If you think that the new artisan flour movement is only relevant if your idea of fun is baking sourdough boules in that oven you built by hand in your Altadena backyard, you're clearly not thinking enough about pancakes. A fantastic batch of pancakes, many of us would argue, relies just as much on excellent flour as does a good loaf of bread. Sure, you – or your kids – may be loading your pancakes with maple syrup, or Greek yogurt and caramelized Pippin apples, or whatever goes on in your kitchen. But, as with breads and pastries, your stuff is often only as good as your flour. 

Pete Scherer, better known to many of us as Pete the Baker, the veteran of Lucques, A.O.C. and Storefront who is now the product manager at Roan Mills, recently made a mean batch of pancakes using 100% Roan Mills flour. This, it should be said, is no ordinary flour. Rather it's flour that's been milled from heirloom wheat grown in Hollister, California. This year's crop was planted on 50 acres and produced a harvest of 80,000 pounds of wheat. The fruits of which have been showing up, as whole grains, flours and pretty amazing breads, at the Wednesday Santa Monica and Sunday Hollywood farmers markets. 


Of the three flours that Roan Mills produces, Glenn, Red Fife and Sonora, it's the Sonora that makes the best pancakes. The Sonora, a white winter wheat, is the oldest heritage variety of the three, possibly the oldest in North America, and has much less gluten than the other flours. Hence its excellence as a flour for pancakes. It also makes pancakes with a lovely flavor, sweet and nutty, completely without the slightly harsh bitterness and rough texture that baked goods made with all whole wheat flour sometimes have. 

Scherer, it seems, is not only a stellar baker, but an adept maker of pancakes – and a pretty cool TV chef. His pancake video (great soundtrack, by the way) demonstrates his technique, of mixing and of griddling said cakes. No recipe. All whole wheat flour. Cast-iron griddle. ENORMOUS pancakes. Check it out.

Maybe if we're really, really nice to him, he'll make a DIY croissant video next. (Please??)

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