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Recipe File: Basic Pancakes
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 7:17 am    Post subject: Recipe File: Basic Pancakes Reply with quote


Article Digest:
I make a great buttermilk pancake, but I don't usually keep buttermilk in stock. That means an extra trip to the store Saturday morning if I feel like making pancakes. So, this Saturday, I decided to test the The New Joy of Cooking's Basic Pancakes recipe which uses ingredients every kitchen should always have in stock.

I used (from the top, clockwise) 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1-1/2 cup milk, 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted), 2 large eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
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I combined the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) into a large bowl and whisked a little.
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Now, I whisked the wet ingredients (milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla) together.
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I then poured the wet ingredients onto the dry and whisk, but not too long. Just enough to combine thoroughly. If there are some lumps left, it's okay. When the batter cooks it'll smooth out and you won't taste it.
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Joy of Cooking now says to fold in any additions now. I added some frozen blueberries that I thawed quickly in a some warm water and drained. This is where the recipe makes a fatal mistake. More on that later.
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I then quickly prepare my two burner griddle. You can use an electric griddle as well. In both cases, the surface should be smooth and non-stick.
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Turning both burners on, I heated the griddle until a few drops of water tossed onto the surface ran around franticly. (If the water jumps off the griddle, then turn down the heat. If the water just sits there, increase the heat.) Now, I melted a pad of butter onto the griddle to lubricate it.
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Using a paper towel, I rubbed the butter around until it evenly coated the pan and I couldn't see any butter. You don't want too much fat on the griddle or you'll be frying the pancakes.
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I scooped 1/3 cups of batter onto the griddle to make a pancake. This is when I discovered that the blueberries impeded the flow of the batter. Usually, when I make my buttermilk pancakes, I pour the batter out steadily onto one spot and it forms a near perfect circle. I then sprinkle my filling on top of the batter on the griddle. Now I know why. First, the batter doesn't flow evenly and forms alien shapes on the griddle because of the blueberries. Second, the blueberries are unevenly distributed and some pancakes have some and some have a lot. Don't make this mistake - put the fillings in after the batter hits the griddle, not in the batter. You might notice in this picture there's a big lump in the batter of the second pancake. Don't worry about that, it evens out and can't be tasted. The pancake will be tough if we over mix.
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I cooked the first side until bubbles covered the pancake surface and begin to pop. I then flipped the pancake over.
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Once the second side has lightly browned (about half the time it took to cook the first side), I removed and served. If you need to make a lot of pancakes, you can stack them on a plate in a 200°F oven. On Good Eats, Alton Brown recommends placing paper towels between each layer of pancake, but I find that it works for me to stack without the paper towel waste. Usually, Tina and I can't eat too many pancakes at a time, but I still make a full batch.
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Extra pancakes can then be frozen. A quick trip to the toaster or toaster oven will produce homemade pancakes much better than the supermarket frozen kind. This picture is of a buttermilk pancake that came out very circular because the filling was added after the batter was poured on the griddle.
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The results of the tasting proved that these pancakes were quite good - on par with the buttermilk pancakes. A little fruit topping or maple syrup and they resulted in a delicious breakfast. So, I've decided to promote this recipe from a Test Recipe to one for the Recipe File.


Basic Pancakes
Batter
1-1/2 cups all purpose flourmixwhisk briefly
3 Tbs. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. melted, unsalted butterwhisk
1-1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Copyright Michael Chu 2004
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

how many pancakes at what diameter does this recipe create?
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

p.s. pictures are not coming up.
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fortunately my mother taught me how to cook. All I usally need is a push toward an idea.

Buttermilk,
a) use week old milk, that has just spoilt to taste. If there are chucks it is way to late. Just the bad tasting milk.
b) Or add roughly a tablespoon of vinger to a cup of milk. and leave out for 10-20 minutes(I usally set up the milk, then prep and use the other ingredients).
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Eric
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's good to point out that you should mix the wet and dry ingredients together as little as possible to avoid producing making them tough. The batter should be quite lumpy and if there are lumps of dry, don't worry, they will cook out. Ten seconds is about as much as you need to mix, and use more of a folding action than a stir.

Also, if you want to substitute buttermilk or soured milk (see your recipe substitutions page) reduce the baking powder to about 1t and add about 1/4t of baking soda to counter the added acidity.
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a lighter pancake, try separating the eggs. Use the yolks as per normal, beat the whites until thickened and glossy.

Then fold in 1/3rd of the white into the pancake batter to lighten it, then the next 1/3rd and the final third.
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can freeze buttermilk for later use. I freeze in 1/2 cup increments, using freezer baggies. Works like a charm! I never throw unused buttermilk away, and no more running to the grocery store at 7 am on a Saturday, either!
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Instead of buttermilk, I squeeze half a lemon in the milk - be sure to use a large cup because it get bubbly and rises.
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess that there is a mistake in the summary at the end. Instead of "3 tsp. sugar" it should be "3 Tbs. sugar".
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pena
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

power topping: tiny bits of apple, salami and cheese

also, this recipe works in my waffle maker
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was super to read! We are going to make this recipe tomorrow morning for sure! Nothing better then planning your Breky for Sat. morning on the night before! Wish us luck, ( though not needed with this Kickin' run down).
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2005 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

8P hey this is really kool. i can understand it and everything.. its real simple.. thanx alot.. hope it nice gonna go make it now... try to anyways.. :D
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 6:28 pm    Post subject: Cinnamon is good too Reply with quote

I've been using this pancake recipe for a while now, and I always add some Cinnamon to it. I never measure how much I put in, I just add it to the dry ingredients before mixing with the wet ingredients, enough so it discolours the mixture a bit.

The result is the best cinnamon pancakes ever!!! Awsome with just some syrup.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:31 pm    Post subject: Pancake recipe Reply with quote

Just wanted to say as an Expat now living in The Netherlands that I went looking for what we at home would assume was a "Basic"(baking soda and baking powder) remembering from Sunday mornings with Mom that I needed one or the other to make mouth watering pancakes...Several hours later, I'm now looking at a familiar mustard colored box of baking soda(The funny thing is all of the writing...is in CHINESE, seriously!!) and the familiar maroon can of baking powder is now contained in a plastic jar with some oddly sounding chemical name. (but I was assured that the was the real deal), so Now looking foreward to next Sunday's breakfast now that I have your recipe in hand. Thanks, Mike
PS I also have a serious craving for freezer jam, any suggestions for Certo? Written to Kraft to see if they can give me another name here, but as of yet, no reply...
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butterlite
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 6:50 pm    Post subject: Souring milk for buttermil substitute Reply with quote

the best way i found to sour milk is to use fresh lemon juice. it adds a beautiful flavor and tartness to the batter. i would never use spoiled milk.

mix 1tablespoon fresh lemon juice into 1 cup of milk. Let is 'sour" for 20 minutes. i prefer this to buttermilk.
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