I LOVE BREAKFAST.
Yes the love is so great, it has to be in ALL CAPS.
I am one of those strange people who never fails to have breakfast every single day and never postpones it for any reason whatsoever. Or at least I have never refused breakfast ever since I was fourteen and my parents could stop forcing me to have breakfast because I had finally stopped being silly and realised what a treat breakfast was.
It’s the only period of time when I can have a meal in private, lost in my own thoughts, with silence for company. It’s especially lovely on weekdays, a slice of peaceful me-time before being swallowed by rush hour commute to work (or school, in the past).
Weekend breakfasts can be different. It’s the weekend after all, so it’s possible to prepare something that will take a little time, time which we can afford to spend on such indulgences, given that it’s the weekend.
I think pancakes are classic weekend breakfast food. I have tried several pancake recipes over the years, gathered from the Internet and cookbooks. As I was pretty young when I started making pancakes for myself, I didn’t realize the importance of and didn’t take note of which ingredients made what kind of difference to the texture, taste, appearance of my pancakes, given that the various recipes would have had slightly different ingredients in different proportions.
My current go-to pancake recipe is from “The best of Fine Cooking Breakfast – 88 Delicious Recipes” which I bought at a Borders bookstore in Boston, USA. It’s pretty straightforward and promises perfect fluffy recipes every time. Unfortunately, however, I have never been able to get thick, fluffy, American-style pancakes. I believe the fault lies in my skills and lack of proper pancake-frying equipment. Not the recipe itself. I follow the tips stated in the magazine too – mix the wet and dry ingredients separately; keep the batter lumpy; let the batter rest while heating up the frying pan – etc.
I have reproduced the recipe below, so you can try and perhaps let me know whether you’re able to get thick, fluffy perfect pancakes? Meanwhile, I should probably also try other tried-and-tested recipes from the blogosphere. I’ll have to cook pancakes till I achieve the thus-far elusive perfect pancake!
From “The best of Fine Cooking Breakfast – 88 Delicious Recipes”
3 tbsp unsalted butter; more for serving
2 cups unbleached AP flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk (I substituted with 2 cups milk and lemon juice)
2 large eggs
vegetable oil, for the griddle
pure maple syrup, for serving
Heat the oven to 200 degrees F (about 95 degrees C). Melt butter in a small bowl in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove and set aside to cool briefly.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk gently until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated; stop before the batter is evenly moistened. Add the cooled melted butter and mix just until the batter is evenly moistened (there will be lumps). Let the batter rest while you heat the griddle.
Heat a griddle or a large skillet over medium heat until drops of water briefly dance on the surface before evaporating. Lightly oil the griddle. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle for each pancake, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Let cook undisturbed until bubbles rise to the surface and the edges look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Check the underside of each pancake to make sure it’s nicely browned, then flip. Cook until the second side is nicely browned, about 1 minute more. Transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve hot with butter and maple syrup. (In the pictures above, I served with the leftover strawberry coulis and a little maple syrup.)