Monday, September 28, 2009

Pancakes At Home

Breakfast staples in our house include eggs, cereal, fruit, the occasional morning bagel run and, of course, pancakes. For most of my life, pancakes at home meant Bisquick, but about a year ago we started searching for something better, a recipe we could put together with our own ingredients and - hopefully - some whole grain component.

Saw Alton Brown on Good Eats at one point hawking his ultimate pancake recipe and dutifully wrote it down, but I can't really decide anymore whether or not he's trying to be helpful or intentionally difficult. In any event we could never get his version to come out the way they looked on TV, even after we went out and bought the Bunsen burners and electron microscope.

Another problem with Brown's approach was that it called for buttermilk, which we rarely have at home unless we've planned for a pancake fiesta, and in our house the meal is typically a spontaneous Saturday or Sunday morning consensus. So we kept looking for that rock solid recipe, and I think we finally found it.

Madison's recitation of the ingredients is listed above, this will get four people about 2-3 medium-sized pancakes each, feel free to double if you need more. We've customized this a little bit by experimenting with different kinds of flour, from the Bisquick-esque white to 100 percent wheat, or even a combination - maybe one cup white, 1/2 wheat or the other way around. This morning we made these with something new Gwen recently picked up, King Arthur Organic White Whole Wheat flour, and it was just about perfect. We also usually dial back the 3 tablespoons of melted butter specified in the original version to one or two, just because.

The execution couldn't be simpler (sorry Alton), combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Then add the wet ingredients and try to bring it all together without over-mixing, shoot for 10 to 15 stirs before introducing the resulting batter (in whatever sizes you want) to a hot, buttered pan. Cast iron skillet if you have one, if not get in touch with these people and take care of that right away.

And don't forget the maple syrup, the real stuff, preferably from Vermont, all due respect to Mrs. Butterworth and her high fructose corn syrup and cellulose gum goodness. We've been enjoying this kind for the last few months, in both the Fancy and Dark Amber grades. Also goes extremely well drizzled sparingly on a bowl of steaming hot farina, which is quickly emerging as another favorite breakfast option in our house being passed down from one generation to another, with care.


Blogger Katherine said...

I have a fairly nice recipe (from Joy of Cooking). But I will have to try this one, since no weekend is complete without pancakes.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Hope said...

Now I'm hungry for pancakes. Thanks for sharing!

6:58 PM  
Blogger Dori said...

Pancakes are a staple here as well! Buttermilk is available in powdered form (baking aisle) and works great! We always substitute applesauce for the oil/fat content. Love the white whole wheat flour--and I love even more that my local grocery store carries it! Also found that Log Cabin fake maple syrup comes without high fructose corn syrup! Just can't afford $17 a bottle for syrup right now.

8:56 PM  

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