I have a thing for steel-cut oats. These are the coarsely chopped oat groats that cook up with a nutty flavor and chewy/creamy texture. While I’m a long-time oat devotee, I had mostly only cooked with “old fashioned” rolled oats. I was stuck on the idea that they were the only way I could be guaranteed a bowl of hot oats in three minutes flat, and was convinced that the esteemed steel-cuts were only attainable for those willing to postpone breakfast in favor of 30 minutes of tending the stove. What I know now, is that steel-cut oats are perfect for reheating – seriously, good as new! We can cook up a mega-batch, refrigerate, and supply our healthy breakfast habits for a whole week.
Of course, no man can breakfast on porridge alone… sometimes the occasion* calls for pancakes. Back when I used to buy rolled oats on the regular, I hardly ever made a batch of pancakes without throwing a couple handfuls of oats into the batter. But now that my pantry is stocked with steel-cut (which I feared could break my teeth if given the same treatment), the oat pancake fix called for some creativity.
I took advantage of my pre-cooked oat stash from the fridge to build a hearty foundation. I added a little yogurt to boost the leavening’s lifting power. Then I sealed the deal with a classic healthy baker’s secret weapon: whole-wheat pastry flour. If you haven’t tried this stuff, it is seriously miraculous. It’s a 100% whole-grain flour milled from a softer, whiter variety of wheat (rather than the hard, red winter wheat used in traditional flour). It offers a light nuttiness and soft grainy texture, without the dense heft of standard whole-wheat. Pick up a bag in a natural foods store or (several bags) on Amazon. You won’t regret it.
For a 100% whole-grain pancake, these are surprisingly delicate and fluffy. I think the creaminess of the cooked oats carried through to create a soft, almost custard-like texture. Cook some oats for your week, and know that you have this to look forward to for the weekend!
Steel-Cut Oat Pancakes
- 1 cup prepared steel-cut oats
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tbsp. butter melted (plus additional to oil pan)
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- In a medium bowl, mix together the cooked steel-cut oats, milk, yogurt, egg, vanilla and melted butter. If you’re using chilled leftover steel-cut oats, heat them in the microwave before adding to the other ingredients to re-loosen their texture. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the other ingredients, mixing until just combined.
- Let the batter rest while you heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, coated lightly with butter or oil. When the surface is hot, spoon the batter into pancakes of your desired size. When the upper surface is bubbled, and the bottom is golden-brown, flip and continue to cook the second side. Place cooked pancakes in a warmed oven, or on a plate tented with aluminum foil until all pancakes are ready.