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I've been experimenting for a while with whole grain pancake recipes that I can make in a blender. This is the best variation I've come up with so far:

½ cup hard white wheat
1 cup rolled oats
1 ½ cups milk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed for 6 minutes. Cook on a 325° griddle.

I like the pancakes, but some of my kids complain about the texture. What can I do to make them lighter and fluffier? I don't want to significantly increase the fat or sugar. I don't want to significantly decrease the fiber or protein. Are there any good options within these parameters?

  • Blending for 6 minutes at high speed is going to activate the gluten in the flour, making for tougher pancakes. Also, pancakes made with buttermilk tend to be more tender. – Debbie M. Oct 12 '15 at 23:04
  • What is the long blending time doing for you that a shorter one wouldn't? Were you have trouble with clumps? – Cascabel Oct 12 '15 at 23:23
  • @DebbieM., I suspect the blending destroys a lot of the gluten, too. I could be wrong. I tried buttermilk once and didn't notice a difference in the texture. – mrog Oct 12 '15 at 23:32
  • @Jefromi, I could try a shorter blending time. But it takes significant time to pulverize the wheat. After six minutes in my blender, the particles are small enough to be pleasant. There are still a few larger bits that add a nice texture, similar to what some cornmeal would provide. – mrog Oct 12 '15 at 23:32
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    Ah, I hadn't realized that you were using literal whole wheat, not just a wholegrain wheat flour. – Cascabel Oct 13 '15 at 0:12
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Debbie's right about the gluten - overmixing is a reliable way to get tough pancakes.

I'm not sure what the best solution is within your process. By far the easiest thing would be simply to use wholegrain wheat flour, letting someone else do the grinding for you.

Failing that, I think you want to grind the grains up dry, and then it really won't take much mixing at all to eliminate clumps. That's going to require something other than a blender, though.

  • I wonder if soaking the wheat overnight in the fridge in the milk would allow it to be ground up faster in the blender so that it doesn't need as much processing? Still would be better to grind it dry, but I wonder if this might at least help. – NadjaCS Oct 13 '15 at 1:00
  • @NadjaCS I'd be afraid of that developing gluten as well, given that you can get great gluten development in doughs just by letting them sit in the fridge. – Cascabel Oct 13 '15 at 1:02
  • Sounds like I need to do an experiment. I'll see if I can fit it in this weekend. I'll grind some wheat as much as I can with my blender, then add the wet ingredients and blend it briefly. I'll compare that against a batch made in the original way. Just for fun, I'll try soaking some wheat for a third batch, too. – mrog Oct 13 '15 at 19:56
  • I'm going to accept this as the answer. I tried a small batch this morning where I ground the wheat and oats in the blender (wheat for about 30 seconds, followed by wheat and oats for about a minute). I then added the remaining ingredients and pulsed a few times to incorporate everything. The batter was quite thin, likely because the grains weren't fully ground. (I have a cheap blender. I'll increase the grinding time next time.) The resulting pancakes were much better than my original recipe. This is clearly a big step in the right direction. – mrog Oct 15 '15 at 16:46
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    I soaked some wheat and oats in milk overnight and then blended them for about a minute. It was a fun experiment, but it didn't work any better than the original recipe. Grinding the grains dry and then briefly mixing them into the other ingredients is definitely the way to go. My blender isn't particularly good at being a grain mill, but it's still a much better result than blending the wheat for a long time when wet. – mrog Oct 19 '15 at 18:18
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Perhaps separate the egg whites, whip those whites until soft peaks form, then fold that into (perhaps a smaller portion of the) batter just before grilling?

  • I like that idea. I'll give it a try and report back. It'll take me a few days to get to it. – mrog Oct 12 '15 at 23:25
  • I don't think I'm actually going to get to this experiment anytime soon. But, I still think it's a good idea if I combine it with the other answer and reduce gluten development. – mrog Oct 19 '15 at 18:19
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Adding a mashed banana or a half cup of applesauce can help make them fluffier and more moist! It's definitely going to make them sweeter but the sugar from fruit is healthy!

  • Hmm. Whenever I've tried adding mashed banana to pancakes, the result has been much heavier than my banana-free pancakes are. So either my technique is bad (which is entirely possible!) or adding banana is bad advice. – David Richerby Oct 13 '15 at 8:23
  • I tried both of those options (banana and applesauce) in varying amounts. They made the pancakes quite dense. – mrog Oct 13 '15 at 14:36

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