Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pancakes

Pancakes from are one of the easiest things to make from scratch.  They only have 8 ingredients and BONUS! you can pronounce all their names (unlike the ingredients in a boxed mix and OMG the McDonalds hotcakes...seriously Mickey D's, do you really need to add distilled propylene glycol monoester to my pancakes? What is distilled propylene glycol monoester, anyways?).

So moral of the story, try making your own. You'll know what's in them, it's simple stuff, you probably have all the ingredients, it'll take less time than you think and I'm going to lead you through it step by step.      

This recipe makes about 4 average sized pancakes. You can double it if you have more than 2 or 3 people eating. I almost always double! You can always wrap up and refrigerate the extras and eat them tomorrow or even better, cover the extra batter (refrigerate) and make more tomorrow (let it sit out at room temperature for a little while first, cold batter is hard to pour).       

(Before you start, warm a pan on the stove on medium heat so it will be ready when you finish mixing)  

Ingredients:
1 egg
1 cup flour (white, wheat...it's up to you. I prefer white unbleached flour)**
3/4 cup of milk (I use whole milk, you can use whatever but I'm guessing the batter might be a tad bit thinner with skim milk)
2 tablespoons of sugar*
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (don't try to substitute butter, it totally changes the texture of the "crust"...and not in a good way)
3 teaspoons of baking powder (if yours is really old, replace it. You need good, fresh baking powder for nice fluffy pancakes)
1 teaspoon vanilla*
1 teaspoon salt*

That's it: 8 ingredients: all you need.

Beat the egg with a fork just so it's mixed nicely

Add the rest of your ingredients.You are now exactly where you would be if you were using a mix.

Mix everything well. Try to get rid of lumps but don't beat yourself up if you don't get them all.

Pour your mix into the already hot pan. If you have a nonstick pan, you probably don't need to grease it. If you don't, pour a little vegetable oil in and then wipe most of it out. You want as little oil in the pan as possible, it will affect the way the pancake looks and feels.
Use a spoon (or your fingers) to spread the batter so it's a nice round circle.

Ta-Da!

You can tell that the pancake is ready to flip when bubbles start to form and pop and the edges start to look dry.

Flip!
Now wait another minute or two and lift gently with a spatula to see how the bottom looks. When the bottom is golden brown, the pancake is done!
Add butter and syrup and serve**. 


 A few notes on pancakes:
*Sugar, vanilla, and salt: you can change the amount of each of these you use if you need to reduce salt or sugar intake. I just like the extra depth the vanilla adds, it's not really necessary if you don't have it on hand.

**Some alterations can include using whole wheat flour instead of white, mixing in things: berries, bananas, chocolate chips, etc. Instead of syrup you can top with whipped cream, honey, fruit, anything really. You don't even have to go with sweet if you don't want.

Personally, Bear likes his best plain with some fruit on the side.

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