Beautiful Bran Pancakes

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A rustic orange juice and bran pancake breakfast by lantern light.

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.