[19]Everyday Pancakes

Cover of How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

Pancakes are a bit of work in this house, as we mentioned in “our very first recipe entry”:http://www.metacookbook.com/archives/6-1-Whole-Grain-Griddle-Cakes.html. However, this recipe might fix that. I’m thrilled with it, actually. Not because it tastes amazing, though it is quite tasty, but because it definitely makes pancakes a lot less work.

And this house desperately needs that. A griddle of some sort would make pancakes considerably less work. We’ll take any griddle recommendations you guys have.

Finally, Bill was the photographer of the hour. So enjoy the photos of this (and the bacon recipe previously posted) that he took and figured out how to put into the blog. At this point, we’re going to slowly go back and edit previous entries to add photos (as we figure out how to get the photos converted, resized, etc). Please be patient with us, as it’s going to take some time.


h2. Ingredients

2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt (We used kosher, so we added a heaping half-teaspoon.)

1 tbsp sugar (It says optional, but I’m sure that’s an editor’s error.)

2 eggs

1.5 – 2 c milk

2 tbsp melted, then cooled butter (Optional, but see above for my feelings on such an “option”.)

Unmelted butter or a neutral oil for cooking (If you don’t have a super non-stick pan, which we do not.)

h2. Instructions

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat while making the batter.

Mix together the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs into 1.5 c of the milk, then stir in the melted butter. Gently add the wet mix to the dry mix, stirring only enough to moisten the flour. Lumps are a-ok (really). If the batter seems too thick, thin it out with some to all of the reserved milk.

Unless you have a super-duper non-stick skillet, use a touch of butter or oil for each batch. Make the pancakes any size you like, adding when the butter foam subsides or when the oil shimmers. Adjust the heat as necessary to produce gorgeously browned pancakes.

The pancakes are ready to flip “when bubbles appear in the center of the pancakes and the bottoms are cooked; they won’t hold together well until they’re ready.” This will take between two and four minutes.

Cook until the second side is slightly browned, which could be a couple more minutes. Either serve right away or keep warm on an oven proof plate in a 200°F oven for no more than 15 minutes.

h2. Cooking and Consumption notes

h3. Cooking

Wow, these pancakes were great to cook. We normally use a recipe from “the internets”, with some personal modifications. I think this recipe is highly likely to overtake that. That recipe is fairly thin, and typically results in only being able to make a single pancake at a time, if you don’t want your “pancakes” to become “a giant pancake that’s impossible to flip cleanly”. This recipe, even with all the milk in it, is wonderfully thick. So the pancakes still spread nicely, but not so much that I’m prevented from cooking in batches. I really like that.

I only managed two at a time, for the most part, but I think that 3 – 4 of our normal sized pancakes will come with practice in our current largest skillet. This means that, maybe, we can eventually manage to cook up a reasonable number quickly enough that we could sit down at the table and eat breakfast “normally”, rather than kind of as they come off the pan, in the kitchen, like vacuums. That has it’s own fun, I have to admit, but I’d still enjoy a sit-down breakfast sometimes.

As for actual cooking tips, I think my mother’s method for determining when pancakes are ready to flip is still the best (and easier to determine than what Bittman describes). Watch for the edges to become dry looking, and watch as bubbles come up in the middle and pop. When most to all of the bubbles have popped and the edges are dry-looking, flip that pancake over and marvel at it’s golden-brown color. (If you’re my mother, because her pancakes are always perfect. If you’re me, you run only about an 80% chance of having a gorgeous golden-brown color. That said, if my mother’s pancakes are always perfect, does she marvel at their perfect color? I might have to ask. Or maybe she’ll comment on this post.)


h3. Consumption

I tend to like my pancakes to have just a touch of sweetness, so recipes without sugar are always discarded (or modified to have sugar). These fit the bill nicely.

Honestly, they taste just like basic pancakes, which I really like. We ate them plain with butter, and with blackberry syrup. Bill ate them with maple syrup, but I’m not a fan of maple.

Oddly, on this one, I don’t have much to say about consumption. They’re pancakes, and great ones at that.

Also, Bittman says the batter stays good in the fridge for up to two days, so you can have pancakes basically whenever. I have a different method for “pancakes whenever”. When I make pancakes, I make them all. After we’ve eaten as many as we want, I freeze the rest in baggies in single portions. Pancakes reheat very well in the toaster (either oven or pop-up, even though I have no respect for the pop-up toaster), which makes them incredibly fast to eat and a good “grab ‘n go” breakfast if your office has a toaster of some sort (Bill’s does).

Anyway. Make these. You won’t regret it at all.

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