Flapjacks may refer to the traditional British baked concoction or the pancakes you serve on Sunday mornings. In either case, a few missteps can result in flapjacks that are dry, crumbly and not all that appetizing. The culprit might be the ingredients you choose and your method of preparation. A few tweaks ensure that your flapjacks are just the right consistency.
Oats with the Most
Classic British flapjacks are sweet oat bars that are similar in texture to a granola bar. Like granola bars, they can run the gamut from chewy and soft to crunchy and dry. A relatively simple recipe, they're made with just sugar, butter, syrup and oats -- and the last ingredient may be the one making your flapjacks crumble. The wrong type of oats can significantly affect the texture of your finished product. While whole or jumbo oats can give your flapjacks a distinctly chunky texture, they can also make them fall apart as you lift them out of the pan. Conversely, using pure rolled oats can make your flapjacks more delicate, but so much so that they break apart too easily. Try a combination of both jumbo rolled oats and quick-cooking oats for the best results.
Baking and Slicing
Flapjacks have to be baked at a relatively low temperature to prevent them from crumbling, so stick to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit -- 375 F at the highest, and only if you want a notably crispy final product. Your flapjacks may also be crumble if you wait too long to cut them up. Leave them in the tin to cool after you pull them out of the oven, but cut them into squares after only a couple of minutes, so that they don’t get a chance to harden.
Pancakes prepared on a skillet or griddle have to be flipped partway through cooking -- and that flipping could be the reason your flapjacks are drying out. Flip your flapjacks just once during cooking, as flipping them more than that dries out and scorches the outside and leaves them crumbly. Resist the urge to peek under your pancake. Instead, watch the surface to time the flip. When the batter on top is covered in air bubbles, it's time to turn.
Leaving out just one ingredient can rob a pancake of its ability to stay moist, fluffy and airy. Typically, the type of flapjack you make on a griddle contains flour, which provides the gluten that it needs to keep its appealing consistency. Using the wrong gluten substitute, or not altering your preparation method when using a gluten-free recipe, can result in a dry and crumbly flapjack. Use buckwheat, an alternative grain well-suited for pancakes, and prepare them thin. Without gluten, thick pancakes don’t cook properly and will crumble.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.