Monday, March 22, 2010

9 grain pancake

Like I mentioned last post, Justin and I went to the Big Sur Bakery on our little camping trip and it was so unbelievably good. Justin ordered this 9 grain pancake, and I wasn't expecting much, but it was amazing. It was crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside; it tasted like nothing I've had before.

Lo and behold, that recipe is in their cookbook, which I happen to own.

I took on the feat of trying to recreate it this last weekend. I followed the recipe to a T, hoping to get it perfect so I could taste it once again.

But, there was something missing. The cookbook doesn't account for the fact that they cook it in a high heat wood-burning oven in their restaurant, and it cooks in just minutes. In the recipe it says to cook it at 350F for 15-20 minutes and the result is a much denser, cakier pancake than I had hoped for.

It was still good, don't me wrong. I then tried to modify it and make the batter thinner, then I added more butter to the pan, cooked it on the stove at a high heat, then finished it in the broiler for a few minutes, and it came out better than the first try.

If there are any adventurous pancake lovers out there, you may want to give this a shot.

I must add, as you can see, this pancake is HUGE. I'm talking, BIG - I can't finish one, ME: pregnant-hungry-all-the-time-I-could-eat-a-horse, but not this pancake.
Big Sur Bakery 9 Grain Pancake
Big Sur Bakery 9 Grain Pancake
Big Sur Bakery 9 Grain Pancake
Big Sur Bakery 9 Grain Pancake

Big Sur Bakery 9 Grain Pancake
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs nine-grain mix
2 tbs flax seeds
2 tbs sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup plus 3 tbs all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbs plus 1 ts baking powder
1 tbs plus 1 ts baking soda
1 ts kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 3 tbs old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup molasses
4 cups buttermilk
4 eggs yolks
6 egg whites
4 tbs unsalted butter

Combine nine-grain mix, flax seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds in a bowl. Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil, and pour it over the grains and seeds. Let them soak for 30 minutes or until they're soft.

Place the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and oats in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine, and make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, whisk together the molasses, buttermilk, egg yolks, the grain and seed mixture, and 1/2 cup cooked brown rice. Pour the liquid mixture into the well, and combine with a wooden spoon.

In an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites at high speed until soft speaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whites into the flour mixture.

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350F.

Preheat two 9-inch cast-iron skillets in the oven for 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to each pan and swirl it around to coat the pan. Pour one fourth of the batter into each pan, transfer them to the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Check the pancakes the same way you would a regular cake: the pancakes are ready when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Flip each pancake onto a plate, and serve.


Shannalee said...

Good heavens! That is some pancake! I gotta give you credit for taking it on - it does look super healthy though, and you make it look sooo pretty.

Pancakes on the brain! Good thing to have!

hannah | honey & jam said...

Woah, I've never seen a pancake so huge! It looks more like a cake! It's really gorgeous, standing tall in all it's glory.

Aron said...

That looks so good!

Giovanna said...

i don't care if it's a little dense, that pancake looks marvelous and it's making me hungry!

jacqui said...

Wow, now that's awesome! I've never been one to turn down a pancake, I might have to try it out. It's so thick it almost looks like you could make it into muffins.

Andreal said...

yum...thanks for sharing such a beautiful blog...i'll be back for sure!

Andreal said...

yum-thank you for sharing your beautiful images and stories...i'll be back for sure!

cait said...

K. So I bought this VERY cookbook about a month ago. You ARE my foodmate! Only done the spring onions but have been oogling the browneed butter rhubarb..oh and the breakfast pizza. maybe we can make some when you visit?

Lisa said...

These look amazing! I was just looking at this cookbook in the book store today. What is in the 9 grain mix?

Gene said...


I went to the Big Sur Bakery about a month ago and tried this unbelievable pancake with my girlfriend. We were shocked at the size, but more than that, at the delicious goodness of a crazily whole-grain pancake (which she tends not to be fond of). I had to replicate the recipe, so I found your site.

I took your hint and decided that cooking at a higher oven temperature would more closely replicate the high-heat wood-burning ovens they have at the bakery. So I preheated my oven to 550 F. I think reduced the cooking time in my 8.5" cast iron skillet to approximately 12 minutes, to get a nice crisp pancake on the outside, but which was nice and soft on the inside. I think that's the key.

I also made a couple of substitutions, in case anyone wants to see that the recipe is fool-proof. I didn't have buttermilk, so I used skim milk + vinegar; I also used Bob's 7-grain cereal mix instead of 9-grain. Rest assured, the pancake turned out great. In fact, just as I remembered it. Ate with sliced strawberries and maple syrup.


Amanda Mae said...

amazing Gene!! thanks for sharing. I'm going to try to make this again and use your suggestions.

Isn't the Big Sur Bakery incredible?! Love it!

Gene said...

BSB is so good. I'm really excited to make it back down to Big Sur as soon as I can find a free weekend. Between the trails, Nepenthe, and the Bakery, there's a lot to look forward to. Next time I will have to stifle the urge to get the pancake again, and try the breakfast pizza. My mouth is watering just thinking about it, and I just had breakfast.