Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pancakes for Breakfast

My sweet and adorable CH works really hard. For 4 of the 5 days he works, he has to get up early, get some coffee in him and have a quick bite before heading off to work or for a pre-work swim. The only morning when he has anything resembling a real morning with time to wake up and eat at a reasonable pace is Friday. Since he's relegated to such a slapdash start to the day most of the time, I like to try and do something a bit better than ask him if he's like a slice of banana or pumpkin bread from the freezer on Friday mornings.

The ideal special breakfast is pancakes, but the summer is so hot that it's almost impossible to tolerate making them in the morning, especially since I always wake up feeling hot (all year round) anyway. Since the weather is mellowing out, I've been trying to get in more mornings with this nice breakfast treat. Unfortunately, I believe I have fibromyalgia and I wake up feeling like I was run over by a truck the night before so it's hard to motivate myself to get it all together.

The way I've worked around my morning limits is to set up as much of my own homemade "pancake mix" as possible the night before. Doing this and presetting the coffee machine makes it far easier to do a labor-intensive breakfast. While there are pre-made pancake mixes sold in smallish boxes in Japan, they are over-priced for their volume and not especially good. Homemade pancakes can be made for a pittance and are excellent. You can also make your own syrup to avoid the incredibly expensive syrup, though that only works if you're not a dedicated consumer of maple syrup.

The recipe I use is a modification of one from "The Joy of Baking". It's altered mainly to reflect a desire for fluffier, thicker pancakes as well as to streamline the preparation process. The original recipe is here and I'll type my modification in this post. These are the type of pancakes that are built for pleasure, not for nutrition. I have another variety that I make with oats which is a little better for you. The recipe for those is back on my old blog.

To make it easier in the morning, I mix all of the dry ingredients in a plastic bowl with a lid the night before. This avoids all the tedious measuring and half of the mixing. I also set up the oil, a whisk, measuring cup and spoon and a bowl for the wet ingredients to be mixed in. I've also been known to put the pan on the burner to remove that tiny step as well. When morning comes, I only have to reach for the eggs and milk to get the show on the road. It's worth noting that all of the dry ingredients could be made in bulk and set aside for just making pancakes any time. If you did this, you'd probably need about 1.25 cups of "mix" to make a batch of pancakes in the future.

Dry ingredients:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. white sugar

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 medium or large egg
  • 3/4 cup milk (use up to 1 cup if you like thinner pancakes)
  • 2 tbsp. Canola oil
  • dash of vanilla (optional - it depends on your syrup or topping)
Add all of the dry ingredients to a container with a lid and either shake or stir up the night before. In the morning, whisk all of the wet ingredients together and add to the dry. Stir until incorporated, but not overly smooth. There shouldn't be any big lumps, but you shouldn't overmix it just to smooth it out or you'll end up with tough pancakes (because overmixing works up the gluten in the flour). Just mix enough to make sure that no little white spots of unmoistened dry ingredients don't end up in your pancakes.

Pre-heat your skillet over medium-high heat. When it's good and hot, either melt some butter or margarine in it or coat it lightly with Canola oil. It's important not to oil the pan up too much or your pancakes will deep fry around the edges. Drop a tablespoon and a half of batter per cake to make medium-size ones. Fry until the edges are dry and bubbles start to form on the top then flip and finish cooking. This recipe makes 8-10 medium pancakes.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I always make my own pancakes for hubby, every sunday morning in fact. They are fluffier and lighter, and they taste much better too.

When i first started out making pancakes, i bought some Morinaga "hotcakes" mix, but you don't get many pancakes out of the mix for $8, so i found a recipe online and we've been eating those ones ever since. My recipe is pretty much the same as yours, though we use canadian maple syrup as hubby prefers that.

It's always something to look forward to and a nice home-made great tasting treat for the end of a weeks work.