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Whole Wheat Popovers

Whole Wheat Popovers

You don’t need a popover pan to make popovers. A muffin tin will work perfectly well, even though you will only need to use 6 of the muffin. The only real reason to have a popover pan is that it gives you a good incentive to make popovers more often. I know this to be true because I got one not too long ago and have been making popovers far more often than I normally do. The light, crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside puffs are easy to make and are a great accompaniment at just about any meal, whether it’s soaking up gravy at dinner or being slathered with jam at breakfast.

My basic popover recipe is reliable and produces a light, tender puff. I recently set to work on creating a whole wheat popover for some variety. Whole wheat flour doesn’t take to popovers as well as all purpose flour does. It has less gluten in it and is heavier, so the popovers tend to not rise as high and be far more bread-like than regular popovers. The best way I’ve found to incorporate whole wheat flour is actually to use white whole wheat (it’s lighter than regular whole wheat) and mix in some all purpose flour to restore a little bit of the lacking lightness.

The remade popovers are more substantial than their entirely all purpose counterparts, but still have a crispy outer edge and a soft, moist interior. In every batch, I had one stubborn popover that would not develop the big hole in the center that is a popover signature even though the others always turned out just fine. If this happens to you, don’t worry about it. The popover will still be tasty, just a little more filling than the others in the batch.

Whole Wheat Popovers
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
extra melted butter, for the pan

Preheat the oven to 425F.
Grease a popover pan or a 6-cup muffin tin (or the middle 6 cups of a 12-cup tin) well with the melted butter and place in preheated oven for 1-2 minutes while you make the popover batter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter and salt until smooth. Sift flours over egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
Remove heated muffin tin from oven and divide the batter evenly into the buttered popover/muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes at 425F, then rotate the pan (to ensure even cooking) and reduce oven heat to 350F. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Poke each popover with a knife when you rotate the pan to help release steam and “set” the popovers.
Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 popovers.

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  • Diane
    January 23, 2009

    There isn’t white whole wheat flour where I live, but there is whole wheat pastry flour. Do you think that is an acceptable substitute? I’ve never made popovers and would like to try them. Thanks for any input you have on this question.

  • Nicole
    January 23, 2009

    Diane – Yes, whole wheat pastry flour is a good substitute for white whole wheat.

  • CookiePie
    January 24, 2009

    Great idea! And they look amazing.

  • DrMeglet
    January 24, 2009

    Thank you, I love popovers, and have been wondering what to try with the white whole wheat flour I bought.
    Two tips: I make my (regular) popovers by mixing the ingredients in a blender, it seems to get them fluffier than using an electric mixer, which I used to do. In the electric mixer days there would always be one or two short not-so-fluffy popovers, usually in the middle of the batch. (I use the Joy of Cooking Recipe).
    The other is that to melt the butter, I melt it in one corner of the popover pan while the oven is preheating. The milk and eggs go into a pyrex measuring cup in the same preheating oven for a few minutes to come up to “room temperature”, because I’m never prepared enough to have them out in advance.

  • Diane
    January 24, 2009

    Thanks for the advice, Nicole. I have had some WW pastry flour for a while now in my freezer, but didn’t really know what to try with it. Now I know.

    January 24, 2009

    l like popovers so much they looks wonderful:)

  • Steph
    January 24, 2009

    I used to go to ‘Popover Cafe’ all the time in nyc. That is the only place I have ever had popovers and they were such a treat – thanks for posting this! – I will definitely have to make them. And whole wheat? Even better!

    p.s. I am a new blogger but I have been reading yours for quite sometime and added you to my blogroll. =)

  • Sara
    January 24, 2009

    I was thinking about trying to make whole wheat popovers with whole wheat pastry flour – I’ll let you know the results if I try it!

  • Allison
    January 24, 2009

    Thie recipe sounds delicious and is a great incentive for me to finally get a popover pan. I’ve never been able to justify it before because I don’t really need one more baking pan overcrowding my itty-bitty kitchen 😉

  • bill in norway
    January 25, 2009

    Popovers ! popovers !! What you people have here is the marvelous ‘Yorkshire Pudding’ which is the indispensable side dish to the great English traditional Sunday Lunch. In different areas of northern England they serve them as a savoury starter with the gravy from the roast meat. If you had a large family mother would often use a large pie dish or even a bigger roasting tray and cut up and share the resulting Y. P. Thise tray and pudding was used for the equally ancient (and cheap) and delicious ‘Toad In The Hole’ Now I’m reliving my childhood – yummy !!!

  • Laura
    January 28, 2009

    Thanks to you, I finally used my popover pan! But I didn’t get the big hole in the center of any of them . . . . What could I have done wrong?

  • Nicole
    January 29, 2009

    Laura – Whole wheat flour is a little heavier than all purpose and forms gluten less easily. Mixing it a little bit longer might help, and making sure the eggs are at room temperature when you start should help, too. Sorry it didn’t work out the first time!

  • jennifer and the beans
    February 13, 2009

    My 11-year-old daughter just made these for us and they were delectable!!!

  • Indian curry
    October 29, 2009

    thank you for the recipe..it is very delicious!

  • Arlene
    February 26, 2010

    I would not suggest using the whole wheat pastry flour! Pastry flour has less gluten than regular flour. Bread flour has more, and the gluten is what causes the dough to stretch and form bubbles. You can buy gluten (Try King Arthur’s web site) and add some to the batter.

  • In every batch, I had one stubborn popover that would not develop the big hole in the center that is a popover signature even though the others always turned out just fine.

  • Christina
    March 6, 2012

    I LOVE THIS RECIPE! I have probably tried about 20 popover recipes, they are my hubby’s favorite, but I haven’t been able to make them pop : ( I was starting to think that maybe my baking skills were deficient. Good news though, these POPPED perfectly! I used white whole wheat flour and a 1/4 of bread flour instead of regular white. I also made sure my ingrediants were room temp per your comments. They were sooo light and yummy! THANK YOU!

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