january cold | whole wheat banana bread pancakes

we’re just over half way through january. the winter cold has been hitting us pretty hard over the last week, which should be expected after the strangely mild december we had. most mornings have been starting off anywhere between -18 to -12 celcius.

this is my nesting weather. i swear that my body retains cold far more than it contains heat. i go outside for merely a minute and take hours to warm back up to a reasonable temperature. anybody else?
anyhow, i’ve been keeping myself toasty with yoga at least once every day with Yoga With Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge, and baking.

speaking of baking – our electric range gave out today, mid-challah baking. of all times.
i suppose there is no good time for a baker’s oven to give out, though.

it was my first 4-strand braided challah and it was looking mighty beautiful; i placed it in the oven proud. not even 5 minutes later i turned on the oven light to check inside, to find a VERY nearly burnt crust. i could barely believe my eyes. challah does brown very quickly due to the egg wash, but not much before the 20 minute mark.
needless to say, the oven was essentially stuck on broil mode, even though i was using the convection bake mode – it was getting hotter and hotter. i was concerned about a) fire, b) challah and c) the oven.
i turned off the painfully hot oven and allowed the challah to continue cooking in the residual heat, and managed to get it cooked to perfection (on the inside). the outside is a little toasty, but we’ll make out just fine.

cold mornings call for a heart-warming breakfast.
we have a plethora of over-ripe bananas lying around at home and i’ve been trying to work them into things that aren’t banana bread. any suggestions? the farthest i got was these banana bread pancakes. they’re lightly sweet, fluffy, and just as perfect for leftovers the next day as they are fresh – just toast them up in the toaster and you’ll be in pure bliss!

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Banana Bread Pancake Stack
(makes 8 good-sized pancakes)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (can sub spelt flour for an even fluffier pancake)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 medium over-ripe bananas
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed (can omit)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (can sub another mild flavoured oil)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp pure maple syrup (honey or agave will work nicely as well)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (i used a bourbon-based)
  • coconut (or other) oil for greasing pan

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder (yes – 3 teaspoons), cinnamon  and kosher salt. Set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, mash bananas with fork until nearly smooth. Add ground flax seed if using, and egg and whisk until well combined. Slowly whisk in melted coconut oil, followed by almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

3. Add banana mixture to dry mixture and stir until just combined. This is a thicker pancake batter, more similar to a muffin batter. Allow to sit while you preheat your pan.

4. Preheat pan over a medium to medium high heat and coat with a thin layer of oil. If using cast iron, you may need to adjust this down slightly. You can test to see if your pan is hot enough by dropping a small amount of batter – if it sizzles lightly right away, your pan is perfect.

5. Using 1/8 of a cup (no more than 1/4 cup) of batter, spoon pancakes onto skillet. Pancakes are ready to flip when there are lots of little bubbles on the top and the edges are beginning to brown.

These pancakes are fantastic topped with banana slices and cacao nibs with a touch of maple syrup or honey.

Save left overs covered in the refrigerator for up to a couple of days and use the toaster to warm through – I don’t suggest reheating in the microwave, as I suspect they will become rubbery.

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