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A non-chef’s guide to preparing pancakes
July 10, 2016, 11:41 am

A basic pancake is one of the simplest foods to cook; you need just a few ingredients to form a batter that is cooked in a shallow pan to create thin, lacy pancakes. But look further and you will find that not only have each ingredient an important role to play, but also that the ingredients are versatile and can be easily substituted to give pancakes different tastes and flavor.

Here, we have come up with a basic pancake recipe along with a few pancake variations and tips to create simple and delicious pancakes.

Basic pancake recipe:

Preheat the oven to 93 degree Celsius; have a baking sheet or heatproof platter ready to keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven.

In a small bowl, mix together one cup all-purpose flour, two tablespoons sugar, two teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together one cup milk, two table spoons of unsalted melted butter or vegetable oil and one large egg. Add the prepared dry ingredients to the milk mixture and whisk until just moistened. Make sure not to over-mix; a few small lumps are fine.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Fold a sheet of paper towel torn in half and moisten with one tablespoon of vegetable oil and carefully rub the skillet with the oiled paper towel.

For each pancake, spoon two to three tablespoons of batter onto the skillet. Use the back of the spoon to spread the batter into a round. With this you will be able to fit two to three pancakes in a large skillet.

Cook for one to two minutes and flip carefully with a thin spatula and cook for another one to two minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven. Continue with more oil and remaining batter. Serve warm.

The basic pancakes can be topped with desired extras, such as blueberries, sliced bananas or peaches, chocolate chips or nuts. Just remember to sprinkle them on the pancakes before flipping.

Pancake Variations

For these pancake variations, refer to the main recipe and substitute the ingredients accordingly.

Buttermilk: Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to the dry mixture and replace milk with low-fat buttermilk.

Yogurt: Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to dry mixture and replace the milk with 2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt and 1/3 cup milk.

Whole-Grain with Yogurt: Replace the all-purpose flour with ½ cup whole-wheat flour, ¼ cup cornmeal and wheat germ, and ½ teaspoon baking soda. Also, replace the milk with 2/3 cup plain-low fat yogurt and 1/3 cup milk.

Pancake Tips

  • To keep pancakes tender, take care not to over-mix batter; small lumps are fine.
  • Make sure the skillet is at the right temperature by testing with water droplets which should‘dance’ on the surface.
  • Use as little oil as possible in the skillet; a quick wipe with an oiled paper towel is enough.
  • For thinner or thicker pancakes, add more or less liquid, respectively.
  • For coin sized pancakes, use 1 to 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake.

Preparing and storing pancake premixes:

Whisk together three cups flour, six tablespoons sugar, two tablespoons baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. This makes enough for 12 servings of three to four pancakes per persons.

Freezing pancakes:Stack cooled pancakes between squares of waxed paper; place in a re-sealable plastic bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to three months. Reheat on a baking sheet in a preheated 180 degree Celsius oven or toaster oven. Avoid reheating in a microwave as they tend to get rubbery.

Tools:The right tool is key when flipping and removing pancakes. Look for a very thin spatula; it should slip right under the pancake without tearing it.

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