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Friday, January 29, 2010

Taste Buds: The Perfect Pancake

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Now I know most of you know how to make pancakes but it was one of the things that I have learned to cook that always just seemed a little off. Only until recently have a found a tried and true pancake recipe that successfully gets me great pancakes EVERY SINGLE TIME.

The trick is that extra care is needed when treating the batter.

The dry ingredients must be mixed first thoroughly with a wire whisk making sure that there are not any clumps and then, this is VERY important, in a second bowl mix the wet ingredients. Now I know that this dirties an extra bowl and you figure why bother. I know you are probably just like me and think BAHHHH no more dishes. However it is super important that the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients are mixed well BEFORE combining them. And there is a reason I swear. As soon as the wet ingredients hits the dry ingredients the gluten in the flour begins to develop. The more you mix and screw with the dough at this point the tougher and flatter your pancakes will come out. So do yourself a favour and use that extra dish.

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So stir gently with caution until the ingredients are just mixed. I cannot stress this point enough and don’t worry about lumps.

Aside from the chemistry of combining the ingredients the other point is that the grill has to be the correct temperature. Cast iron or iron works the best and I love this reversible double grill from Crate and Barrel. It cooks perfect pancakes every time.

Make sure to preheat the grill before you put the pancakes on. Water when drizzled on should sizzle across the top before after a few moments evaporating. Next you want to make sure to never use butter on the pan, it creates pockets of burn on the pancakes that don’t taste so hot. I love using Pam because of its consistent flow but a small amount of vegetable oil is also good.

Once the pan is to the desired temperature I generally like to do a test pancake, call it the guinea pig one, to make sure that the grill is at the correct temperature. You want the pancake to cook quickly but not to burn (about 3 min on each side) and of course the guinea pig pancake can be claimed by the cooker.

And then never press down on the pancakes, it will just make them flatter and harder and loose some of the light airiness. Hint: contrary to popular belief it won’t make them cook any faster I promise. The less you handle the pancakes the better they are so leave them be until you have to flip them turning only once. When the edges of the pancake are dry and the center is nice and bubbly you know they are ready to flip. Serve immediately and sit back as your family raves about how fabulous you are!

   RECIPE: THE PERFECT PANCAKE
INGREDIENTS
2 cup flour
2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 ¾ cup milk
2 tablespoon melted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
1. Stir flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt
2. In separate bowl whisk eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract.
3. Slowly add liquid to flour mixture stirring until just combined.
Makes 12-14 pancakes

For apple pancakes, peel the skin off of an apple (I prefer Gala Apples) with a vegetable peeler and cut mini slices of apple into the batter with a paring knife. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and stir gently until apple is coated with the batter. Continue with cooking right away.

4 comments:

lilmansworld said...

since when do camera's have a 'drool' setting? your camera is awesome, you could make shit on a shingle look good.

paul peggy zeus said...

Jenn, that's too funny!! I had to make pancakes for Dad tonight after he read this blog!! But I put blueberries in ours with blueberry syrup. MMM Good!!

lilmansworld said...

I made blueberry pancakes yesterday too but they didn't work out. i needed kellys recipe. hence green eggs n ham

Courtney Marie said...

I just made pancakes purely because of this post. They were not very good, your picture looks much better!

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