October 17, 2009

Recipe # 7 Pancakes, 2nd time's a charm

I first attempted Peterson's pancake recipe last week. To be honest, I thought they were awful. I couldn't figure it out and I was convinced I had taken a misstep somewhere along the way, so I decided to give the recipe another try.

I used All-Purpose flour, but instead of 2 cups milk, I added only 1 1/2 because I wanted the pancakes to be thicker than they were the last time I made them. I added 3 tablespoons butter, 1 ripe banana, and a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, because I had them on hand.

The resulting lumber jack stack of pancakes tasted so much better than my first batch, and they looked better too. Knowing that a pancake always tastes best hot off the griddle, I was bummed when I had to pause mid-way through my baking session to help Roscoe back to sleep; by the time we got around to eating the pancakes, they were cold and limp, having soaked up all the syrup. I imagine they might have been more impressive had we eaten them at the right time.

I've been dreaming of the perfect pancake ever since I watched Blueberry Pancake Throwdown with Bobby Flay (seriously, you should watch this clip, it's only 4 minutes), and while this recipe produced a nice pancake, they were not amazing.

I hadn't before considered experimenting with different flour types (i.e., cake flour, all-purpose, etc.), but logically, this can influence the tenderness of the final pancake. Low-gluten flours produce more tender results, as does adding butter to the batter. Oh, and the difference between pancakes and crepes? Pancakes are made with baking powder (or other leavening agent), less egg, and less liquid.

Other variations offered by Peterson but not fully explained: leavening with egg white, yeast, or both; adding a sourdough starter to the mix; adding sour cream or buttermilk to add a "tangy" flavor.

I've almost completed the section on quickbreads which is a good thing. I have only waffles and blini's left.

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