Saturday, February 6, 2010

Liz Adair's world Famous Pancakes

After I promised to post about how to make pancakes, I got notification that my book, Counting the Cost, was a finalist for a Whitney Award. So, I'll keep my promise to blog about pancakes, but you have to promise to come back tomorrow when I blog about the Whitneys.

So, back to pancakes:

I have never understood why people use pancake mix. Pancakes from scratch are cheap, simple, and they taste so much better than Crusteeze or Bisquick pancakes that I'm sure you'll never go back to a mix after you try these.

Here's the formula for pancakes for 2 people, and you're not going to measure. That's what makes it so easy.

1 cup flour
(white or whole wheat)

1 tablespoon baking powder

salt--about as much as would cover a dime. Just put it in the palm of your hand and say, "That's about right," and dump it in.

oil--I'll tell you how much in a minute

1 egg for white flour pancakes, 2 eggs for whole wheat--or use two eggs for either.

Milk--I'll tell you how much in a minute.

Simply double the flour,baking powder and eggs as you increase the people, and the rest of the ingredients will take care of themselves.

After you've mixed the flour, salt and baking powder together, make a well in the flour clear down to the bottom of the bowl and expose a place about the size of a fifty-cent piece.

That's how much oil you're going to put in. Fill up the well with oil. It probably is a scant 1/4 cup, but we're not measuring.

Then add your eggs and milk.

The amount of milk you will use is about the same amount of flour that you use. If you used a cup of flour, you'll probably use a cup of milk. But just pour in the milk and start mixing with a whisk. You want to end up with a smooth batter about the consistency of...pancake batter. If it's too runny, add a bit more flour. If it's too thick, add a bit more milk. You'll get the hang of it.

Have your griddles heating while you mix your batter. I have an old electric stove, and I heat them on high for a while and then turn the dial to just above low, on the way to medium. If you're working with whole wheat flour, you want them to cook slowly, because otherwise they'll get too brown before they get done.

If you don't have a good temper on your griddle, or if it's not teflon, spray it with Pam and then wipe it off.

I have a 1/2-cup ladle that I use to pour the batter onto the griddle to cook. You'll see bubbles form--but if they form immediately, your griddle is too hot. When the pancake has 'risen' and kind of solidified around the edges, it's ready to be turned.

Turn it over and let it cook a little longer--this is something you've got to learn to judge. If you want to see if it's done, you can break the crust and look inside, but you'll soon get the hang of it.

So there you go! As I said, try them, and you'll never go back to a mix.

And...I promised home-made syrup. Here it is:

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

Bring to a boil, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.

Turn off the heat and add 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp (depending on how you like it) Maple flavoring.

A dollop of Kayro syrup added as you're cooking it helps keep the syrup from sugaring as you store it between breakfasts.

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