butter, melted
1/4-1/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

  1. Place the cornmeal in a medium bowl. Pour the boiling water over it, stir the mixture thoroughly and let it sit for 15 minutes. This allows the cornmeal to absorb the liquid, and it will be quite stiff at the end of 15 minutes.  Stir the melted butter to loosen the mixture.  Measure the milk; use the smaller amount of milk if your blueberries are frozen.  Beat the egg into the milk and stir the mixture into the cornmeal.  Combine well to be sure there are no lumps.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour with the sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the cornmeal mixture and combine with a few swift strokes.  Let the batter sit for 15 minutes, then stir in the blueberries.
  2. Heat a nonstick griddle or a cast iron skillet and brush with oil if your pan is not non-stick.  When the surface of your pan is hot enough, drop 1/4 of a cup of pancake batter onto the skillet for each pancake.  Let the pancake cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form around the edges, about 3-4 minutes (since it is whole wheat bubbles will not form across the whole surface).  Flip and finish cooking about 2 more minutes on the other side.  Serve immediately with maple syrup and enjoy!


Sandy Hall said...

We grind our own wheat and I prefer to use Prairie Gold or Hard Winter White wheat. They are lighter in color, flavor, and texture than Red Wheat. Also when I bake bread, I add in about 1 tablespoon of gluten for each cup of flour. This gives the bread strength so it won't be as heavy.

Do you have a bread machine? I have a great recipe for whole wheat bread using our bread machine. I'll share it if you are interested.

Debbie said...

Sandy, I do not have a bread machine. HOwever, I do have a Kitchen-Aid mixer with a dough hook that I use daily. That is great that you grind your own wheat. It seems as if it stays fresher that way. Is it expensive to buy a grain mill and where do you buy your wheat? Yes, I am still interested in your bread recipe.