You probably know that Mardi Gras is also known as Fat Tuesday, as well as Shrove Tuesday–but what about Pancake Tuesday?! Pancake Tuesday is the way carnival season is topped off in the United Kingdom. I happen to think that rocks. And although, yes, the main motif of Mardi Gras is indulgence before fasting, it’s possible, if you are so inclined, to indulge in healthy pancakes that taste no less decadent.
How? Allow me introduce you to white whole wheat flour. White wheat is a naturally occurring albino variety of wheat, and when it is turned into whole wheat flour it doesn’t have the heavy taste of the common whole wheat flour (made from red wheat) that we are accustomed to. White whole wheat flour has the same nutritional and fiber benefits of red whole wheat, but since it doesn’t have the same tannins and phenolic acid found in the outer bran of red wheat, it is less bitter and tastes sweeter. Yay!
Many people love the taste of regular whole wheat, but sometimes, like for pancakes, a lighter alternative that doesn’t lack in nutrients and fiber is a godsend. You can buy white whole wheat flour at some health food stores or gourmet markets (like Whole Foods). You can also order it online from my favorite flour company, King Arthur Flour.
And now for the pancakes. You can try substituting some or all of the regular flour in your favorite pancake recipe with white whole wheat. Or follow this recipe, which, in the British Pancake Tuesday tradition, make pancakes that are thinner (more like crepes) than their fluffy American cousins. For a thicker pancake, use less buttermilk.
1 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup Sucanat
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups organic buttermilk
1 large free-range egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoons melted butter
oil or butter for the pan
1. Stir all dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add wet ingredients.
2. Lightly stir until just combined, leaving some lumps. Overbeating will result in tough pancakes.
3. Brush skillet with oil or butter over medium heat until a droplet of water sizzles. Pour batter into pan and cook until small bubbles form in pancake. Flip, cook and remove to a warm plate.
4. Top with your favorite pancake toppings, and eat them like there’s no Wednesday.