Different forms of the pancake can be seen throughout the world: France has crepes and galettes, South Asia makes poori, China has the boa bing, and Scotland has the drop-scone. One of the earliest known version of the pancake was made in the 4th century BCE in China, where they were popular due to their short preparation time. Pancakes later spread through the Middle East and made their way to Europe, where they evolved into the variety we see today. Now a classic American breakfast, the American pancake is most likely an alteration of the French crepe suzette, imported to America in the early 20th century. American pancakes, also called griddle cakes and flapjacks, were originally eaten with a sauce of butter, sugar, citrus juice, and liqueur, but this was superseded by the tradition of maple syrup.
Makes 8 4-5" (10-13cm) pancakes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and/or ground clove
zest of 1 orange
1 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl and stir in (careful not to over-stir or there will be too much gluten development; a few clumps are okay). If the batter is not runny enough to pour easily, add more milk one tablespoon at a time. The more liquid is added, the thinner the pancakes will be.
Heat a lightly greased griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat (about 375F). You can tell if it's hot enough if you flick water on the pan and it immediately evaporates. Pour the batter onto the pan or scoop using a 1/4 measuring cup. Wait a few minutes until the edges start to look dry and the top is bubbly, then flip and cook for another few minutes, until browned. Serve immediately with maple syrup, fresh fruit, or sauteed bananas.