Rye Matcha Pillow Pancakes

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The weekend was high in spirit, holding hope, a promising virtue and nighttime sin. Last night was spent with some people I love most, reunited with the family, a boy I could have only dreamed of meeting (more than a year ago now), relatives, simple, delicious homemade food.

Having the chance to show someone around my own town is most rejuvenating. There is no better way to appreciate and undertake fresh perspective on your roots. Dig deep into why you may think and behave the way you do. There is something deeper to uncover about oneself, something untouched when smothered by the happenings of everyday life, necessary communication and work.

A few travel shots from a recent trip to Bangkok and more Singapore fun before I proceed any further with my recipe for these glorious pancakes, which are like a fudgy matcha brownie in pancake form.

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Another Hound café nestled in the busyness of Siam Paragon, Bangkok. Draping lights and my favourite colour scheme.
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And our favourite drink there– earl grey lime iced tea. There was a frigid ball of pure tea and syrup which melted to constantly produce a refreshing, distinct flavour.
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We visited a plane cemetery far away from the city on a highway. It was magical and unbelievable to see dangling oxygen masks and half open overhead compartments, ravaged by the natural course of time. 

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The apple speculoos affogato at The Affogato Bar. Soft, small chunks of cinnamony apple and a strong hit of espresso. An almost acidic strength is necessary for a good affogato, I believe. 
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Fun at The Bakery by Woodlands Sourdough (shoutout to Charlie for introducing this gem of a nook to me). I especially appreciate how they have vegan specials (usually on the weekends) and freshly baked, delicious, well-risen sourdough loaves every single day. Well-crafted sin.

Pancakes. That’s where it’s at. Usually tops a Saturday or Sunday for me, with that little bit of extra time permitting for lavish topping upon topping, pillowy layer on pillowy layer, dense and juuuuust done in the middle. Height and splendor. Maple syrup, coconut yoghurt and tahini are my favourite final touches. Maybe tear them up into shreds and douse with milk in a bowl. That’s just the sort of thing I would do, but mind you there are no obligations, because you would be the more rational human being.

Each rye pancake is hearty without being heavy, and I decided to inject mine with a little protein powder, the sort of bodybuilding stuff I would never use in a million years, but the kind folks behind Jimmyjoy’s Plennyshake offered me some and I’m not turning back because this stuff is definitely worth it. Check them out, I implore ya. Neither too sweet, nor does it feel unnecessary. It adds a nice prick of protein without any weird artificial flavour. All vegan, all good. The earthy matcha complements the moist and earthy offering of rye. Rye can tend to be a little sour if used too much, but the flavours here are balanced and refined.

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Rye Matcha Pillow Pancakes (makes 5 medium pancakes)

Ingredients

90g dark rye flour

A half tsp each of baking powder and baking soda

2 heaped tsp protein powder (optional)

2 tsp matcha powder

2 tsp coconut/ white sugar

14g melted vegan butter, plus some extra to grease the pan

half a banana, mashed

100ml plant milk of your choice (I used almond)

 

Directions

In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Dollop tablespoonfuls of the batter onto a pan heated on medium heat. Flip once the underside is done and cook the second side for another minute before removing and letting rest on a paper towel. Top with whatever you wish– I topped mine with vegan chocolate ice cream, crushed rice cakes I hauled from Bangkok (YUM), more matcha and strawberries.

The Thickest, Fluffiest Pancakes You Will Make

‘A happy man has no past, whilst an unhappy man has nothing else.”

This is but one of the few memorable quotes I came across in my latest favourite read– The Narrow Road To the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, which won the Man Booker Prize last year. You know those books which leave you craving for more and more after each chapter, and the flipping action is speedy and excited? Yeah, this is one of them. War and Love are classic, usually overlapping literary themes, and Flanagan expertly weaves the two with arousing and intimate prose. Sometimes, I forget how mind-altering and rejuvenating fiction can be. It awakens, stirs something much deeper in the human soul.

Something else pretty mind-altering are…. These pancakes.

These, dear reader! By far the thickest, fluffiest ones I have ever made, and I sure as hell have made a lot of pancakes. Alright, before I proceed, I do wish to address the fact that I missed last week’s second post. Truth was that an unexpected outing stole the day’s limelight, and I hadn’t the time to do a write-up since then. Hopefully, this lazy-sunday-morning-recipe will make up for that. Goodness I’m excited, because trust me, they’re worth it. Definitely worth skipping a café line for.

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Now it’s your turn.

Thick, ridiculous, sweet and slightly spongy. I feel as if a drab ‘fluffy’ will take the fun out of this adjective scrambling, but heck, they are. Unbelievably fluffy, light, soft. A slightly lighter version of the Mickey Dees stuff. You get the jam.

I’ve tried these twice– once with almond butter and maple syrup, the other time as if I were at a traditional American diner, with butter, maple syrup, and a whole lot of family.

Can I have them with anything? So fluffy I could die!! My sisters chimed and beamed and scarfed down two each in less the time it takes for me to politely do a knife-and-fork job with one.

Since these freeze so well, I kept a couple stashed away. When I went to look for them the next morning, they were gone. I don’t blame them.

Honey and buttermilk provide an extra layer of moisture without added weight. The first two I made received a little extra char (as you can see above!!) because I was fiddling with the toppings and wasn’t paying as much attention to the stove, but the dark, crusty edges played a good texture game with the warm, melting butter and maple syrup later on. Mmmmm. Happy mistakes. And look at how thick these guys are. I kid you not, each pancake is at least an inch thick. Tender fluff. Pillow fluff. Press on a hot one and you’ll leave a finger mark that disappears almost immediately.

Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pancakes (serves 4-5, makes around 11-12 medium pancakes)

*vegan substitution

Ingredients

188g all-purpose flour

3 tbsp white sugar

generous pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg (*one banana)

40 unsalted butter (slightly less than 4 tbsp, *vegan butter)

1 tsp vanilla extract or the insides of half a plump vanilla bean (or a skinny meek one)

240ml whole milk/ buttermilk; use store-bought or make your own by mixing 230ml whole milk with 1 tbsp white vinegar, and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before using (*almond milk or any other plant-based milk)

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt and leavening agents). In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in a microwave and set it aside, letting it cool. In another medium bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla (or insides of a vanilla bean) and melted butter. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and mix briefly with a wooden spoon or a normal dinner spoon. Continue to mix until everything is justt combined, which means there will still be a few lumps, but no more streaks of flour. The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy.

Preheat your pan on medium heat and ready some butter. You know the pan is hot enough when you flick a little water onto its surface and there’s a clear sizzle. At that point, generously butter the pan and ladle tablespoonfuls of batter. I didn’t have to wait for bubbles to pop before flipping; the batter is thicker than usual and there’s no need to wait. Flip the pancakes when you notice the edges stiffening a little, or when you can slide your spatula whole underneath the bottom of the pancake. It will rise a little upon flipping, as if that action gives it life, and hence, breath. The surface should have a brown mosaic thanks to the hot butter. Once the second side is done (will take no more than 20 seconds), let cool on a paper towel. As mentioned above, these freeze wonderfully, so you can make a whole batch, have a small stack and stash the rest in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Easy!

Serve with butter and maple syrup, or whatever you want. I particularly like them with banana, its moist sweetness adjoining arms with the maple. What a Sunday.