Sunday, March 6, 2011

Barley Pancakes

If I’m going to have a fresh, hot, made-from-scratch breakfast, it’s going to have to be later in the morning. As much as I’d like to be a morning person, I have to admit that nothing much is going to happen until I’ve employed several means of shaking off my bleary crabbiness and yanked myself into an appropriate condition for handling kitchen implements.

When this late-morning breaking of my night-long fast is finally accomplished, therefore, I’m hungry. I’m too hungry to fiddle around with any delays like a 15 minute rest of a pancake batter. Especially if said pancake batter also contains fresh orange juice and I just spent several minutes squeezing oranges. Compromises are going to have to be made.

This whole adventure began with a small bag of whole barley flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand) that I bought to try a bread recipe that didn’t quite work out (unless I begin a collection of doorstops.) While I’ve since made some progress with that bread, I thought I’d also try a barley pancake recipe from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking to help me use up the rest of the bag of barley flour. This book promotes the virtues of combining whole grains and orange juice, and I think they’re not wrong, but I wasn’t willing to take the 15-minute journey with them when it came to resting a pancake batter. Also, in the original recipe the leavening (baking powder) was added to the batter after the resting period, and I just couldn’t see myself getting that mixed in properly, at least not before breakfast.

So I skipped that whole section of the professionally written and tested instructions. Lightning didn’t strike me down. I didn’t even make bad pancakes. In fact, these were very good pancakes. They smelled delicious while cooking, which took place over a longer time and at a lower temperature than I usually use for pancakes (I heeded the professionals here and I’m glad I did.)

It must have been the unique combination of the slightly nutty whole barley flour, orange juice, vanilla and honey that gave these pancakes such a nice aroma (which made me even hungrier) and their flavor was as good as their smell. The texture of the pancakes was also quite nice. They’re not as fluffy as white-flour buttermilk pancakes, but are by no means dense or overly coarse. I don’t know what more I could hope for in a whole grain pancake. Perhaps if I rested the batter I’d achieve some kind of whole-grain pancake Nirvana? Unless that perfect pancake also magically turns me into someone who faces each day with energetic cheer immediately upon waking, it may not be worth my time.

Barley Pancakes with Orange Juice and Vanilla
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking

6 ounces by weight (about 170 g) whole barley flour (about 1 ½ cups)
2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) baking soda
¾ (about 3 ml) teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons (1 ½ ounces by weight or 40 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons (30 ml) honey
¾ cup (6 fluid ounces or 175ml) milk
½ cup (4 fluid ounces or 125 ml) fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract

1. Preheat an electric griddle to 300 F (150 C) (or preheat a skillet or griddle on the stove over medium heat.) In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the barley flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. In another medium-size bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Slowly whisk in the butter. Whisk in the honey. Whisk in the milk, orange juice and vanilla.

3. Pour the egg mixture over the barley flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spray the heated pan with cooking spray or brush it with oil or butter. Spoon or pour about ¼ cup (50 ml) of the pancake batter for each (4-inch or 10 cm) pancake, placing as many on the pan as will fit with room to spread and flip. Cook the pancakes until they are brown on the pan side 3-4 minutes. Flip the pancakes with a spatula and cook on the other side until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes more.

4. Keep completed pancakes warm in the oven until ready to serve. Serve with butter and maple syrup, or other favorite pancake accompaniments.

Makes about 12 (3 ½ -4-inch) pancakes.

Other recipes like this one: Coconut Pineapple Pancakes, Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

One year ago: Almond Butter Granola Bars


  1. these are amazing! Thank you for creating a new recipe!


  3. Hooray! I haven't made these in a long time, but you folks are inspiring me to make them again...soon!

  4. 1 1/2 cups is 12 ounces... so is it 6 ounces (3/4 cup) or 12 ounces (1 1/2 cup)?

  5. oh duh, you're talking weight, I was looking at a fluid converter =S

  6. Correct. The 1 1/2 cups flour is 6 ounces by weight. You bring up a good point, however. I did not specify ounces by weight and fluid ounces in this recipe, both of which are used here. I will clarify this in the recipe. Thank you!

  7. I made the recipe and it turned out
    very good. Thanks for the recipe.