Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Pancake Tuesday & Cookbooks

It's Pancake Tuesday, one of Connor's favorite days of the year because he gets to eat pancakes for dinner.  I've never been a very good pancake maker...the boxed versions have always turned out horribly.  I kept trying and trying to make those nice fluffy pancakes and instead ended up with disks that you probably could have played frisbee with, or used like a Ninja Star to knock out a robber. 

After so many failures I finally gave up on the boxes and decided to give the old fashioned way a try, you know, measure out the flour and make them from scratch.  Wouldn't you know it, I actually COULD make a decent pancake...go figure.  The first pancake recipe I made from scratch was from a "salvaged" Five Roses Cookbook that was printed in the 1950's. 

I'm telling you this because it brings up the second part of my blog title...Cookbooks...I have a problem with them, I collect them, I hoard them and I love them...no joke, here's a pic of part of my collection.


Anyways, back to the pancakes, kind of...we recently went to Florida...my dad has a house down there and once a year we go on a family vacation together...it's more like a posse because there was 10 of us, excluding Aaron who had to stay home because he couldn't get the time off work.  While down there, surprise, surprise, I picked up another cookbook.  It's a Cook's Illustrated, I have a few of their "magazines" and just love them so when I saw this book, I HAD to have it. You can pick your own up here.

I decided that today's Pancakes were going to come out of this cookbook, with a few additions/substitutions. 

First up, I got all my ingredients together.

You might notice the large measuring cup in the back, it's actually buttermilk powder mixed with water.  I don't usually have buttermilk on hand because I don't use it enough, but for cooking/baking this has worked just fine for me.  However, after doing some more "research" I found that I should mix the powder with the dry ingredients and add the water to the liquid ingredients...I'll have to keep that in mind for next time. 

Next up, mix together the dry ingredients...flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

There's also baking soda included but because I'm making the batter ahead of time I left it out and am going to add it just before I start cooking so it doesn't "fizzle" out. 

After mixing your dry ingredients together, you want to make a well in the centre.


Time for your liquid ingredients; buttermilk, eggs, butter (melt first & let it cool a bit) and sour cream.

I've already added the sour cream to the buttermilk
Whisk those all up and then add them to the well in the centre of your dry ingredients.

You want to gently mix the ingredients together now, it's very important to not overmix.  You just want to combine everything...it will still be lumpy and there might even be some unmoistened flour...that's ok. 

You can see the lumps and a little bit of "dry" flour, that's ok.

From here, I popped it in the fridge to wait until dinnertime. 

After what seems like forever, let's get ready to cook up some breakfast, er...supper:)  So pull the batter out of the fridge and add the baking soda that hadn't put in yet & gently fold it in, then let it sit for 10 minutes or so.

I've never been able to figure out the right temperature for pancakes either, we've just had such a love/hate relationship...but you know what's awesome about my Cook's Illustrated cookbook...that's right, it told me to set my griddle for 350F...sometimes you've just got to tell a blonde these things...lol

From here on in we're golden, well the pancakes are...hahaha, I know, that was pretty lame.  When the griddle is ready, oil it lightly, and use about a 1/4 cup of the batter per pancake and let it sit for about 2-3 minutes.  You want to wait until it's full of bubbles and a key to good pancakes is only flipping them once. 
You want it full of bubbles like this before you flip it over

Once you've flipped them, cook on the other side another minute or two and then either keep them warm in the oven or serve 'em up to eat as you cook. 

Yes, I added some chocolate chips...I can't help myself:)

All in all, these were some pretty good pancakes.  I think a little more baking powder at the beginning because the batter sat in the fridge all day would help make them a little fluffier but when you get pictures of your kids like the ones below, you can't complain:)

Another successful Pancake Tuesday done:)

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