Rotating Banner Images

Monday, September 18, 2006

Weekend Pancakes

I did my audio post on the pancake tip with the intentions to follow up with a recipe.


Why bring it up again? Aside from the comment from Dan, I had pancakes this morning and topic came up.

I grew up eating pancakes that came from mixes. Bisquick at times, but more often than not, Aunt Jemima.. And it’s not that my parents didn’t know how to make them from scratch (cause I don’t think they did), it was just more convenient. Measure out the dry, add the wet, stir stir stir… and you’re ready to go. Very easy, no?

So that’s me, the pancake mix kid. Bisquick later developed Shake and Pour, which my mom would buy by the case load. It took pancake making to a whole new level- just add water to the package, close the lid and shake around for a good minute. Perfect for the typical dorm living college student with no kitchen and a sandwich maker. Mess was kept to a minimum and the only things that needed to be washed were the pan, plate, and fork. Genius!

But now I am no longer that college student. And I have an apartment of my own and a decent, yet small, kitchen. So if I’ve evolved… shouldn’t my pancakes too?

There are a lot of recipes for pancakes out there, but I put a lot of faith in Alton Brown. He hasn’t failed me yet. This is perfect for those of us in transition from pre-made mix to scratch.

Don’t heat up that griddle just yet. First you need to make your dry mix. Think of it as making your own Bisquick, if that’s what you grew up on.

In a bowl combine 6 cups all-purpose flour (white or wheat… doesn’t matter to me), 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda (make sure it isn’t old, fresh is best), 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons sugar (you can try sugar substitute if you’re concerned about this, but what you make might be a little different).

If you’re picky about it, sift to get rid of the clumps. Either way, mix this well and store it in an air tight container. It should be good for about three months. Mine is hitting the one month mark and no changes here.

Okay, dry is done. Time to start making pancakes.

“Instant” Pancakes

2 eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons melted butter, plus 1 stick for the pan
2 cups dry mix
2 cups fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, mango) optional

Unfortunately I can’t afford to be as griddle loving as Brown is, so I use my trusty frying pan. Heat the pan on medium-high heat and turn the oven on to about 200.

Have two bowls ready for the wet ingredients. In one bowl you throw in the egg whites and buttermilk, in the other bowl you have the yolks and melted butter. On a side note, make sure the melted butter isn’t still hot when you add it to the egg, otherwise you’ve got buttery cooked yolk. Whisk away.

When you’re done, pour both mixes into a larger bowl and whisk away again. And don’t give it a wimpy mixing, whip that sucker!

At this point Brown says to pour the wet into the dry, but I no longer have a dishwasher. And I don’t have that many bowls. If you want to follow his method, go do it. If you have nobody to wash your dishes, follow mine. Measure out the dry mix and add it to the wet. Mix again, but just enough so that you have a nice batter. Don’t try to break up the lumps. You’d be fighting a losing battle… and they’ll just go away on their own.

Cold pancake batter needs a hot pan. To make sure it’s ready you have your pan do the water dance. Does it bead up and zip here and there? It’s ready.

Prepping the pan. Brown says to lightly butter the pan and then wipe off with a paper towel. No thank, I cut myself a chunk, stab it with a fork and do a little frying pan graffiti. I lower the heat down just a little bit so that the butter doesn’t burn.

You can ladle the batter in, or use the squeeze bottle technique. If you want fruit in your pancakes you add it after it’s in the pan. The batter will engulf it, don’t worry.

How long do you have to wait until you have to flip? You can go by the “bubbles around the edges” way, or you can just take a peek to see if the bottom is nice and golden brown.

Eat with lots of butter and syrup. To keep them from getting cold and losing their deliciousness, line a baking sheet with damp towels (I use paper towels). Stack the pancakes on and cover with another damp towel.

I haven’t completely given up on my pancake mixes just yet. As you can see, this is pretty involved and not ideal if you don’t have the time to devote to do this. Weekends are when I make them, and I think people with busy schedules will agree. So I haven’t completely written off my Shake and Pour, but it should be worried. Very worried.

No comments:

Post a Comment