Our family has made a lot of pancakes over the years, starting when I was just a toddler and eating silver-dollar sized pancakes, then making our way through numerous mornings of Aunt Jemima on camping trips and lazy weekend mornings. There have been blueberry pancakes with my grandmother and pumpkin pancakes with my aunt and cousin who even at four years old could impressively whip egg whites. Those seventeen-odd years of pancake eating have led me to think that they only way to fluffy, airy pancakes was a bowl of egg whites, whipped to stiff peaks that were carefully folded into the pancake batter.
Then, the other day I had a tub of ricotta that needed to be used, because, like other ingredients such as crème fraiche and tomato paste that come in inappropriately sized containers that fail to match the volume specified for in recipes, its end was drawing near. Anyways, I whipped up a batch of ricotta pancakes, and once I subjected my brother to this ten-pancake monstrosity I realized I had found the answer to fluffy pancakes without the annoyance of whipping egg whites. A half cup of ricotta in a batch of pancakes creates an impressive lift that stays with the pancakes until serving time and as a bonus makes for tender pancakes that yield easily under the light pressure of a fork. There’s no meticulously cleaning your metal bowl, separating your eggs, and spending five minutes fatiguing your triceps. Just a few dollops of ricotta into the wet ingredients and you’ll have fluffy pancakes that would impress any short-order diner cook.
Whole Wheat Ricotta Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
½ cup whole milk ricotta
¾ cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for cooking
Butter and maple syrup, for serving
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, water, sugar, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently whisk to combine. Do not over-mix. Add the butter and stir to combine.
- Preheat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat, then lightly brush with vegetable oil. Using a ¼ cup scoop, dollop portions of the batter onto the griddle and use the back of the scoop to spread the batter into a pancake-sized circle. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm while you cook the remainder of the pancakes. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.