The absolute best flour for pancakes
Pancakes are a popular breakfast and brunch option that can also be enjoyed for dinner. They are light, fluffy and offer a delicious balance between cake and bread. But the key to making the perfect pancake is choosing the right flour. The type of flour you use can significantly affect the texture and flavor of your pancakes. In this article, we will explore the best flours for pancakes and offer alternatives for those with special dietary needs.
Why all-purpose flour is best for pancakes
When it comes to making pancakes, almost any type of flour can be used to create some form of pancake. However, understanding how different flours work can help you choose the best one for your desired result.
Cake and pastry flours, with their low protein or gluten content, are ideal for making light and airy cakes. However, they can result in pancakes that are too fragile. On the other hand, hard flours like bread or rye flour, which have a higher gluten content, can make pancakes dense and heavy.
The best flour for pancakes is all-purpose flour (APF), which is a combination of hard and soft flours. By using APF, you can expect consistently filling, satisfying, and fluffy pancakes.
The best all-purpose flour for pancakes
Two brands that stand out for their quality and reliability in making flour are King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill. These brands offer excellent options for making the perfect pancakes.
King Arthur Flour 100% Organic All-Purpose Pancake Flour
King Arthur Flour is a well-known brand that offers a wide variety of recipes, including the Simply Perfect Pancake recipe, which calls for all-purpose flour. This flour is grown, harvested and milled in the USA according to strict USDA standards. It is never bleached or bromated, ensuring that no pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals are present. The organic line is also unenriched, giving you pure flour. However, some professional bakers may notice a subtle and unexpected flavor due to the blend of red wheat and malted barley used in this flour.
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour
Bob’s Red Mill is another highly respected brand that offers a versatile flour option for making pancakes. This flour is never enriched, bleached or bromated. It is milled with an old-fashioned quartz millstone, which produces consistent results while maintaining maximum nutritional value. Bob’s Red Mill also offers a gluten-free option that is made in a dedicated gluten-free facility and is suitable for vegans. The only ingredient in this flour is organic hard red wheat. It is important to note, however, that the price of this flour may be higher than other options on the market.
Alternative Flours for Pancakes
While all-purpose flour is the best option for pancakes, there are alternative flours that can be used for a variety of reasons. These alternatives include whole wheat flour, almond flour, and coconut flour.
Whole grain pancakes
Whole wheat flour is a popular choice for those who prefer the taste of whole grains or want a less processed product. However, using whole wheat flour for pancakes requires some precautions to avoid dense and heavy pancakes. For a middle ground, you can substitute whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour in your recipe. If you want to use only whole wheat flour, you will need to add 5 teaspoons of water for each cup of flour used. It is also important not to overmix the batter, as this can result in flat and sticky pancakes.
Almond Flour Pancakes
Almond flour is a low-carb, gluten-free alternative to all-purpose flour. It is naturally gluten-free and may be suitable for diabetics, low-carb or keto dieters, and those with gluten intolerance. However, baking with almond flour requires some adjustments as it is heavier and absorbs liquid differently than wheat flour. The amount of flour, liquid, and leavening agent may need to be adjusted in recipes. It is recommended that you look for recipes specifically for almond flour or consult experienced bakers who have experimented with it. A simple recipe for almond flour pancakes calls for almond flour, eggs, and a ripe banana.
Coconut Flour Pancakes
Coconut flour is another gluten-free, low-carb option for pancake lovers. It is higher in protein and fiber than almond flour, making it more similar to all-purpose flour. However, coconut flour absorbs a significant amount of liquid, which can affect the consistency of your batter. When using coconut flour, it may be necessary to use less flour, more liquid, and more eggs. It works best with eggs, which can make it difficult to convert recipes to vegan options. Experimenting with small batches and adjusting ingredients is key to achieving the desired texture and flavor with coconut flour.
When it comes to making pancakes, the type of flour you choose can have a significant impact on the final result. All-purpose flour (APF) is the best flour for pancakes because it provides a balance of lightness and fluffiness. Brands like King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill offer high-quality options that consistently deliver excellent results.
However, for those with specific dietary needs or preferences, alternative flours such as whole wheat, almond, and coconut flours can be used. These flours require adjustments to the recipe and may result in different textures and flavors than traditional pancakes made with all-purpose flour.
Part of the fun of pancake making is experimenting with different flours to find the one that suits your taste and dietary needs. Whether you stick with all-purpose flour or explore alternative options, the pleasure of a perfectly cooked pancake remains the same. So grab your favorite flour, mix up a batter, and enjoy the pleasure of making and eating delicious pancakes.
What is the best flour for pancakes?
The best flour for making pancakes is all-purpose flour (APF), especially brands such as King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill. APF provides a balance of lightness and fluffiness that results in delicious pancakes.
Can I use other types of flour to make pancakes?
Yes, you can use other flours such as whole wheat, almond, or coconut. However, these alternative flours may require adjustments to the recipe and may result in different textures and flavors compared to pancakes made with all-purpose flour.
Is all-purpose flour gluten-free?
No, all-purpose flour is not gluten-free. However, both King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill offer gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions.
Can I mix different types of flour in my pancake batter?
Yes, you can mix different flours. For example, you can replace half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour to add a nutty flavor and increase the nutritional value. Just keep in mind that using too much heavy flour can make for denser pancakes.
How do I adjust the recipe if I use alternative flours?
When using alternative flours such as almond or coconut flour, you may need to adjust the amount of flour, liquid and leavening agent in the recipe. It is recommended that you follow recipes specifically designed for these flours, or seek guidance from experienced bakers who have experimented with them.
Can I make gluten-free pancakes?
Yes, you can make gluten-free pancakes using gluten-free flours like those offered by King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill. These flours are specially formulated to meet gluten-free dietary needs while still providing a satisfying pancake experience.