Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pancakes- American style

Pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast foods. When else can you drizzle maple syrup over something until it is completely saturated? Not to mention the fruit toppings! Fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, plums, bananas (of course!)- the list is endless and I'm pretty sure there isn't any fruit that does not enjoy being on top of a pancake.

When we were in the USA this summer I made pancakes using a plug-in griddle and it was so easy: 8 pancakes at a time! Here at home I use my trusty square skillet and can do 4 at once.
My recipe is based on the Joy of Cooking classic pancake recipe. For best results use all-purpose flour. The vanilla is optional, but adds a nice flavor. If you don't have buttermilk, you can substitute regular milk but leave out the additional 1/4 cup of milk. If you don't have buttermilk, but you have plain yogurt you can substitute 1/2 yogurt and 1/2 regular milk and get just as good results. Don't 'make' buttermilk by adding lemon juice to milk because it wont be thick enough.

American Style Pancakes
Whisk together:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (228 g)
3 Tbsp sugar (38 g)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (6 g)
1/2 tsp baking soda (3 g)
1/2 tsp salt (3 g)

In another bowl, whisk together:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (375 ml)
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk (63 ml)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until not quite combined. Add 3 Tbsp melted butter and mix until combined. Do not worry if there are a few lumps. Heat your griddle or pan until hot enough. Test the heat level by sprinkling droplets of water on the surface of the pan and seeing if they 'dance'. If they evaporate instantly, your pan is too hot. If they sit on the surface and don't move, your pan is too cold. Pour the batter onto the pan using a 1/3 measuring cup to make each pancake. You can make them smaller or larger if you wish. Watch the pancake, waiting until you see some bubbles and the underside is a bit brown (peak to check) before flipping. The second side will take less time than the first side. Serve immediately or you can hold them until you're done by placing a wire rack on a baking sheet in your oven and placing the cooked pancakes on there (single layer if possible) as you finish each one. Cover with a towel for optimum moisture retention (but not necessary).

If you wish to add fruit to the pancakes, I don't recommend stirring it into the batter- just sprinkle onto the just-poured pancake before the first side is cooked. Take care when you flip it, and watch for 'leakage'. If you end up with fruit juice on your pan, wipe it off before pouring the next pancake.

Serve with maple syrup and butter and if you are feeling decadent, whipped cream!

An approximation of the heat setting on my gas stove.
 These are ready to flip!

These are almost ready to serve!
And the final product (okay, I forgot to take a photo before we started eating.)
 Wait a minute... where is the whipped cream?


  1. Your pancakes love lovely! My recipe is almost identical to yours, with mine being 2 tablespoons sugar instead of 3. I wonder if that extra tablespoon of sugar is what adds to the nicely browned colour of yours? I'll have to experiment on the weekend and see!

    I wonder if you'd mind telling me what brand griddle pan you have? I like that your griddle has a 3 rivet handle, instead of the usual 2. I would think it would be much more stable with an extra rivet.
    I've only come across your blog, but am looking forward to reading up on your cooking & baking adventures in the Netherlands!



    1. Thanks for your comment! I have a Calphalon but it is about 10 years old. Also- I've been refining the recipe further, and probably should post an update, but here is the scoop: Only use 180g of flour, and since I never have buttermilk on hand, instead I have been using 3/4 cup of whole fat, unsweetened plain yogurt in a 2 cup measuring cup and then, using low-fat milk, top that off to a total of 1 and 2/3 cups total liquid, mixing it up well. This approximates buttermilk but I think it is even better. Enjoy!

    2. Thanks Meredith. I've been looking at the Calphalon, (what a funny name)as I need a new griddle, but none I've found so far, have 3 rivets. I suspect yours is stronger and better made than the newer ones. (isn't everything nowadays?) I've been reading the reviews on Calphalon, and there is lots of raves, but a fair amount of complaints about the newer griddles, warping as well. Hence my question about what brand your 3 rivet griddle was.

      Thanks for the update on your pancake recipe too. I don't have any problem having buttermilk on hand as I use it a lot, especially for feeding my sourdough starter, but I also like the idea of using yougurt in the pancake batter as well. I bet it will make a better pancake!

      Thanks again Meredith. I'll let you know how your revised recipe goes over this weekend!