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The pancake topic to end all pancake topics


bentherebfor
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Greetings

I'm looking for a pancake recipe that inspires fluffiness, that is nice thick pancakes, but not heavy. Thin will simply not do. Flavor is not of quite as much importance. This recipe is for a contest that is graded on flavor, presentation, and fluffiness.

Also, does anyone know of any exciting ways to present pancakes?

Thanks a heap!

Some people say the glass is half empty, others say it is half full, I say, are you going to drink that?

Ben Wilcox

benherebfour@gmail.com

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Buttermilk and baking powder.

For every cup of flour, add two tablespoons of corn meal, 2 T of sugar (optional), 1 egg, 2 T. oil, 1 cup buttermilk, baking powder (about 1-1/2 t, generous) and some salt.

If you don't have buttermilk, you can sour regular milk, but it is better to sour it with lemon than vinegar, IMHO.

And, if you are going to make them with blueberries that are frozen, use the berries frozen.

I make 'em once a week for breakfast (Saturday mornings).

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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This might brand me as completely uncool, but I have to admit the Joy of Cooking pancake recipe is the one I always use. Very fluffy, very good.

My thoughts exactly -- the JoC Buttermilk recipe can't be beat, IMHO.

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Buttermilk is good, but the biggest thing is to not overmix.  Lumpy batter will sort itself out in the pan.

Absolutely. My kids love watching the reaction, the batter bubbling up, and the pancakes rising on the griddle. Not only are they wonderful, but entertainment to boot!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I'm not a big pancake maker (although, this thread has put me in the mood for them :smile:) but I've heard that it's best to let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes so that the leavening agent has a chance to do its thing.

Can any of you pancake experts confirm or refute this?

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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I'm not a big pancake maker (although, this thread has put me in the mood for them :smile:) but I've heard that it's best to let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes so that the leavening agent has a chance to do its thing.

Can any of you pancake experts confirm or refute this?

=R=

I always mix the batter before I put the bacon on the stove so I don't get distracted and burn the bacon.

But, when I think about how the batter changes as I cook the bacon, me does think that this is the case. It gets all "big and holey" (Peter's words).

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I use the dry ingredients proportions from the Joy of Cooking basic recipe. I use whole milk buttermilk (the expensive small-farmer kind in the glass bottle) instead of regular milk, farm fresh eggs, and I add a generous dollop of sour cream to the wet stuff. Makes excellent light fluffy pancakes every time.

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I'm not a big pancake maker (although, this thread has put me in the mood for them :smile:) but I've heard that it's best to let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes so that the leavening agent has a chance to do its thing.

Can any of you pancake experts confirm or refute this?

=R=

Both types of baking powders available to home bakers give off some carbon dioxide when combined with water. Single acting gives up all it's CO2 right off the bat. Double acting baking powder gives off some CO2 when it's hydrated and then an extra surge when heated.

So, from a leavening perspective, unless you add extra double acting powder to compensate, 30 minutes will exhaust the initial supply of CO2 and your pancakes will be vertically challenged.

Through my autolyse experiences, I have come to the conclusion that flour does take a few minutes to completely hydrate. The leavening is just too short lived, though. I probably should note that I'm a fairly vocal opponent of double acting baking powder because of the aluminum content. For those who are fine with D.A. powder, 30 minutes might work.

Because crepes are usually unleavened, these are very suitable candidates for a 30+ minute hold (and more).

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If your eggs are at room temperature before you add them to the batter, they can hold more air than cold ones. (According to Martha).

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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I, too, swear by the JoC recipes. But sometimes, if I'm feeling lazy, I'll use Bisquick. The Bisquick "recipe" has a tip for extra fluffy pancakes: add a few tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. And it really works. Them's the fluffiest flapjacks ever. I'm guessing one could do the same with a scratch recipe, though I've never tried it (at the moment, I can't imagine why not). Note to self: make scratch pancakes this weekend...try lemon juice trick.

Scientifically, I'm guessing that the acid lemon juice gets an extra kick out of the baking powder; I'm assuming Bisquick uses the double-acting kind. Second note to self: check Bisquick ingredients.

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...I have come to the conclusion that flour does take a few minutes to completely hydrate.  The leavening is just too short lived, though...

I let the batter sit for at least 5 minutes (but not 30.) It seems to make a difference in how light they are-perhaps it is because the flour is completely hydrated. I read that tip in Fine Cooking a few years ago. Also-don't stir too much and don't flatten the pancake w/ the spatula after you turn it.

Damn-now I'm craving pancakes! :shock:

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Achieving the light and fluffy pancake can be extremely difficult.

I have been trying for years to duplicate the wonderful creations served at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego.

They are almost a half-inch thick, but so light and fluffy they melt in the mouth. Four arrive on a plate, rolled around a "filling" of whipped butter and fanned out on the place with strawberries placed between the ends and a couple of orange wedges at the base of the fan. They are accompanied by an array of preserves and several varieties of syrups, or a fresh fruit compote as an alternative with whipped cream on the side.

My closest approximation has been with folding beaten egg whites into the batter just before baking and using pastry flour instead of all purpose.

When I can't find a good pastry flour I use all purpose half and half with cake flour.

Andie's basic pancake recipe

1 1/2 cups pastry flour

2 teaspoons baking powder (I recommend Rumford, and it must be fresh)***

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon sugar or Splenda

Sift dry ingredients together and set aside

melt 3 tablespoons butter and set aside

(or use a light oil such as canola, do not use margarine)

In a large bowl beat together

1 1/2 cups milk

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks, reserve the whites in another bowl in the fridge to keep cold.

When completely blended add the dry ingredients and stir (do not beat) until smooth and

stir in the melted butter until well blended.

set aside to rest in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Beat the eggwhites until soft to medium peaks form.

Fold beaten egg whites into the batter and immediately ladle by 1/4 cup measure onto hot griddle.

When bubbles begin breaking near the center of pancake, turn and finish baking.

They should puff as soon as they hit the hot griddle.

*** Old, inactive baking powder is the most common reason people get poor results with quick breads, pancakes, etc. When you open a tin or jar, stick a piece of tape with the date on it and after 6 months get a new one. You will have much better results, I guarantee it!

You can test your baking powder by putting a teaspoonful in a glass and adding water. It should foam vigorously, if not, toss it out.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I agree with the idea of adding beer but ale will be even better. The best pancakes I've ever tasted include ale, baking poswder and a small bit of cider vinegar. I think the vinegar helps to catalyze the leavening action of the baking powder. These are the pancakes served at Blue Heaven Restaurant in Key West FL and they are justifiably famous.

Richard's Very Good Pancakes

Quite possibly, apart from conch fritters and key lime pie, the one dish that Key West is best known for.

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I never made pancakes until I tried Cook's Illustrated's "Light and Fluffy Pancakes." They are wonderful. In the same issue they have a recipe that produces even lighter and fluffier 'cakes than their standard recipe but I haven't made that. I think they beat the egg to soft peaks before adding it for that one.

I believe www.americastestkitchen.com has the first pancake recipe as well.

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  • 7 months later...

My MIL just throws together a basic pancake(sometimes even boxed) but adds buckwheat flour to it. It really surprised me what a difference this made...for the better. It isn't a whole lot she adds, maybe a half cup or so, but it really does something for the texture/mouth feel and adds a bit of sweetness. She doesn't use recipes, just adds the dry ingredients minus the buckwheat and then adds the liquid till it's a thin batter then puts in buckwheat till it's just thick enough.

Dammit, now I need to go get some buckwheat.

A island in a lake, on a island in a lake, is where my house would be if I won the lottery.

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Ooh....I just bought some buckwheat flour, to try making authentic blini.

My favorite pancake recipe comes from Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook -- I use the buttermilk version. Sometimes I throw in some multigrain flour for something different. When I make berry pancakes, I zap the berries, with about a teaspoon of sugar, in the microwave for about 45 seconds and then add the mixture to the batter. The berries burst, and the lovely juices distribute the flavor throughout the batter. (note: you should omit a bit of the liquid if you try this technique, you can always add a bit more)

My daughter had a late-night craving the other night and use Mark Bittman's recipe for Light & Fluffy pancakes from "How to Cook Everything". She left the batter in the fridge for her little sister's breakfast, and they were pronounced "delicious". The secret to this recipe is separating the eggs and beating the whites until stiff.

Has anyone tried cornmeal variations with success? I'd love to make cornmeal blueberry pancakes.

Edited by bushey (log)
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Alton Brown's "Instant" Pancake Mix recipe from foodtv.com is pretty good, though I don't profess to be a connoisseur.

Food, glorious food!

“Eat! Eat! May you be destroyed if you don’t eat! What sin have I committed that God should punish me with you! Eat! What will become of you if you don’t eat! Imp of darkness, may you sink 10 fathoms into the earth if you don’t eat! Eat!” (A. Kazin)

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