May 17, 2015
4-2-4 Weekday Pancakes
Darwin isn't one of those kids you see in commercials who bounds into his parents' bedroom at dawn, tousled and exuberant to the dismay of his overtired parents. Usually, I wake him, moving through his dim and jungle-y room in the early morning to lay a hand gently on his back. He doesn't budge at first; then, in a tiny and blanket-muffled voice, he tells me he's a butterfly inside a chrysalis, not ready to emerge. Or he'll ask me to "push the button," which means he's a robot, and needs a human to boot him up. Once in a while, he'll smile, eyes still closed, and ask for Mama-snuggles: truly sweet, and late-for-school-making.
With all the hatching and snuggling and robotic high jinks of preschool mornings, the breakfast window is pretty narrow. Sometimes, it's lets-put-our-shoes-on-under-the-table narrow. If breakfast is going to be special on these mornings, it has to be super speedy. These 4-2-4 pancakes--that's 4 eggs, 2 bananas, and 4 Tbls. flour-- are both.
4-2-4 pancakes are where breakfast and magic tricks intersect; they're our riff on grain-free, ultra-simple pancakes like these and these. Thrilling as it is to follow the flour-less recipes (guys, it works!) we encountered two major issues with them. Firstly, they burn easily. (Blame the sugary bananas, laid nearly bare in a hot skillet.) Secondly, they're extremely fragile. Not to brag or anything, but I'm a pretty accomplished pancake flipper, and I've still mangled a few.
Adding just a touch of stone-ground whole wheat flour solves both problems. The pancakes cook beautifully, turning our fluffy, a bit crisp on the outside, and almost custardy in the middle. The whole fruit sugars in the batter supply plenty of sweetness; we don't add any syrup at the table. And 4-2-4s provide a lot more protein than traditional pancakes. Best of all, they're ridiculously easy. Truly achievable pancakes. We can all use that on a Tuesday morning.
4-2-4 Weekday Pancakes
Makes 10-12 pancakes
2 ripe bananas, mashed
4 Tbls. whole wheat flour (1/4 cup)
butter, for frying
fresh fruit for serving
Fork-whisk eggs, bananas, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl.
Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When butter begins to foam, ladle batter by scant quarter cups into the hot skillet.
Cook a minute or two, until bubbles begin to form on the pancakes. Flip, and cook a minute more, until golden and firm.
Transfer to plates and top with butter and fresh fruit. Serve immediately.