Do you ever go grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon? It’s not pretty.
A few days ago, I was weaving in and out of aisles at the supermarket, repeatedly cornered or trapped by someone’s cart, or worse, by those two women who planted themselves in front of the entire yogurt section, chatting with sour faces that never once looked my way for the solid five minutes that they’d commandeered the dairy case.
You know the ones.
By the time I’d finally made it past them and to the baking aisle, my mindset was reduced to pure self-preservation: Flour. The only other thing I needed was flour.
There were people on my right and people on my left, with one couple edging towards me quickly. I scanned the shelves.
No whole wheat pastry flour, but there was white whole wheat flour! That’s similar, right? I grabbed a bag.
While I waited in line at the checkout, a surly balding man cut in front of me, pretending not to see me or my shopping cart that were mere inches away from him. And would you believe it, I let him.
That grocery store broke me, I tell you. Turns out, though, that the experience wasn’t entirely bad.
Because white whole wheat flour? It’s different from whole wheat pastry flour in that it has more protein (13% compared to pastry’s 9% per serving) and comes from a different version of the grain (hard white spring wheat rather than soft white winter wheat).
It offers all the fiber and nutrition of traditional whole wheat, but with a milder flavor and lighter color.
It has a finer grind than regular whole wheat flour. It makes a good substitute for white all-purpose flour. It’s said to be great in breads, cookies, bars, and so on. You can even grind your own at home using a home grain mill.
Also, it makes a great pancake.
A few hours after I got home from the store, I was absentmindedly watching an episode of something on Hulu when someone mentioned pancakes. You can blame the rough morning if you’d like, but that’s all it took: I had to have pancakes.
Five minutes and one Google search later, I was looking at 101 Cookbooks, the same site that brought me this maple blueberry coffee cake and this chocolate cake. I whipped up a half batch of Heidi’s favorite pancakes right on the spot.
These super-simple pancakes are thin and cakey, absolute perfection when a little overdone and topped with butter and maple syrup.
I can eat about six of them in one sitting, no problem, and that’s saying something. And while I happily ate forkful after forkful, I kept thinking that if all miserable Sunday afternoons at the grocery store brought things like this, they wouldn’t be so bad.
I halved the recipe, and despite burning a couple at the beginning (the first pancake’s never perfect anyway, right?), I had enough to push me past full, with a plateful left for the next day.
As written below in my own version, this recipe makes about 6 large pancakes, 15 medium ones, or a bunch of little silver dollars (which is what I ended up liking best).
Feel free to double it up to your liking, and enjoy a delicious and satisfying breakfast, or breakfast for dinner at the end of a hectic day.
These might even inspire you to try other alternative flours for your next pancake party. Good morning, einkorn and rye!Print
Give breakfast a healthier makeover with these simple whole grain pancakes, topped with pure maple syrup and fresh berries.
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ⅛ cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing skillet
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Maple syrup, fresh berries, or your favorite toppings (optional)
- Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, vanilla extract, and melted butter.
- Slowly stir wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. There should still be a few lumps remaining.
- Heat skillet or griddle on medium heat and lightly grease with butter. Once hot, pour ¼ cup of batter onto skillet.
- Cook for a couple minutes, until bubbles form on top and start to pop. Flip, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from pan and repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Pancakes
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Breakfast
Keywords: buttermilk pancakes, whole grain, whole grain pancakes, buttermilk, pancakes
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Measure Ingredients
Measure out all of your ingredients.
While buttermilk will give the best flavor, in a pinch you can substitute 1 cup of milk or non-dairy milk alternative mixed with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before using.
Step 2 – Combine Ingredients
Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set it aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, vanilla extract, and melted butter.
Step 3 – Mix Wet Ingredients into Dry
Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to overmix. There should still be some lumps in the batter.
Step 4 – Heat and Grease Skillet or Griddle
Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat and lightly grease with butter. You could use a grill pan on the stove, an electric griddle, or your favorite large frying pan.
Step 5 – Cook
For each pancake, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the hot skillet.
You can determine whether the skillet is ready by dropping a splash of water on the griddle. If it starts to bubble and “dance,” then you’ll know it’s hot enough.
Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the bubbles that form on the top start to pop. Flip, and cook another 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown.
If the first one doesn’t come out perfectly, don’t sweat it. As you continue to cook, adjust the heat and add more butter as needed.
Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve immediately, with fresh berries and pure maple syrup, or your choice of toppings. For a fruitier alternative, drizzle with a fresh strawberry syrup.
Note: To keep the pancakes warm until you’re ready to serve, you can heat your oven to 175°F and place the cooked ones in the oven on a baking sheet.
What is White Whole Wheat Flour?
Since we’re frequently told to eat more whole grain products and less white flour, the term “white whole wheat” can seem like an oxymoron.
While whole wheat flour contains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than refined, white flour, it can result in heartier, heavier baked goods. Not necessarily the characteristics you want in a pancake.
White whole wheat flour solves this problem, as it’s 100% whole wheat, but made from a different variety of the grain that’s naturally lighter in color and milder in flavor. As a result, you get all the nutrition of whole wheat with a lighter texture and flavor that you want from a pancake.
Have a recipe that calls for whole wheat flour? These two flours can be used interchangeably.
Want to amp up the flavor? Be inspired by our coconut orange silver dollar pancake recipe!
And if you need to be completely gluten free for your meals, you can still enjoy a homemade breakfast with our recipe for coconut flour pancakes.
Here are some more recipes featuring white whole wheat flour to get you started:
Are you a fan of heartier pancakes, or light and fluffy flapjacks? Share your opinions in the comments below, and be sure to give this whole grain breakfast recipe a rating after you give it a try!
Photos by Kelli McGrane, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on March 23, 2010. Last updated: March 1, 2022 at 16:52 pm. With additional writing and editing by Kelli McGrane and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
The written contents of this article have been reviewed and verified by a registered dietitian for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as personalized or professional medical advice. Foodal and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet, or using supplements or manufactured or natural medications.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.