I had a little crisis on Father’s Day, and unlike the week that proceeded it, it did not relate to a feverish toddler who landed himself in our bed (and proceeded to be well enough at 5 a.m. to stand up and announce the different parts of our face as he poked them “NO” “EYEAR” “AYE” “MOUF”), the gutting of our (single) bathroom so that plumbers could access a wayward pipe in the building or the thin film of dirt left on every surface of every room when they were done working. No, by Father’s Day, most of those things had thankfully righted themselves, leaving only crises of less grave proportions: the blueberry pancakes I’d always known and loved no longer worked for me.
I mean, they work, in terms of technically executing what they’re supposed to. They’re a bit runnier than I remembered, thus making it difficult to flip and bake them through cleanly, but they’re hardly worth complaining over, or so felt the Dad of Honor who found them–as he is contractually obligated to–delicious. We ate our pancakes, showered him with gifts and set off for the playground. But I couldn’t stop thinking about them; they didn’t sit right and I realized that it had less to do with the recipe and more to do with … me. I’ve changed.
Suddenly, using all white flour in a breakfast baked good felt a little funny. I’m not saying I’ve sworn it off — heavens, no! — but once you figure out ways to tuck more grains into baked goods without compromising their flavor, it’s hard not to do so regularly. And buttermilk, lordy, I love buttermilk. But I don’t always have it around and yet I always have yogurt around. And doesn’t yogurt somehow seem more fitting for breakfast? New decade, new pancake, I concluded. I would embrace change!
And so on Monday, long after the last blueberry pancake had been inhaled (I told you we liked them), I got back to work and these, these are my jam, um, I mean, the kind of blueberry pancakes I’m more enthusiastic about these days. Two grain flours a big helping of plain yogurt and absolutely no compromise on flavor, texture or deliciousness, especially when draped with maple syrup. Loads of it. What? I never said I ate pancakes like a grown-up, did I?
One year ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Improved and Zucchini and Ricotta Galette
Two years ago: Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes
Three years ago: Mediterranean Pepper Salad and Cherry Brown Butter Bars
Four years ago: Strawberry Chiffon Shortcake
Blueberry Yogurt Multigrain Pancakes
Makes 12 to 14 4-inch pancakes
2 large eggs
1 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons butter, plus extra for buttering skillet
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (62 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (68 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (32 grams) barley or rye flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup blueberries, rinsed and dried
Melt half of butter. Remove from heat and stir in second tablespoon of butter until melted. This keeps your butter from being too hot when you next want to add it to the wet ingredients.
Whisk egg and yogurt together in the bottom of a medium/large bowl. If you’re using a thin yogurt, no need to add any milk. If you’re using regular yogurt, stir in 2 tablespoons milk. If you’re using a thick/strained or Greek-style yogurt, add 3 to 4 tablespoons milk. Whisk in melted butter, zest and vanilla extract. In a separate, small bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet only until dry ingredients are moistened. A few remaining lumps is fine.
Preheat your oven to 200°F and have a baking sheet ready (to keep pancakes warm). Heat your skillet or saute pan to medium. If you’ve got a cast-iron skillet, this is my favorite for pancakes. Melt a pat of butter in the bottom and ladle a scant 1/4 cup (about 3 tablespoons) batter at a time, leaving at space between each pancake. Press a few berries into the top of each pancake. The batter is on the thick side, so you will want to use your spoon or spatula to gently nudge it flat, or you may find that pressing down on the berries does enough to spread the batter. When the pancakes are dry around the edges and you can see bubbles forming on the top, about 3 to 4 minutes, flip them and cook for another 3 minutes, until golden underneath. (If you listen closely, after a minute you’ll hear you blueberries pop and sizzle deliciously against the pan.) If pancakes begin cooking too quickly, lower the heat. Transfer pancakes to warm oven as they are done cooking, where you can leave them there until you’re ready to serve them.
Serve in a big stack, with fixings of your choice. Do not anticipate leftovers.