I am so excited to announce that my post today is by Sam Henderson of Today’s Nest, one of my favorite sites. Please be sure to check out his site and his incredible talent! I am honored to have him share his incredible work with you for National Hot Breakfast Month. Take it away, Sam….
Pancakes are an American staple and go by many names–flapjacks, hot sales, griddle cakes, etc. The breakfast standard has a long history and is even surrounded by a bit of folklore. Perhaps you have read the story of Paul Bunyan and his love for flapjacks. Some say it took nearly 20 men to make enough pancakes to satisfy him. I sometimes feel as though I could use a little help getting enough for my crew. They seem to disappear from the plate faster than I can flip them. We used a box mix for a long time until we discovered we could make better cakes on our own.
There is no magic in box pancake mix. The ingredients are, for the most part, already in your pantry. The only exception here is that many pancake mixes require just water to be ready to go. If you desire the taste of true buttermilk pancakes, you will be required to keep some buttermilk on hand. The good news is you can make some Homemade Butter or purchase some and keep it for other purposes.
Sam’s 10 Pancake Tips:
1. A word about syrup… I believe in saving money where it is sensible and doesn’t compromise good taste (in every sense of the word). REAL Maple syrup is not a meaningless purchase. Buy REAL Maple Syrup.
2. As a nice gift, double the dry ingredients and place them in an airtight jar. Tie a card around the top with the recipe written inside.
3. When you pour in the wet ingredients, mix quickly and just until moistened. That’s all. There may be some lumps, but it won’t be evident when your light and fluffy pancakes are served.
4. If you have the time, allow the batter to rest before using. Even after an hour the results are better.
5. Pancakes should be flipped only once. Pull up the side to see if the bottom is the color you want and then flip it gently. The second side should only take half to three quarters the time it took for the first side.
6. If you are using a non-stick pan or griddle you should not need any additional butter or oil.
7. I find a griddle much easier to manage for pancake making. I don’t have to struggle with the side of the pan and I can cook many more at a time.
8. I use an ice cream scoop to measure out my pancakes. Ours holds exactly 1/4 cup of batter, and I am able to maintain consistent results.
9. Freezing pancakes is simple. Place cooled cakes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Top with another sheet of parchment and another layer of pancakes. Continue until all are single layered between parchment sheets. Place in freezer until frozen. Remove frozen pancakes from parchment and store in a sealable freezer bag.
10. Reheat frozen pancakes covered with a damp paper towel in a microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Makes 12 large or 15 to 18 small
11/2 cups flour
11/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
11/2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Whisk first 5 ingredients together to fully incorporate.
2. Whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Add the melted butter and mix thoroughly.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir quickly with just enough strokes to moisten the dry ingredients. Do not over mix.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before using or up to a couple of hours.
6. Heat griddle to 325 degrees or heat non-stick pan over medium to medium-high heat.
7. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter onto hot surface and form circle with back of spoon.
8. Cook for about 2 minutes on the first side, checking frequently. Flip and cook for about 1 minute on the other side.
9. Serve immediately or place on a tray in a warm oven (180 degrees) to keep until ready to serve.
Variations on a theme…
Blueberry pancakes… for best results, soak the blueberries in the buttermilk for about 30 minutes before mixing into the dry ingredients. This is also perfect with just a touch of lemon zest.
Apple cinnamon pancakes … peel, core and finely dice up your favorite apple. I prefer granny smith in pancakes mostly because they hold their shape and aren’t too sweet.
Banana pancakes… cut the pieces small and consistently. I like to top these with warmed nutella thinned with just a bit of cream.
Coconut pancakes - mix in flaked coconut and top with citrus marmalade
Chocolate chips pancakes – I prefer to use mini chips in these. Add whipped cream and/or strawberry compote to the top.