Multigrain Pancakes That Can Transform Into Fluffy Waffles on a Dime

May 25, 2018
A hearty, fluffy stack to start your weekend off right! Photo by Bobbi Lin

During the week, we eat quickly and efficiently. During the weekend, we slow down and spend a little longer in the kitchen and at the table. It starts first thing with breakfast on a Saturday morning. We skip the chaos of the week and the ledge of the kitchen counter to opt for the dinner table and a special breakfast. We're rhythmic people, so we usually make some variation of the pancake. My daughter is team Dutch baby. I'm team Swedish pancakes. And my husband is team fluffy pancakes.

These Multigrain Pancakes were developed for him. I really wanted to sneak some wheat flour into this recipe. But wheat pancakes have a reputation for being dense and bitter. When I set out to write my book, The Minimalist Kitchen, I took an informal survey on the use of wheat flour in the kitchen. About half swore it off vehemently and the other half proclaimed their deep love for pastry flour. After picking up a bag, I switched out my previously stocked white whole wheat flour for wheat pastry flour. It makes a shocking difference. It's light without a trace of bitter. I've used it throughout my book. Even in the puff pastry!

I hope you'll give it a chance and pick up a bag, too. If not, it's an equal exchange for all-purpose flour. PS: Don't skip the orange zest if you have it. Years ago, after reading King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking Book from cover to cover in college, I learned to add fresh orange juice or zest in the presence of wheat flour. It helps to cut the bitterness of the wheat. Though pastry flour isn't nearly as bitter, I can't eat my pancakes without a little orange zest now.

Here's Another Delicious Idea for Brunch: Watch

Now, a note about cooking pancakes. There are two keys to making great pancakes—a good recipe and perfecting the heat of the skillet.Too low of heat will keep the pancakes from rising to their full potential, yielding a gummy interior. Too high of a heat will cause the exterior of the pancake to burn before the insides are able to cook through. Of course, every stovetop and pan is different, so it will take a bit of trial and error to achieve the perfect pancake. As I often recommend, marry a recipe, and then adjust to make it work best in your kitchen. If using a cast iron skillet, know that it keeps heat really well. By the end of cooking, I've typically lowered the heat on my skillet to accommodate the heat wave.

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These also freeze well. Place the pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze them until solid (about 30 minutes). Then stack the frozen pancakes in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. This process keeps the pancakes from freezing to each other. Toast in the toaster to reheat.

And if you're in the mood for waffles? Here's an easy swap: Omit the baking soda and use an additional 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (3/4 cup total). Pour 1/2 cup batter at a time into a waffle iron and cook over medium-high. The recipe will yield six 6-inch round waffles.

Are you a multigrain pancake fan, too? Let us know below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Carol
  • lumpynose
Designer, baker, dinner maker, cozy minimalist


Carol May 25, 2018
Wait, can someone please explain to me how these are multigrain? I see one grain: wheat. Am I missing something?
lumpynose May 25, 2018
A really nice flour combination that has a wonderful flavor is 1/3 tortilla (or tamale), aka masa corn flour, and 2/3 whole wheat flour. I measure it by weight, e.g., 100 grams tortilla corn flour and 200 grams whole wheat flour. Ordinarily tortilla corn flour has for me an overpowering flavor that I only associate with corn tortillas but combining it with whole wheat flour makes it wonderful.