Brancakes are light-bodied bran pancakes with a very distinctive and pleasing texture. I've always liked the taste of bran, and decided, not long ago, to add it to my favorite flapjack recipe for that reason alone. The flavorful results were all that I'd hoped for ... but—of course—bran has more to recommend it than good taste!
In fact, the healthful grain husks have gotten a lot of attention lately as a source of food fiber (a substance that's lacking in most folks' diets and often cited as a preventive for bowel cancer). Furthermore, they're also high in folic acid and some B vitamins.
To make six large, nutritious brancakes, simply combine—in a bowl—1/3 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/3 cup of bran, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of oil (wheat germ oil is especially good, if you have it), 1 egg, and 1 cup of milk.
The mixture will be runny, but don't let that fool you. Two tablespoons of brancake batter will swell up to a six-inch-diameter flapjack soon after it hits the skillet. (The oil in the mixture keeps the cakes from sticking and helps hold them together.) However, if you prefer a denser texture, you can use an extra egg. Sunflower seeds also make a very tasty addition to the recipe.
Cook your brancakes as you would regular pancakes ... about 2 minutes on a side (at 325°F in your electric skillet or at medium-high heat when you use a stovetop burner).
Serve 'em up with butter, honey, or your favorite topping . . . and then watch 'em disappear!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Our testers found that brancakes are inexpensive . . . easy to prepare . . . and very tasty! However, they also noted that the breakfast treats should be eaten in moderation by folks who're not used to bran . . . as these pancakes—like bran cereals or any food containing a sizable proportion of the grain husks—can have a laxative effect.