Pancakes for breakfast

Again, no pictures – sorry.

I’ve seen the following recipe in so many places I have NO idea of its real origin. However, it makes the most consistently good pancakes of any recipe I’ve got.

Preheat a VERY lightly greased (maybe) griddle/frying pan/electric skillet.

Combine and sift together Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 c flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder (no, that’s not a typo)
1 tsp salt

Combine and mix together Wet ingredients:
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 c milk
1 egg
3 Tablespoons melted butter (or margarine)

Add wet to dry and stir just till mixed. Let rest for one minute.

Dish (ladle, cup, spoon) four to six inch circles onto the pan. When edges look a bit dry and bubbles in the center have quit popping (but before it’s dry) flip. Cook till both sides are equally brown (yes, you lift a pancake and look). Remove and serve as you prefer. Makes 12-16 pancakes.

And now a bit of discussion. This makes a slightly thick batter with a fair amount of lift — the cakes easily reach half an inch thick and are fairly light. If you prefer crepe-like pancakes, this is not your recipe.

If you’ve got temperature control, you want the pan between 375 and 400 F. The test is actually fairly easy – you want drops of water to dance on the skillet. If the skillet isn’t hot enough they’ll just sort of lay there and boil. If it’s too hot they evaporate instantly. There’s a point in there, however, where what’s right next to the skillet turns to steam and the rest of the drops of water just, well, they dance. They skitter and skate as they slowly evaporate. (Slowly. A few seconds, but not instantly.)

What about that maybe grease bit? depending on the pan you might not use any at all. If you do, you want only enough to make the pan a non-stick. Any more and you fry the pancake – which might be to your taste but isn’t what most folk want. My technique is to act as though I’m polishing the pan. Just four or five drops of oil followed by a thorough rub/buff with a paper towel so the pan gets a bit of a shine.

I sift the dry ingredients together to catch where the baking powder has ‘lumped’. It also mixes it very well in advance, but catching the lumps is the big deal. A nugget of baking powder does NOT taste good in a pancake. Premixing the liquid also lets me make the final combination a swift thing. See, the more you stir the more gluten you raise and that can lead to tough pancakes. By barely mixing you avoid that. You let it stand so the moisture can get into any unmixed dry areas – which because you sifted aren’t lumped and forming shells.

The rest is fairly straightforward, but I need to make one last comment. See, this is a fairly fast-rising batter. If it’s going to sit, it’s not going to rise as well. By the same token, it doesn’t work very well for doubling. Oh, the later pancakes are still good, but they don’t rise as much. For this reason, if you need more pancakes mix a second batch instead of increasing the ingredients.

Oh – yes, I have a buttermilk pancake recipe. I just prefer the taste of these.

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