"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kefir-Buttermilk Pancake

Kefir-Buttermilk Pancakes
Fluffy, full-bodied, can stand on their own, this pancake recipe is a keeper!  However, I don't think a lot of people have discovered the health benefits of kefir milk yet. With this post, I hope to start spreading the news at least to the Filipinos, especially if you have issues with your bowels.

For those who have been following my blog for a while now, you know that I have been making my own butter, and as a by-product of that, I have buttermilk which is the real deal. (Buttermilk in the stores is usually made from whole milk that is cultured with lactobacilli and other beneficial bacteria.) This buttermilk is the heavy cream minus the butterfat. It is raw, but not cultured, and I keep it in the fridge for use in soups, chowder, or baking (gives a nice crust in whole wheat loaves).

What I have not talked about is kefir milk. This is simply milk that is cultured with kefir grains and oftentimes dubbed as the drinkable yogurt (I will post more about this later). I use raw milk, but a lot of lactose-intolerant people with no access to raw milk and get milk from stores culture this pasteurized milk with kefir to make it more easily digestible and beneficial to gut health.

So far in my family I am the only one who drinks kefir milk. My sons will drink kefir berry smoothie (kefir milk made with some raw heavy cream, maple syrup, and handfuls of frozen strawberries + blueberries + raspberries which I handpicked last summer), or ice cream made from that.  So I have tried to look for other ways to make use of extra kefir. I would prefer to use it raw for the beneficial bacteria+yeast, but sometimes I have to resort to cooking/baking with it just because I always have more than we can consume.  And this is one successful trial.

The original pancake recipe called for 3/4 cup milk "soured" by adding vinegar (those who a bakers know this is a substitute for cultured buttermilk).  My kefir milk is already tangy due to the lactic acid produced by the colonies of bacteria+yeast. However, it is very very thick. So I had to add the thin uncultured buttermilk, and I had to keep adjusting until I got the right pouring consistency of the pancake batter.

I made pancakes this morning because I got my 22-inch electric griddle last night, which I used to prepare supper (smoked pork chops). I did not even have to use any butter to cook the pancakes, and the griddle is so easy to use and clean, the temperature very controlled, and the HUGE surface makes it easy to prepare such foods all at once enough to serve a whole family of four so that all the pieces are hot and freshly prepared when served. It did not disappoint with these pancakes! They cooked perfectly!

The pancakes themselves were fluffy and really good, my son even said that they can be eaten by themselves without help from maple syrup!
1/2 cup milk kefir
1/2 cup milk real buttermilk (raw non-cultured, by-product of butter-making) - this is an estimate. I started with 1/4 cup then added some more until I got the right thickness
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
2 tbsp melted butter


Pre-heat griddle (350ºF).
Mix the dry ingredients.
Mix the wet ingredients well and pour into the dry ingredients.
Blend well until lumps disappear. Do not over beat. (May add more milk if too thick).
Test on the griddle and adjust accordingly.

First one I added was too thick I had to add
extra buttermilk to thin the batter

Cook about 1-2 minute or until bubbly and sides are drying up, then flip over and cook for another minute or until done.
I like the easy-to-use temperature control knob
 Serve immediately with butter or maple syrup if desired.

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