The Wide and Delicious World of Pancakes and How to Make Them
Nothing goes with pancakes for morning comfort. It is literally a food blanket with the inscription: “Come here, my child, and let me wrap you in my warm, solid body.” You’re safe now. Almost every culture seems to have its own version of the breakfast staple, and we’ve rounded up some of the tastiest ways to eat them, whether you call them pancakes, pancakes, or pancakes.
Proud to be American (Damn)
Americans and Canadians may have very different flavors of chips (although we US-IANS have it all Dressed up now), but we are united in our pancake style. These North American beauties are usually made with flour, eggs, milk, and some kind of chemical leavening agent like baking powder. This fluffy breakfast staple is known by many names – pancakes, pancakes, hotcakes, or pans – but should always be eaten with butter and real maple syrup.
They are also very easy to pick up. While you can buy one of these boxed mixes, you really don’t need to, as you can make your own from the ingredients you already have in your closet.
To prepare enough mixture for 48 pancakes – which will be enough for a while, depending on your appetite during the brunch – follow the recipe The Kitchn and lay out as much or less as you like, when there is a desire to:
- 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
For two cups of the mixture (which will make about 12 pancakes), you will need 1 ¾ cup milk (sometimes I add buttermilk there), two eggs, four tablespoons of ghee, chilled butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. … Mix the liquid ingredients together, then slowly add the mixture to the dry mixture, whisking until smooth. Fry in butter and drown in maple syrup.
Make some customizations
Let’s talk about variations. If for some reason you can’t enjoy the eggs but still want to enjoy a warm and fluffy pancake, don’t despair. Chickpeas – or actually liquid chickpeas – have a back.
The liquid in a jar of garbanzo beans – dubbed “aquafaba” if you’re a true gourmet – is capable of whipping and stabilizing all kinds of egg-free batter, and Food Lab has a fantastic, all-vegan recipe you should pry if you like that kind of thing. It does take a little prep work, as aquafaba works best if you beat it well before folding it into the dough, but I’d say a stack of soft tortillas is worth a bit of work.
Speaking of work, let’s say you want to cut back on the workload. Let’s say that instead of standing over a hot skillet and flipping a dozen or more hot cakes, you prefer to cook and serve one huge, huge mountain of pancakes and focus on toasting some bacon. If this is your story, you should hire a rice cooker. It’s almost too easy. Just pour in the dough, press Start and wait. When the appliance beeps, turn over your giant pancake, slice it like a cake, and place your favorite filling on top.
Add some flair
Now let’s talk about interesting add-ons. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with classic, “simple” pancakes, they are also the perfect canvas to paint your breakfast masterpiece, be it sweet or savory. Some options:
- Bits and Pieces: Chocolate chips, blueberries, nuts and shredded coconut are great to sprinkle with batter for great results. I once chopped up a bunch of Halloween candy and shuffled them and then took a five year nap.
- Condiments: A couple teaspoons of cinnamon, pumpkin spice (this is the season), nutmeg, or even a little curry powder can really enhance your pancake game.
- Freeze and Stuff: Are you ready for your brain to explode? For the perfect pancakes with a sticky and chocolate filling, freeze the Nutella discs until firm, pour some batter into the skillet, place the Nutella disc on top of the specified dough, and add more batter on top . Cook like “regular” pancakes, only much more smug. After you’re full, try other toppings such as peanut butter, jams, and cookie butter.
- Toppings: Your imagination is the only limiting factor. Whipped cream, fresh berries, bananas, fruit syrups or jams, or fucking Reese’s Pieces all work, even together (maybe not, unless you’re some Keith Richards of sugar.
- Meat: Hot, crispy bacon loves to be placed next to pancakes, but why not let the sweet and salty pairing come even closer by adding cooked, crumbled (and dried) bacon in a batter? Can you really think of a reason? You might want to try it with pancetta or some savory sausage. Any super salty pork product is really a good option.
Just as not all heroes wear capes, not all pancakes come in fluffy piles. Let’s explore some of the thinner, more draped, European cousins of the American hoodie.
United Nations pancakes
Pancakes, Swedish pancakes and British pancakes are very similar and delicious. Minor differences are related to the ratio of eggs, liquid and flour. Everyone, however, will benefit from a good frying pan flip, which you can handle by watching the video above (which also has a great pancake recipe).
The British love pancakes, which I really like. I remember exactly the moment when a beautiful British woman taught me the magical British tradition “Shrovetide” ( Shrove Tuesday ). The pancakes made on this day are simple and leavened. These pancakes are eaten no earlier than an hour before noon, but rather like pancakes and can be savory or sweet until a toothache. I use my friend Natalie’s recipe , which “makes about eight, including one shitty one at the beginning”:
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
- 1 glass of milk
- Butter stick
- A pinch of salt
Click on the link above for Nat to walk you through this, but they are very easy to do, which is good because you have more brainpower left to focus on the fillings. As with the fillings above, this is a situation to choose from, but we’ll highlight some classic things:
- Lemon and sugar: this is a classic British topping that every Shrovetide day is not without. For this sweet-tart treat, all you need is squeezed fresh lemon and some white sugar.
- Golden Syrup : It may be difficult to find in the US, but this light syrup is used in the same way that North Americans use maple syrup. This is cute. Okay. It goes well with everything.
- Any of the chunks and fillings I mentioned above: Nutella, fresh fruit, candy bits, shredded coconut, and savory fillings like cream cheese, meat, or whatever works well, wrapped in a warm carbohydrate blanket.
Swedish pancakes are thicker and more egg-shaped than their European cousins, and appear more solid. (Recipes list 3 to 5 eggs, and some even include sour cream in the dough .) They’re also sweeter than the French or British guys, and benefit from lemon curd, sour cream, and powdered sugar. If you want to try your hand at Swedish pancakes, you can do a lot worse than this one from the New York Times .
Do not get lost
The last two pancakes we’re going to cover aren’t pan-fried and don’t require any fancy flips, but still have a certain amount of presentation talent that will elicit a lot of “oh”, “ah” and maybe a marriage proposal or two.
Dutch, Dutch, Children’s
I love everything cast iron skillet and this pancake and pop-up delicacy is one of the best uses for you. To make this delicate egg-based treat, you’ll preheat a skillet to 425 ° F while you cook the dough. (I love The Kitchn’s recipe .) After a resting period, the thin dough is stirred and heated to a hot skillet before the whole thing is placed back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so. As soon as the pancake swells, take it out of the oven and watch it collapse like a beautiful dying star. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut into wedges and serve with various sweet fillings and fresh lemon wedges.
Ebelskivers deserve a special frying pan
While it is true that you cannot cook an ebelskaver without a special frying pan, it is also true that if you buy a special frying pan, you will be cooking them all the time. The dough is very similar to American pancakes, but the special shape for the snowflakes turns it into delicious little plump balls or miracles, not flat floppy disks. If you need a recipe, I recommend this one from Serious Eats .
When the dough is blended, add a tablespoon of dough to the skillet, top with a dash of lingonberry jam if desired, and add another tablespoon of dough. Cook for about four minutes, turn over (chopsticks are best for this) and cook for another three minutes. Serve with lemon curd. Be happy.
If none of this can bring comfort and joy to your morning, you should probably just go back to bed, as you probably won’t be helped anymore. (Or just keep eating pancakes. Maybe more than one kind.)