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Oatmeal pancakes immediately conjures up the idea of something thick and heavy that does not sound like it might be remotely appealing on a breakfast table. This could not be further from the truth when you end up grinding your own oat flour for these super light, almost fluffy pancakes from Smitten Kitchen. It is also true that most people are too lazy to come up with a decent breakfast spread, though it is repeatedly claimed to be the single most important meal of the day. I tend to agree that early morning may not exactly be the best time to spend in the kitchen unless you happen to run a boulangerie or likewise. Pancake batter, however, has the advantage of being prepared in advance and stored in the fridge until ready for use, making it convenient for early and late risers to enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast.

OATMEAL PANCAKES

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (90 grams) oat flour

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar

2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon Kosher or coarse salt

1/2 cup cooked quick-cooking oatmeal

1 cup lukewarm water + 1 pinch salt

3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (295 ml) whole milk

1 tablespoon (20 grams) molasses

2 large eggs, room temperature

Method:

  • To make oat flour, pulse rolled oats into a food processor or spice grinder until finely ground.

  • Whisk dry ingredients (oat flour, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) together in a large bowl.

  • In a small bowl, whisk butter, milk, cooked oatmeal, honey and eggs together until combined.

  • Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ones. Using a light hand is important for tender pancakes.

  • Although best if it’s used immediately, the batter can even be kept overnight in the refrigerator.

  • The batter should be slightly thick with a holey surface. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan or griddle.

  • Heat over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Lower to medium-low.

  • Working quickly, dollop 1/4-cup mounds of batter onto pan, shaping 2 or 3 pancakes at a time.

  • Once bubbles have begun to form, flip pancake over and cook till bottom is dark golden-brown.

  • Serve hot, straight from the skillet or keep them warm in a low oven. Makes about 18 pancakes.

Oatmeal Pancakes

Instead of the clichéd chocolate desserts, get creative this year for Valentine’s day and think out of the box. Impress the man of your life with more than gifts and flowers by cooking for him instead of booking a table for two in some damn expensive restaurant. If you dnt feel like messing your kitchen for dinner, keep the surprise for the following morning with these absolutely divine cinnamon rolls bursting with colour and flavour.

Stuffed with fresh juicy strawberries and smothered in cream cheese icing, these yeasted sweet buns, from Tatyana’s Everyday Food, can be assembled on the eve, defrosted and baked in the morning as you lay the table for breakfast and he gets ready for work. I think it should work just as well for guys who want to win over their lady love with their kitchen skills on V-day.

STRAWBERRY CINNAMON ROLLS

Ingredients:

For the Yeast Dough

1 cup warm milk

2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon kitchen salt

4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Strawberry Filling

1 cup brown sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup butter, softened

3 cups chopped strawberries

3 to 4 tablespoons flour

3/4 cup heavy cream

For the Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz. cream cheese

1/4 cup cold heavy cream

1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of kitchen salt

Method:

  • For dough, combine the warm milk and sugar in a large bowl, then sprinkle the dry yeast over the top.

  • Allow the yeast to proof for about 5 minutes then whisk until smooth. Add the melted butter and eggs.

  • Add the salt and whisk it again. Begin adding the flour, whisking at first, then switch over to a spatula.

  • Once dough comes together, turn out onto a well floured surface. Knead for few minutes until smooth.

  • Set the dough in a warm corner of your kitchen area to proof until it is doubled in size for about 1 hour.

  • After proofing, turn it out on a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a large rectangle.

  • It should be about 13 x 20-inches. Spread softened butter over it, making sure to spread to every edge.

  • In small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle the mixture over the butter.

  • Make sure to spread to every edge. Top with strawberries and sprinkle with a few tablespoons of flour.

  • Starting at one edge, gently roll the dough into a Swiss-roll like log, ending with the seam facing down.

  • Using a sharp knife, divide the log into 12 equal pieces. Spray a glass baking dish with non-stick spray.

  • Transfer the rolls into the prepared pan. Cover the pan with a towel and allow the rolls to proof again.

  • Proof the rolls for about 30 to 45 minutes till they double in size. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F.

  • Bake proofed rolls in preheated oven for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, remove rolls from oven.

  • Pour over heavy cream. Return the rolls to the oven and continue baking for about 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Remove from oven when rolls are golden brown. Transfer them to a rack so that they cool completely.

  • Meanwhile, prepare icing. Whisk together cream cheese, cream, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth.

  • For thinner icing, add more heavy cream. Spread icing over hot cinnamon rolls. Makes 12 large rolls.

Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls

Funnily enough, it never crossed my mind before that dosa/ the traditional South Indian rice pancake was something I could make at home from only 2, rather inexpensive ingredients. The whole process does require some pre-planning so that the dosa batter gets well fermented and frothy to produce the lacy, frilled pancakes that so go well with sambar and dry potato curry. I was not quite sure what skinless urad dal looked like and where to look for it but it came as a pleasant surprise to see that I did not have to search further than the grains section of my local grocery store where this nondescript dal often goes unnoticed among more commonly consumed pulses like yellow dal or lentils.

Swathi from Zesty South Indian Kitchen advises soaking the rice and dal for at least 6 hours but I personally find it easier to leave them overnight right before going to sleep. On waking up, I simply have to grind them separately to a paste in my wet grinder and let the batter ferment naturally on my kitchen counter till lunch time. If you are not as lazy, you can always use the more trusted ‘roche carri‘ to grind the rice and dal to a smoother consistency but I chose to skip this and use the energy to make coconut mint chutney which I served along with my hot dosas.

DOSA/ SOUTH INDIAN PANCAKE

Ingredients:

2 cups raw rice

1/2 cup parboiled rice

3/4 cup skinless split urad dal

2 teaspoon salt or to taste

Vegetable oil, for greasing

Water, for grinding

Method:

  • Soak the raw and parboiled rice together in a bowl and soak urad dal in a separate bowl to cover them about 2-inch deep.
  • Leave the pulses to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. The next morning, drain all the water from the rice and urad dal.

  • Wash the rice and the urad dal two to three times and drain well. You will need to grind the rice and the urad dal separately.
  • Grind the rice in a food processor or grinder, adding very little water if necessary, to get a smooth but slightly grainy paste.

  • Place the ground rice and dal together in a large mixing bowl and add enough water to make a batter. Do not add salt now.
  • The consistency of dosa batter should be such that it thickly coats a spoon. Keep covered in a warm, dark spot for 6-8 hours.

  • After the fermentation, stir batter well and add salt. It is now ready to make dosas. Heat a skillet or a heavy based frying pan.
  • Add a little oil in the skillet and brush well with a kitchen towel through all the sides to grease pan. Turn heat to medium high.

  • Fill ¼ cup of batter in the ladle and gently pour batter onto the center of the pan. Spread batter in sweeping circular motions.
  • It should form a pancake of roughly 8″ diameter. The dosa may develop tiny holes as you spread the batter, this is normal.

  • As soon as you have finished spreading the batter, dip the basting brush in oil and drizzle all over the surface of the dosa.
  • When the upper surface begins to look cooked, flip the dosa over. The surface underneath should be light golden in color.

  • Allow to cook for 1 minute after flipping and remove from pan. Grease the pan again before continuing to make more dosas.
  • Serve the dosas hot with sides like coconut chutney, sambar or potato masala. Makes about 20 dosas/ south indian crepes.

Dosa/ South Indian Crepe

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