My favourite way of eating pancakes: with bacon, sausages and fried bananas, smothered in syrup.
To me, nothing screams out weekend more than the joy of devouring pancakes. I don’t know why, pancakes were not something I had often as a child, but I just love the indulgence, flavour and (most-importantly) the fluffy goodness of a pancake breakfast. So for something a little different today, I thought I would share my trusty, sure-fire pancake recipe!
This is a fairly flexible recipe. If you want to, you can replace the milk with buttermilk. You can also leave out the vanilla essence (it still tastes delicious) or replace it with almond essence. You can also add chocolate chips or blueberries to the batter after mixing. Or if you want to make savoury pancakes, then reduce the sugar (I’d still use a little) and add chopped bacon and cheese.
Jian’s Simple Pancakes
Ingredients (makes enough for two, about 4-5 pancakes each):
1 cup standard flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp melted butter or vegetable oil
1 medium-large egg
Approx. 1 to 1 1/2 cups of milk
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
1-2 tbsp sugar
Note: You don’t really need to measure the ingredients very precisely. It will still work as long as the proportions are approximately correct. This is very useful when you want to whip up a quick breakfast, but can’t be bothered getting out the measuring cups.
1. Combine the dry stuff: flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mix well in a bowl, leaving a small well in the middle.
2. Add the liquids: egg, butter, vanilla essence and about a cup of milk. Mix with a wooden spoon until the batter is even. The mixture should be thick, but still flow off the spoon. If it seems too thick, add more milk to dilute it. If you have gone the other way, add a bit more flour until the batter thickens. Let the mixture stand while you heat up your pan.
3. Pour about half a ladle-full of batter into the pan. Let it cook gently until you see bubbles appearing on the top of the pancake. Once the hole the bubbles make stay (as opposed to being filled by more liquid batter), it is time to flip the pancake. You can either use a spatula or, if you’re feeling adventurous, a lá Julia Child.
4. Let the other side brown, then lift off and serve. Try to exercise self restraint not to immediately eat the pancake until you finish the stack.
5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until the batter is gone.
Other random tips and observations:
Then heat the pan, I prefer a medium-low heat. I find that on an electric range a setting between 4-5 works well or on gas stove about mark 3-4. The best heat setting is when you get bubbles forming on the top within 20 seconds of pouring, and without burning the bottom of the pancake.
Also grease the pan with some butter or vegetable oil between every three pancakes or so. This not only helps the pancakes slide off, but also helps give it a more even colour.
Finally, especially if you are making these for your family, partner or flatmates who drop by and steal pancakes off the plate (and who can blame them?), I suggest a “chef’s cut”. This means that every third pancake or so is consumed immediately by the chef while still preparing the rest.