Sunday Blues Pancakes


pancake stack

For the last few months things have been topsy-turvy around here. Rick lost an argument with a ladder in June, broke his leg quite badly, and has been in recovery since. Four months of not being able to be his usual busy bee self means that our usual Sunday waffles have turned into these blues pancakes made by me.
I started with a straight forward buttermilk blueberry pancake and they have morphed with the addition of  whole wheat flour, corn meal and a bit of non-fat Greek yogurt.

Here is the current version which yields about 16 or more pancakes when scooped out with a  1/4 cup measure:

Sunday Blues Pancakes

  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt such as Fage -can use nonfat or whole milk as you like
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted then cooled, plus more for the pan
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (use spelt or graham if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup stoneground fine cornmeal
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use fleur de sel- use less if using fine table salt)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • organic blueberries, fresh or frozen- do not thaw before using if frozen
  • real maple syrup

I melt the butter in my microwave in a medium glass bowl. It takes about thirty seconds on full power in mine. Let it cool. Measure the buttermilk into a glass bowl or a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup. Pour the melted and cooled butter into the buttermilk and stir. Break the eggs into bowl you used for melting the butter and break them up with a fork or a whisk so that they will mix into the buttermilk/butter mixture easily.  Combine the eggs and the buttermilk/butter, add the vanilla and set aside.
Whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold in gently until all is moistened. Do not overbeat.

Sunday Blues Pancakes
Heat a griddle or large cast iron or other skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of butter to grease the pan. It should foam but not turn dark.
Scoop a 1/4 cup measure into the pan for each pancake. My skillet will let me make 4 at a time this way. Add 5 blueberries to each pancake or how ever many you like.
When the pancake is getting a bit firm and bubbles appear turn carefully with a fish spatula or other flexible turner.
Cook until cooked through. Test gently with your finger to see that it is pretty firm and not still squishy. Remove to a warm oven until you have enough to serve. Serve with real maple syrup.pancake 2

Have them in good health with someone you love. AND stay off ladders- that’s my advice to you- they are EEEVILLL!

Portuguese Beer Bread

Portuguese Beer BreadThis Portuguese Beer Bread has a nice, full and slightly bitter malty taste from the Porter and molasses. It is a great foil for clam chowder or other creamy soups or just slathered (don’t you love that word) with a bit of sweet fresh butter.

Makes 2 medium sized loaves.

Portuguese Beer Bread

  • 2 cups of lukewarm Porter or other dark beer that you like
  • 1/2 ounce or two packages active dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons organic molasses or Steen’s dark ribbon cane syrup if you can find it
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour- I use King Arthur Organic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for bowl
  • 4 cups AP flour, plus more for kneading board

Portermolassesmisenplace beer bread

Warm the beer to lukewarm (feels neither cold nor hot to your finger- just slightly warm) and add the molasses or cane syrup and half the yeast. Let stand until foamy (about 5 minutes) and then sprinkle remainder of the yeast over. You should see a big bloom of yeast happen at that point.

it's alivePlace into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or if you don’t have a mixer you can beat with a wooden spoon) and add the whole wheat flour and the olive oil. Mix thoroughly and then add the salt in and the AP flour by cupfuls just until a stiff dough forms. It should be elastic which means it should pull back into place when you stretch it. Don’t expect to be able to do a “window pane” test as there is too high a percentage of whole wheat to white in this recipe. It will be slightly shaggy like this:

beer bread out of mixer

Remove the dough to a kneading surface sprinkled with another 1/2 cup of flour. Knead well for around five minutes until it becomes smooth and satiny more like this:

bear bread post kneadClean the mixing bowl just so there are no dry bits of dough remaining and coat lightly with more olive oil. Place the dough ball into the bowl and turn it around in there to coat the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put a clean dish towel over it and leave it to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Punch it down and let rise again, covered the same way.

rising beer breadWhen doubled again, remove it to a slightly floured surface and divide the dough into 6 pieces without deflating it entirely. In other words be somewhat gentle. Roll each piece of the dough gently into a long rope of about 15 inches. Braid three together and then coil the braid into a round, turning under and pinching the ends together. Repeat with the other three. This will make two loaves.

beer bread two loaves

Place them on a large baking sheet (or two if you don’t have a full sized sheet) and cover loosely with plastic wrap then top with the dish towel. Let rise until doubled again, about an half hour to an hour. Preheat your oven during this time so it is fully hot to 475F. Place an empty shallow metal baking pan on the bottom of your oven to preheat with the oven. Place some water into a spray bottle or a small bowl with a pastry brush. Remove the plastic wrap and mist the loaves right before you place the sheets with them into the oven. Throw 4-5 ice cubes into the preheated empty baking pan to create steam and close the oven door quickly. Mist the loaves again after 5 minutes and again at 10 and again at 15 minutes. Then leave to bake for another 20 minutes or until baked through and hollow sounding when thumped on the bottom. They will be a lovely deep  golden brown. Let cool on a baking rack but this bread tastes great warm or toasted.

Crumb Portuguese Beer BreadThis is a view of the crumb of an end piece.

Enjoy warm with some lovely homemade clam chowder or toast to make a yummy chicken salad sandwich with these.