If you google “best restaurant pancake recipe” like I do periodically (every other day or so—you know, whenever the pancake cravings become overwhelming) you’ll undoubtedly have come across several links touting one key ingredient to get restaurant-quality pancakes.
Malted milk powder. According to Wikipedia, malted milk powder is a “powdered gruel made from malted barley, wheat flour and whole milk, which is evaporated until it forms a powder.” Appetizing! Essentially, it seems as though it’s basically Ovaltine minus the chocolate. It lends that malty, toasty flavor to milk and anything else you add it to.
I bought some months ago (intending to use it in pancakes) and then got distracted by these cookies. It’s been waiting patiently ever since to make its debut in pancake form on the blog. But since a rather lifeless pancake test with the stuff turned me off the stuff, it’s only taken me about six months to try again.
Luckily, King Arthur hasn’t steered me wrong yet. I’ve been eying their oat and yogurt pancakes with malted milk powder for months and am so glad I finally went for it. They cook up in a perfect, thick puff—some of the most even-cooking, picturesque pancakes I’ve ever fried.
The malted milk powder serves as a mild sweetener and helps sop up some of the moisture from the yogurt, leading to an incredibly thick batter (thick batter = thick, fluffy pancakes. Runny batter = thinner pancakes). However, if you don’t feel like buying a special powder just for pancakes, sugar or an alternative sweetener also works (and would make these officially gluten-free).
I made these gluten-free by switching up the flours (buckwheat instead of whole wheat), but I’ve had a chat with these pancakes and they embrace flexibility. They liked being gluten-free, but gluten is okay too. A vegan almond milk or soy yogurt and vegan flax/chia egg would also be acceptable.
For some reason, although these pancakes are already seriously tangy from the generous amount of yogurt in the batter (there’s 4.4 grams of protein in each pancake!!), they seem perfectly balanced by more yogurt on top, along with a drizzle of maple syrup. I was eating these last night sandwiched with peanut butter and jelly while telling myself to go to the gym. Then went to sleep. And then woke up and realized: why am I not eating these with more yogurt?
So I did. And they were glorious.
*lately, I’ve been on a huge Greek yogurt kick. I finally realized the importance of protein in your diet (very.important. Epiphany #347: protein really does keep you fuller than carbs!) and realized that I am pretty consistently severely under my recommended protein intake. So I’ve been eating tons of yogurt for breakfast, lentils for lunch, and sometimes yogurt for/after dinner. These pancakes were a natural evolution in my severely non-vegan diet lately.
With 4.4 grams of protein per pancake, these incredibly fluffy and tangy pancakes are far from your typical carb-fest pancake. This version, packed with yogurt and oats, is gluten-free, but you can also make them vegan!
- ½ cup regular or Greek yogurt (regular will make for flatter pancakes. I used a nonfat Greek yogurt on the runny side. Any fat will work (nonfat, 2%, full-fat, etc.)
- 1 large egg
- 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons oat flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 cup malted milk powder (NOT gluten-free), or other sweetener
Whisk the yogurt, egg and oil together until combined (I do this in my glass measuring cup). In another bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder and malted milk powder. Fold the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients until combined. Mixture should be thick, more like a muffin batter. If you prefer thinner pancakes, thin out the mixture with a few tablespoons of milk.
Begin heating a large skillet over medium heat. When a drop of water sizzles on the surface, grease the pan with cooking spray or a drop of oil. I used a scant quarter cup of batter per pancake to get 7 pancakes, cooked in three batches. Each pancake should need between 1-2 minutes before the top will begin to look dry and bubble will start to form. Flip and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute before removing from pan.
Serve with additional yogurt, maple syrup, berries, PB&J, etc.
Use certified gluten-free oats if you are strictly gluten-free. For a non gluten-free option, use whole wheat flour instead of buckwheat flour.
For a vegan option, use vegan yogurt and substitute 1 tablespoon of flaxseed or chia seeds for the egg. Add an additional few tablespoons of milk if batter is too thick.
Adapted from King Arthur