Girls like pretty. Boys want flavor. When the two meet it is a glorious blending, a union, an alliance of shared contentedness. In our house there are three boys and one girl. Jimmy, James and Pericles, the dog, represent the males of the house. I am the solitary female. As a result most of the cooking I do pleases and teases their taste buds but I enjoy a good-looking dish. Though I have to add they appreciate a gorgeous plate and I, in turn, have pretty high standards when it comes to tastiness. James’ high school and college years brought many an overnight houseguest which thrilled me to no end. I fussed over those boys taking special orders for cafe con leche, biscuit and gravy and this breakfast, the cake-like whole wheat buttermilk pancakes with masses of fresh blueberries jumbled in. Those darling boys would come home sometimes at 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning usually stopping to cool off in the pool before coming in. They’d get a running start from the driveway, propel themselves through the air and execute flawless cannon balls. Although we pretty much always woke up from those distinctive “thumps” of a 185 pound boy hitting the water, I savored every single moment. I’d snuggle deep into the covers of our bed delighted knowing they were happy and safely back home. I knew those days were numbered and, sure enough, all those boys have graduated and moved on to their new professional lives and careers. This is one of those breakfasts that we all took great pleasure in sharing. The nutty flavor of the whole wheat plays off the tang of the buttermilk and the berries give that pleasing “pop” of color and flavor while cutting through the richness of each mouthful. This recipe calls for a large amount of berries because I feel EVERY bite should be loaded with them. These pancakes cook up tall, light and fluffy belying the fact that they are 100% whole wheat. I ALWAYS use a large teflon coated griddle or pan otherwise I find the whole process turns into a disaster. For the first few pancakes I give the griddle a very light spray of non-stick spray and after that the butter in the batter is sufficient. But definitely use a non-stick pan. And remember, buttermilk is your friend. It’s lower in fat and calories because the fat from the buttermilk has already been removed in order to make butter. Buttermilk is what’s left after it’s been churned and made into butter. A fermented product, it’s loaded with good bacteria vital for a well-functioning digestive system. Low-fat buttermilk is carried in most grocery stores, is fabulous for cooking and baking and keeps forever in your refrigerator. If you’re ever at a market or farmstand and they offer fresh buttermilk SNAP IT UP. Mass produced buttermilk pales in comparison, fresh is tart and cool, rich and smooth. I’ve been making these pancakes for years and quite some time ago changed the recipe a bit to fit our needs. I remember making these for James when he was in Pre-K. He would pick them up whole as though they were slices of toast. I add a trace more sugar to the batter than traditional pancakes thus making syrup optional, almost unnecessary. Really, they’re almost like cake. Okay. They’re cake. Whole wheat cakes from a pan. So good. So satisfying. And you”ll be the most loved mom on the planet for a good half hour!
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 pints fresh blueberries
- 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
- 2 large eggs, well mixed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate bowl mix buttermilk, butter, eggs and vanilla extract. When well combined add blueberries. Mix well.
- Bring non-stick griddle or skillet up to medium heat.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the blueberry buttermilk into it. Mix well.
- Use an ice cream scoop or measuring cup to ladle out batter for small pancakes. I use 2 serving spoons, one to scoop and the other to scrape the batter off the bowl of the spoon. I find small pancakes are easier to flip.
- When you see a few bubbles rising in the pancakes turn them over with the thinnest spatula you have. For a 3″ or 4″ pancake it’s a few minutes. Depends on the size of the cake and the heat of the stove top. I also go by the cooking smell. If it starts smelling a little too toasty in the kitchen I drop what I’m doing and flip those bad boys over.
- After turning, cook for 1 minute, transfer to serving platter and continue cooking pancakes until batter is gone.
- If serving pancakes with syrup use good Vermont maple and warm it up first.