Monday, August 31, 2009

Pancake how-to

Nothing says weekend like pancakes! Here's how to get great results from your weekend breakfast fixings. There are two steps: recipe and technique. First, you need a great recipe. You can go with a mix from a box and I recommend the ones where you add milk and/or eggs instead of just water because you'll get fluffier pancakes. But if you want to go from scratch, here's one that works great:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup shortening or butter, melted

1/4 cup ground flax and/or berries and/or chocolate chips (optional)

Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, mix wet ingredients together and then add the dry stuff and mix until just combined. You can cut back on the shortening/butter or substitute some of it with apple sauce. This will make about 4 average sized pancakes so you'll want to double or tripple the recipe if you are cooking for a crowd.

Once the batter is mixed it's best to let it rest so it can thicken a bit. Some people leave their batter in the fridge overnight but I don't think it's necessary. Just make it and then put on your coffee and do other prep for breakfast. The pancake grilling can be done last minute.

Next you grease (butter) a griddle or frying pan. I don't have a griddle so I use my cast iron pan I got for my birthday! The pan has to be pretty hot for the pancakes to work so wait until the butter starts to bubble and when the bubbling subsides, your pan is ready.

Now comes the techniqe part of making pancakes. Using a large spoon, ladle or 1/4 cup measure, pour some batter onto the pan. Now you wait. Wait.....and wait some more. You'll know to turn the pancake when there are bubbles on top and the edges are rounded a little.

Now you flip the pancake with a spatula and cook on the other side for another minute or so. The first one is often a "test" pancake but after that you should be flipping up a storm.

And you have a perfect pancake. Just repeat a whole bunch of times until you have enough pancakes to feed your crowd! Add maple syrup, berries, bananas or whatever you want!

Cast Iron Skillet on Foodista

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