I can’t think about one thing, without thinking about everything. My brain is wired for systems, which makes things super efficient once a system is in place and ultra inefficient when not (which is most of life). So naturally, while designing The Minne Stuga, I’ve been thinking about a packable pancake mix that you can prep ahead of time so that you don’t have to lug a bag of flour in your suitcase. Naturally. Ha. Those two are not mutually exclusive in a normal brain. But alas, I don’t have one of those. So I give you a fluffy multigrain pancake mix that’s packable, cakey, filling, and so delicious. They’re best on vacation. Or at home. Or around the campfire.
First things first, are you one of those cooks-on-vacation types of people? We’ve become those people. Mostly to save a little money. But more importantly, so that Kev and I don’t get mad at each other every other night while trying to pick a restaurant (we both suffer from decision fatigue and FOBO: fear of better options). Also, I never feel like my best self after eating out 3 times a day. And since we have kids whose current eating schedule is more rigid than flexible, packable pancake mix (and most other meals) it is.
Now that I have many knocks against me, please let this Fluffy Multigrain Pancake Mix even the score. The base of this recipe is modeled after the Multigrain Pancakes in my book, which are a trusty favorite over here. It’s been modified to make multiple batches prepped in advance with neat and tidy ratios. (Each mix makes 2 batches.) I’ve added in quick oats, too, for an extra filling boost to last you through your hike or to the next meal. The name of the game of this recipe is simple. And these are just that.
But Melissa, you’re using 3 different grains in this recipe. How is that simple? I can see why you’d think that. Good news, there are plenty of recipes out there made with only all-purpose flour if that’s what you’re looking for. But I almost always prefer the hit of wheat in my breakfasts, as it helps to fill me up faster, keep me full longer, without weighing me down. After trying lots of wheat flour varieties on the market over the years, I’ve become partial to Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. It’s not as heavy as the more traditional whole wheat flour. Nor is it as bitter. It’s just right. I’ve been buying the Whole Foods store brand. The best part, when the mix is prepped ahead of time, it makes measuring multiple grains easier. Not that it was really that hard in the first place.
(And if you’re like, lady, just give me the boxed mix. Might I recommend Kodiak Cakes? We love them!)
How to Make the Fluffy Multigrain Pancake Mix
Ahead of time, like a month or a week before, whisk together all the dry ingredients: the all-purpose flour, wheat pastry flour, quick-cooking oats (not old-fashioned), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Store in an airtight jar or container. If you end up loving this recipe, you can easily size it up for lots of at-the-ready pancakes.
On the morning of, just add an egg, half a stick of melted butter, and 1 1/2 cups milk to 2 cups of your multigrain pancake mix. Stir together until just mixed, nothing more. Overmixing always creates a tougher pancake. Why? Think bread. We mix it and knead bread to build lots of tight gluten webs. And then we let it rest, which helps to relax the gluten so it’s tight but not tough. With pancakes, neither of those things are in our favor, so easy does it.
Cook on a warmed griddle over low heat, cast iron if you have it, until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, the edges begin to cook, and the bottom begins to golden, about 1 minute. Flip and cook about a minute more. Resist patting that cute cake on the top. It’ll halt the cooking process prematurely, leaving you with gummy insides. Top with Minnesota tapped maple syrup and a pint of berries and enjoy. Where ever you find yourself.
Here’s to simplicity and systems and a packable pancake mix that will inevitably save a decision or two and a fight. Amen.
This multigrain pancake has been designed as a mix. Make the mix weeks in advance for easy pancake prep the morning of. Just add an egg, milk, and butter.
Multigrain Pancake Mix
2 1/4 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 c. quick-cooking oats (not old fashioned)
2 tbsp. pure cane sugar
1 tbsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
To make a batch
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 c. whole milk
1 large egg
2 c. multigrain pancake mix
Make the multigrain pancake mix. In a large bowl, whisk together all the pancake mix ingredients. Store in an airtight jar or container in the pantry up to 3 months. This can easily be doubled to make 4 batches or tripled to make 6 batches, etc.
To make a batch of pancakes, begin by preheating a cast iron griddle over low heat. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until half melted. Remove from the heat to allow to continue melting and cooling. Meanwhile, measure the milk out into a liquid measuring cup, and whisk in the egg until evenly combined.
Measure out 2 cups of the premade pancake mix to a large mixing bowl. Pour in the milk mixture and give it a couple of stirs before adding in the melted butter. Stir batter until just combined. No more. Overmixing will yield a tough pancake.
Cook the pancakes. Using a 2-ounce spring release scoop (or 1/4 cup), pour batter onto the preheated griddle, gently spreading it to about 4.5″ in diameter. Look for bubbles to appear on the surface and a golden brown bottom before flipping, about 1 minute. Flip and cook for about one minute more or until a light tap to the center is mostly firm. Note: don’t be tempted to pat the pancake down with your spatula while cooking as it will stall the cooking process, leaving you with a gummy interior. Stack pancakes and serve warm.
To store leftovers, allow pancakes to cool unstacked before placing in an container or bag. This will help with sticking. Pancakes will keep for up to 4 days. To reheat, toast until warm and place in a tortilla warmer or in a dish towel to soften and steam.
When we cook on vacation, we tend to only buy salted butter. In that case, either omit the salt from the mix or reduce by half.
Quick-cooking oats perform best in this recipe as old-fashioned oats don’t get enough time to absorb the liquid before cooking, leaving you with a lumpy-textured pancake. Trust me.
You may notice I add the milk mixture and butter separately. Because the milk is cold and the butter is warm, they like to reach the same temp once they come together as quickly as possible, which can result in hard butter clumps. But, when you add them in separately and stir the milk into the room temperature flour, the butter stays melted, and you don’t have to wait for everything to reach room temperature. It’s a win-win.
Try your best not to overmix the pancake batter (or any pancake batter for that matter) as it yields a tougher pancake.
If your pancakes are cooking too fast on the outsides before the middle is able to cook through, that’s a good sign you need to turn down the heat.
Let me know if you end up swapping the oats for another grain like spelt, buckwheat, einkorn, etc. It’s on my list to try. I’ll let you know if/when I do.
Prep Time:5 min.
Cook Time:30 min.
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Why do you include backing soda in addition to baking powder in this recipe? In pancake recipes, generally speaking, backing soda is added to react with somewhat more acidic additions like buttermilk or yogurt. These are not present in this recipe, so what role does the baking soda play?
Hi Bo! You’re right. Typically you’d see an acid present. When testing, the addition of the baking soda helped the pancakes to cook through in the middle better than without. It also helps with browning. Let me know if you end up trying the recipe!
This makes is fantastic! For those of you doing tent camping or things like that where you don’t want to have to bring milk out of cup of powdered milk to this mixture and one more tablespoon of baking powder. Yay, no need for milk 🙂 if you do not want to bring eggs either you can add in two or three tablespoons of flax meal and that’ll cover the eggs.
Beth, this is amazing! Thank you for being so generous to share!
Well this is weird. I cannot find whole wheat pastry flour in any of the stores. Do you have any substitutions or alterations for this? I used to be able to find this every where. Thanks for the help.
Shoot! White whole wheat flour is a softer grain and, in general, works really well too. I’ll keep my eyes out for it in other stores.
Definitely try to find it. Worth using over white AP flour. Whole Foods, Sprouts and Natural Grocers carry it. Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur are a couple brands that make it. As already suggested, “white whole wheat” is an alternative.
Oh my! This is exactly how my mind works!!!
A year ago we finished our kitchen, which involved your Minimalist Kitchen book (thank you!) and designing every single nook and cranny so that there was a place for everything necessary, and nothing unnecessary. Now we’re talking about moving… and my husband can’t understand *how* upset I am about the idea of leaving all of the systems we have finally completed for this house.
But, yes, I’d totally be down a rabbit hole figuring out a better way to do pancakes on-the-go in your situation. Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve never heard anyone else describe this, and reading what you wrote, has helped me define and understand something I didn’t have words for before — especially the bit about how it’s ultra efficient once the system is in place… but how with the constant changes in life, we are constantly back to square one creating new systems.
The way I had been describing it was “I need containers!” … I really love finding/designing those containers, but I can’t operate really well until I’m done. I think my husband will do better if I call them systems. 😉
Thank you! 🙂