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Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Good Eats - Pancakes

Good Eats - Pancakes

This morning I finally decided to try Alton Brown’s pancake recipe.  If you’re not a food network junkie like me, you may not know who Alton Brown is, but you should.  He’s awesome.  He marries the wonderful world of food with the nerdy world of science.  Hmmm, now why would that appeal to me?

Like many of his recipes, they are a bit more complex than your average recipe.  But really, aside from the fussiness of separating the eggs, it wasn’t bad at all.

The Ingredients

The Ingredients

So you see here for the liquid ingredients: 2 separated eggs, melted butter and buttermilk.  The egg yolks get mixed into the butter, and the egg whites are mixed in with the buttermilk.  It actually makes a lot of sense, as Alton describes, the fats go together (butter and yolks) and the non-fats go together.  Then they all get mixed together into one glorious, goopy mess.  Then the liquids go in on top of the dry ingredients.  Mix together – but not too much – and voila!

Pancake Batter

Pancake Batter

And of course meanwhile, you have the griddle getting nice and hot, right???

These pancakes cooked up very nicely, although I had to watch them like a hawk so they wouldn’t burn.  I think the addition of butter instead of oil in the batter makes these slightly more susceptable to burning.

Pancakes on the Griddle

Overall, we thought this recipe was a winner.  Greg even commented that he like these better than other buttermilk pancakes that I’ve made in the past because they don’t have a slightly sour aftertaste.  I guess he’s sensitive to the buttermilk flavor.  The texture was nice and the flavor was perfectly pancake-y.  Well, what else can you say about the flavor about pancakes?  They taste like butter and maple syrup, right?

Prep Ranking: #1 – Make on the Fly (easy, but I’d save it for the weekends for breakfast, unless you regularly get up with an hour to spare)
Tastiness Grade: 9 out of 10

You can find the recipe here.

I made the recipe using 2-cups dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, plus the requisite wet ingredients.

I got 15 good sized (5-6 inch) pancakes out of it.

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Pancakes with Syrup

Like most traditions, its hard to remember why, when, or how this one was established.  Somehow, over the past several months of living in our house, it has become our routine to have pancakes on Sunday morning.  In any case, its a delicious new tradition.  For quite a while, I was simply making the Betty Crocker basic pancake recipe.  Its easy and pretty much only involves ingredients we always have in the house.  However, we have received as gifts a few different pancake mixes, all of which are quite tasty.  So I will report on the different pancakes I make for Sunday Morning Pancakes.

This morning I made Robby’s Buttermilk Pancakes.  This mix was given to me for my birthday by Greg’s brother and sis-in-law.

Robby's Pancakes

Robby's Pancakes

Pancakes in general are not hard to make.  But there are certainly some tricks to achieving top quality pancakes.  I illustrated some of these points this morning.

Tip #1 – Do not overmix the batter.  Mix only until the batter comes together, don’t worry about getting all of the little lumps out.

Tip #2 – As far as oil on the griddle goes, I like to put on a very small amount, then wipe the excess off with a paper towel.  You want only a very thin layer of oil on the pan.

Tip #3 – Wait until the griddle is fully heated. I did not do this this morning, I usually don’t.  I’m terrible and impatient.  As a result, the first batch is always a little, um, off.  Fortunately, Greg always eats the first batch and I never really hear any complaints.

Tip #4 – This is closely related to tip #3.  Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes before trying to cook.  It allows it to set properly and the pancake will rise much better if you allow yourselves this extra few minutes.  Hey, wouldn’t it make sense to let the griddle heat while the batter is resting?  Yea!  Why don’t I actually try this next time!

Here are a couple photographic illustrations of why skipping steps 3 and 4 is a bad idea:

Ugly Impatient 1st Batch Pancakes

Ugly Impatient 1st Batch Pancakes

And in addition to having a wierd texture, they are hard to flip (obviously).  Contrast those to the little  lovelies I got from the second batch with a hot griddle and rested batter –

2nd Batch Pancakes

2nd Batch Pancakes

Fluffy, nicely browned, and easily flipped.  The difference is quite striking.  Let’s see next week if I’ve learned my lesson!

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