Hack Your Breakfast: Make “Easy-Peasy Blindfold” PancakesPosted: October 19, 2013
It mystifies me when people claim that making pancakes is hard, over-complicated, or too time-consuming to do it. Pancakes are so easy, I could make them blindfolded. Here’s how I do it:
What You’ll Need
- [Tool] Griddle, ideally cast-iron, though I use a well-aged aluminum one with years of seasoning baked into its coating. Electric griddles are fine too, I just find them annoying to clean.
- [Tool] Whisk, ideally rather large, even for a single person.
- [Tool] 1/2 cup measuring cup
- [Tool] 1/2 tsp spoon
- [Tool] Large spatula/turner
Yield: 3-4 pancakes about six inches in diameter. This recipe is very easy to scale down or up depending on your appetite and the number of people you’re serving. By the time I make breakfast for the goblins in the morning, I’ll have already eaten, but on the weekends typically I’ll make a bigger batch for the Alchemist to have some.
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (feel free to eyeball this if you don’t have a liquid measuring cup. Pancakes don’t demand the precision of other baking.)
- 2 heaping teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill, which is $4 for a 5lb bag. It’s commonly available, but stick to standard all-purpose white flour if your store is trying to charge more than $5, as it’s a subtle flavor difference.)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
Standard pancake recipes call for mixing the dry ingredients first, mixing the wet in a separate bowl, and then pouring the wet into the dry. This dirties two bowls and has absolutely no impact on the final product. It’s POINTLESS frippery. If you see a cookbook that says something so stupid, stop reading it. Consider getting rid of it, because those authors are surely adding all sorts of complexity in OTHER matters — like telling you waffles are hard (Hah! More on that later).
Preheat your griddle. On my stove, medium, or a touch below medium works best.
Mix your eggs, buttermilk, and sugar. The eggs should be completely worked into the milk, but it’s just fine if there are noticeable sugar clumps.
Add the remaining dry ingredients. Technically 1 tsp of baking powder is fine, but the extra 1/2 tsp of soda adds extra leavening and raises the pH just enough to avoid the telltale sour flavor buttermilk products can have (desirable at times, but not here). Mix slowly, just until completely wet. DO NOT overmix, otherwise your ‘cakes will be flat. Tasty, but flat, not puffy and ambrosiac like mine strive to be every morning. The end result should look like this:
Spray a small circle of non-stick spray (PAM or the generic equivalent) on the griddle. I cook one pancake at a time, because (as you’ll see below) I give each of the goblins a chance to make a “picture” pancake by adding chocolate chips. Pour batter onto the griddle with a 1/2 cup measure, smaller or larger depending on the desired ‘cake size.
The only real art to making pancakes is knowing when to flip them. Typically the batter should have bubbles forming in it, but NOT be firm on the edges. The first time or two you flip a pancake, you’ll probably make a horrible, disfigured mess on the griddle. Don’t be discouraged, though. If my three year-old can do it, you can too 🙂 Note: if you’re still having a lot of trouble with overbrowning or messy turns, cook at a lower temperature, closer to medium-low. Every stove is unique and requires some adjustment.
Allow it to cook on the second side until it no longer gives when pressed with a turner. Top as desired and enjoy!
Feeling more adventurous than plain pancakes? Add pretty much anything you want, either by folding it into the batter or simply adding it on top after pouring to the griddle (my preferred way). My goblins love chocolate chips: