Today’s blog is a guest entry from PJ Hamel at King Arthur Flour, detailing how to make your own delicious and cost-effective pancake mix. We’ve printed the first part of the blog entry here, then linked to the KAF website, so you can see all the great how-to photos in the original entry.

Attention, class—how many times do I have to say this?

Whole grains don’t have to taste whole-grainy.

Whole grains can actually taste good. No, make that GREAT.

OK, true confession time. For years, I didn’t like the taste of whole wheat flour. I was a white flour gal, contentedly enjoying grilled cheese and French toast on white sandwich bread, meat- and cheese-stuffed sandwiches on crusty baguettes, biscuits and scones and pizza made from King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour.

Which happens to be the first flour I ever purchased, about a million years ago when I was still in college and had no clue that someday I’d be working at this venerable “flour with the horse on the bag” company. Trust me, this is a sales pitch rooted in many long years of great experience. No brag, just fact: King Arthur Flour never lets you down. Why? Because our milling specs are SO tight, we produce the same flour month after month, year after year, no matter what vagaries of weather and growing conditions the wheat undergoes.

In the case of flour, consistency is neither foolish, nor the “hobgoblin of little minds,” for all of you Ralph Waldo Emerson fans out there. All three of you.

Oh, whoops, back to the subject: whole grains. While working on King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking, our latest book, I was forced into baking with whole grains. And made a marvelous discovery.

Whole-grain doesn’t necessarily mean whole wheat. Whole-grain can mean oats, which are just about the sweetest, nuttiest, most delicious form whole grains can take. I also discovered that the main thing I didn’t like about whole wheat, its tannic bitterness, isn’t its natural taste. It’s the result of poor storage. Fresh whole wheat, stored in the freezer to protect its germ, has an unassertively “pleasantly wheaty” flavor that’s perfectly innocuous, even welcome, in all kinds of baking.

And if you bake with white whole wheat—which is, make no mistake, 100% whole-grain and carries the same nutrition profile as red wheat—then you’re totally set to slip all kinds of treats past your resident whole-grain unenthusiasts.

Not to say I reach for whole wheat every time I bake now; all-purpose white flour is still my best friend in the kitchen. But I’ve learned to use whole grains where I can, substituting white whole wheat for all-purpose flour in cookies, muffins, bars, and some cakes—including pancakes.

To read the rest of this entry click here to visit the King Arthur Flour blog.


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