To me they are the perfect breakfast food. I can remember being a kid and my Dad making pancakes every Sunday and they were the BEST! Golden brown, light & fluffy, with that nice crunchy edge along the outside. You put the butter on when it's hot so it melts and then the syrup will just soak in, filling the whole pancake with maple taste. Yum!
Nothing can beat the perfect pancake, but it can be hard to achieve. And that's what I've been trying to do- I am on the hunt for the Perfect Pancake recipe. Before, I always relied on mixes from the store. But that has changed, partially due to a shrinking budget & part due to my desire to eat healthier by not using so much processed foods & mixes. Also, at the beginning of last school year, in an effort to reduce the amount of cold cereal my boys consumed, I declared I would cook breakfast on Mon, Wed & Fri. (Which basically meant at the beginning of the last school year I "cooked" frozen store-bought pancakes, waffles & toaster strudels because I was not used to fully functioning that early!) I am proud to say that now I really do cook breakfast at least 3 times a week, and most of the time from scratch too!
Anyways.......I really want to give my boys the golden-crusted memories of mom's pancakes. But I'm having a hard time finding is just the right pancake recipe to do it with. I'm looking for ease & simplicity to make, but tasty to eat as well. I would love to find a recipe that uses oil instead of melted butter and maybe even dry milk powder too. So far, every one I try is good, but none have totally "Wow-ed" me yet. So, for now I'll share with you the recipe I tried this morning and is my current stand-by and maybe you can share your recipe with me!
From Food.com (Formerly Recipezaar)- Pancakes
(My current stand-by recipe)
3/4 c milk
2 T margarine, melted
1 c flour
1 T sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Beat egg until fluffy. Add milk and margarine. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Heat a heavy griddle or fry pan which is greased with a little butter on a paper towel. The pan is hot enough when a drop of water breaks into several smaller balls which 'dance' around the pan. Pour a small amount of batter (approx 1/4 cup) into pan and tip to spread out or spread with spoon. When bubbles appear on surface and begin to break, turn over and cook the other side.
I thought I'd also share real quick some things I've learned from my dad, experience & reading.
Tips for making the Perfect Pancake:
- If your recipe calls for melted butter instead of oil- bring your milk and eggs to room temperature to avoid the butter from setting up. (Ask me why I know this)
- Sift all dry ingredients together and mix all wet ingredients in a separate bowl before adding to the dry ingredients.
- Do NOT over mix. Lumps are ok in pancake batter.
- Let the batter sit for about 10 minutes before cooking
- If you have a cast iron pan- use it, they make the best pancakes.
- Preheat your pan & make sure it is the right temperature by flicking a few drops of water on the pan. If they dance around the griddle then it's just right. And note that as you cook your pancakes, the griddle will get hotter and you will have to adjust the temperature.
- Use oil or butter in the pan instead of cooking spray if you like the crispy ring on the edge.
- Using a ladle to pour the batter on the pan makes less mess
- A pancake is ready to be flipped when bubbles appear (and pop) all over the top and the edges seem set. You can lift the edge slightly to check the bottom before flipping if needed, but try not to disturb the pancakes too much. Constant checking & fiddling with them will make a tougher pancake.
- The last tip- the cook gets the last pancake because that one is always the best of the batch- any "kinks" in cooking have been worked out by then and your final one is truly the Perfect Pancake!
- Oh- and if you have too much pancake batter you can either make extra pancakes to freeze for a quick breakfast later. (Flash freeze them on a cookie sheet with wax paper between & then seal them in freezer bags. Warm them up in the microwave.) Or what I like to do is I use a funnel and pour the extra batter into an empty clean syrup bottle. Then I store it in the fridge for quick & easy pancakes later. (I usually use it up within a week.) This is also a great no-mess way to squeeze the batter onto the griddle!