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Pancakes - Tips and Tricks [Stuff I never buy]

Pancakes - Tips and Tricks [Stuff I never buy]
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  • Pancakes - Tips and Tricks [Stuff I never buy]

    Post #1 - December 20th, 2008, 12:42 pm
    Post #1 - December 20th, 2008, 12:42 pm Post #1 - December 20th, 2008, 12:42 pm
    LTH,

    I'm amazed people buy pancake mix, were up to me Aunt Jemima would be long retired instead working well into her eighties as pancake spokes model. For that matter, I'd retire Willie Wishbone, Mr. Carl Crouton and a host of other premix or ready to serve products which are dead-simple to make and worlds tastier with the personal touch.

    My pancake technique is simple and reflects my preference for crispy in my use of a 3/1 flour/cornmeal mix. I also lean toward spicy, cayenne or one of its capsaicin cousins, but my wife is not looking for palate punch at 8am so I forgo savory in favor of sweet.

    A tip picked up from a short order cook one early morning is add a glug of pancake or maple syrup to the batter which adds both flavor and flavor continuity, not to mention helps the pancakes turn a lovely toasty color as the sugar caramelizes.

    My basic recipe, I don't measure, is whisk flour, corn meal, salt, sugar, baking powder in a medium bowl. Add milk, egg, melted butter, glug of syrup and gently stir, don't over mix. Mixture should initially seem thin. I employ a 10-minute resting period during which the batter thickens.

    Heat pan to med-high, swirl of oil then swipe clean with paper towel. Spoon mix to playing card size, though round, and leave alone until bubbles appear top.

    Flip, check for doneness (eat one), pile on a plate, eat.

    Rinse/repeat

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - December 20th, 2008, 1:24 pm
    Post #2 - December 20th, 2008, 1:24 pm Post #2 - December 20th, 2008, 1:24 pm
    Bravo! I know using a mix for some people, but the near-infinite combinations of just a few pantry staples (flour, sugar, butter, eggs) can replace a host of specific mixes with a better-tasting result. What boggles my mind is pie-crust mix where you still have to add butter and water-- what is that, flour and salt?

    Instead of the glug of syrup, I mix a couple of spoonfuls of malted milk powder in with the dry ingredients.

    Cheers, Jen
  • Post #3 - December 20th, 2008, 9:37 pm
    Post #3 - December 20th, 2008, 9:37 pm Post #3 - December 20th, 2008, 9:37 pm
    For my favorite pancake "mix," I use the recipe from Joy of Cooking for multigrain pancakes and play fast and loose with the types of grain products I add. It's one of those rare occasions where I measure...or at least scoop stuff with the appropriate size measuring-device, but they're delicious pancakes and it's amazing how subbing in a different kind of flour or grain makes a difference in flavor. Last time, I subbed in buckwheat flour for the whole wheat and they were tremendous.

    I've wondered the same thing about the pie crust mixes...
  • Post #4 - December 20th, 2008, 9:44 pm
    Post #4 - December 20th, 2008, 9:44 pm Post #4 - December 20th, 2008, 9:44 pm
    Sue uses a recipe from Consumer Reports from many years ago
    2 C Flour (fixed -- thanks Paulette)
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 Tbs sugar
    1/4 tsp salt
    Stir above items together, then add
    2C Buttermilk
    2 Eggs
    2 Tbs melted butter (although a third of this often ends up spattered over the inside of the microwave)
    Don't over-mix, stir just until flour is mixed in

    Absolutely delicious. Probably one of the top reasons why we got the stovetop with a griddle instead of a grill.
    Last edited by JoelF on December 20th, 2008, 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #5 - December 20th, 2008, 10:06 pm
    Post #5 - December 20th, 2008, 10:06 pm Post #5 - December 20th, 2008, 10:06 pm
    Joel,
    You forgot the flour.
    Paulette
  • Post #6 - December 21st, 2008, 7:30 am
    Post #6 - December 21st, 2008, 7:30 am Post #6 - December 21st, 2008, 7:30 am
    G Wiv wrote:I'm amazed people buy pancake mix,


    If your kid asked you for pancakes EVERY morning at 6:00 am you would have a can or three of Batter Blaster laying around. Pancake batter in a whip cream style can. I wont vouch for the taste but I will vouch for the ease of prep.
  • Post #7 - December 21st, 2008, 8:18 am
    Post #7 - December 21st, 2008, 8:18 am Post #7 - December 21st, 2008, 8:18 am
    just read the ingredients for that organic batter blaster crap, and while I don't have kids, I can confidently say that there is no way in hell I'd serve this stuff to anyone in my household. Organic rice bran extract??? WTF is that, and why is it in my pancakes? Organic whole egg solids? I do not even want to know what science experiment led to that "discovery". This product is an example of how the organic "movement" has gotten completely out of hand, creating commercialized, overmanufactured garbage and giving it a meaningless label that PR firms have convinced people to buy. No way. I say bring back Aunt Jemima if this is her replacement.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #8 - December 21st, 2008, 9:05 am
    Post #8 - December 21st, 2008, 9:05 am Post #8 - December 21st, 2008, 9:05 am
    Another way to deal with the daily pancake dilemma is to use a recipe for a pancake or baking mix. The More With Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre has some recipes for mixes. So does the newer Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert (both of these are Mennonite cookbooks and have many recipes for feeding a crowd!), which has a recipe for a whole grain "Baking Mix" with a mix of white and wheat flour. The cookbook instructs you to use this, "in any recipe that calls for a purchased baking mix." In addition, the recipe calls for baking powder, sugar, salt, cream of tartar (why, I wonder?), shortening, and dry milk powder.
  • Post #9 - December 21st, 2008, 9:51 am
    Post #9 - December 21st, 2008, 9:51 am Post #9 - December 21st, 2008, 9:51 am
    Another solution to the daily pancake issue is to make a big batch, and freeze them.
    They microwave really well if you cover them with a damp paper towel and zap them for a minute or so.
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #10 - December 21st, 2008, 10:08 am
    Post #10 - December 21st, 2008, 10:08 am Post #10 - December 21st, 2008, 10:08 am
    they also take about 4 minutes to make from scratch
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #11 - December 21st, 2008, 10:14 am
    Post #11 - December 21st, 2008, 10:14 am Post #11 - December 21st, 2008, 10:14 am
    Right: pretty much you can do this with any recipe involving dry ingredients - you just have to do some recipe scaling to figure out what amount of wet ingredients to add. Just mix up a couple batches of the dry ingredients from your favorite recipe and measure it out accordingly; it works with cake recipes, too. (I always plan to do this with the JOC recipe above, but wind up making pancakes and freezing them instead - BTW, this is my school-day quick-pancake system, I reheat them in the toaster oven) If you look at the ingredients on bisquick or Jiffy mix, it's just the dry ingredients for most baking: flour, leavening, salt - with added oil (easier for you to add that later.)

    Hey, I hate the ultra-processed organic-labeled foods as much as anybody, but it's a whole other world when you've got hungry kids who need to be stuffed with food, poured into winter clothes, and rushed out the door. My personal feeling is that if I'm giving up scratch cooking, whatever it is had damn well better take five minutes or less: thus the bags of Easy Mac or its equivalent in our pantry (you won't find Kraft - I can make it from scratch in less than 20 minutes if I don't make the oven-browned topping.) That five minutes has to include the time it takes to round up, measure and combine the ingredients in the pantry, not so easy to do when you are facing a chorus of (yes, I have one child, but somehow the voice multiplies) "Mom, I can't find my homework!" "Mom, my toothbrush fell in the toilet!" "Mom, I have only one glove - and the dog threw up!" "Maaaoooommm! You arent listening!"
  • Post #12 - December 21st, 2008, 11:23 am
    Post #12 - December 21st, 2008, 11:23 am Post #12 - December 21st, 2008, 11:23 am
    I, too, prefer crispness in my pancakes, so I use a recipe very much like G Wiv's, but with rice flour instead of wheat flour.
    "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside."
    -Mark Twain
  • Post #13 - December 21st, 2008, 12:41 pm
    Post #13 - December 21st, 2008, 12:41 pm Post #13 - December 21st, 2008, 12:41 pm
    Thank you for opening my eyes to the Batter Blaster - the Regis & Kelly Youtube episode of them trialing the product is amusing.

    That would be a great product to take on camp-outs... hm... fishing trips.... hm... very portable, insects won't get into them... shouldn't attract animals... hm...
  • Post #14 - December 21st, 2008, 2:12 pm
    Post #14 - December 21st, 2008, 2:12 pm Post #14 - December 21st, 2008, 2:12 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Flip, check for doneness (eat one), pile on a plate, eat.



    Gary,

    I'd love to eat one (or 20). However, you may have to travel out to the coast for me to participate.

    Flip
    "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be Happy"
    -Ben Franklin-
  • Post #15 - December 21st, 2008, 2:41 pm
    Post #15 - December 21st, 2008, 2:41 pm Post #15 - December 21st, 2008, 2:41 pm
    You are a wonderful mom to make pancakes every day. I got toast wrapped around a "brown and serve" sausage or dry cereal in a cup to take with me :)
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #16 - December 21st, 2008, 5:11 pm
    Post #16 - December 21st, 2008, 5:11 pm Post #16 - December 21st, 2008, 5:11 pm
    heres mine..been doing this one for years..

    1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour ( add a bit more at end if you like thicker batter)
    1 egg
    1 ¼ cups buttermilk
    ¼ cup sugar
    1 heaping tsp baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    ¼ cup cooking oil
    1 pinch salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    1) Combine all ingrediants in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
    2) Cook on hot greased griddle until done
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #17 - December 21st, 2008, 7:20 pm
    Post #17 - December 21st, 2008, 7:20 pm Post #17 - December 21st, 2008, 7:20 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Spoon mix to playing card size, though round


    These are in the British Museum and rock my world:

    Image

    Ganjifa cards are a great template for pancake batter, and fun to collect as well. Printed Western playing cards and other gaming objects are fantastic, but I think something has been lost in the mass machine production of cards, chess pieces, dice, etc. Give me handmade everything. (including flapjacks).
  • Post #18 - December 21st, 2008, 8:52 pm
    Post #18 - December 21st, 2008, 8:52 pm Post #18 - December 21st, 2008, 8:52 pm
    Mhays wrote:Hey, I hate the ultra-processed organic-labeled foods as much as anybody, but it's a whole other world when you've got hungry kids


    Amen. BTW, there is nothing political about my use of "organic" batter blaster. It is pure laziness. After 50 days in a row of making pancakes for my kid at 6am (he eats maybe 2 or 3 little silver dollars a day) the batter blaster is a welcome addition to my fridge.
  • Post #19 - December 21st, 2008, 8:54 pm
    Post #19 - December 21st, 2008, 8:54 pm Post #19 - December 21st, 2008, 8:54 pm
    Has anyone used "pancake starter" to make pancake batter? (similar idea to using a sourdough starter to make sourdough bread) I have never done this and am wondering how to do it.
    "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside."
    -Mark Twain
  • Post #20 - December 22nd, 2008, 10:43 am
    Post #20 - December 22nd, 2008, 10:43 am Post #20 - December 22nd, 2008, 10:43 am
    Hi,

    There is a recipe on Epicurious.com for sourdough pancakes. I recommend you read the comments, because some used starter.

    When I read your post, the first thing I thought was: blinis, which if look past the sour cream and caviar is effectively your sourdough or at least yeast levened pancakes.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #21 - December 22nd, 2008, 11:09 am
    Post #21 - December 22nd, 2008, 11:09 am Post #21 - December 22nd, 2008, 11:09 am
    I didn't know blinis had yeast in them. Thanks for the links.
    "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside."
    -Mark Twain
  • Post #22 - December 22nd, 2008, 11:12 am
    Post #22 - December 22nd, 2008, 11:12 am Post #22 - December 22nd, 2008, 11:12 am
    Am I the only sucker who whips up the egg whites and folds them into the batter?
  • Post #23 - December 22nd, 2008, 11:38 am
    Post #23 - December 22nd, 2008, 11:38 am Post #23 - December 22nd, 2008, 11:38 am
    Pucca wrote:Am I the only sucker who whips up the egg whites and folds them into the batter?

    No, I do this -- with waffles, too.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #24 - December 22nd, 2008, 11:56 am
    Post #24 - December 22nd, 2008, 11:56 am Post #24 - December 22nd, 2008, 11:56 am
    Kennyz wrote:just read the ingredients for that organic batter blaster crap, and while I don't have kids, I can confidently say that there is no way in hell I'd serve this stuff to anyone in my household. Organic rice bran extract??? WTF is that, and why is it in my pancakes? Organic whole egg solids? I do not even want to know what science experiment led to that "discovery". This product is an example of how the organic "movement" has gotten completely out of hand, creating commercialized, overmanufactured garbage and giving it a meaningless label that PR firms have convinced people to buy. No way. I say bring back Aunt Jemima if this is her replacement.


    hey now its "organic" ! Actually I would be more worried about my kid eating pancakes everyday for breakfast just cuz he or she asks for them :P
    Last edited by Head's Red BBQ on December 22nd, 2008, 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #25 - December 22nd, 2008, 12:14 pm
    Post #25 - December 22nd, 2008, 12:14 pm Post #25 - December 22nd, 2008, 12:14 pm
    Saint Pizza wrote:I didn't know blinis had yeast in them. Thanks for the links.

    There are two kinds of blinis: yeast and quick that use baking powder or soda.

    Head's Red BBQ wrote:actually i would be more worried about my kid eating pancakes everyday for breakfast just cuz he or she asks for them

    I provided breakfast to my nieces during grade school. Every morning I made pancakes from scratch. Eventually my younger niece advised she wanted something different for breakfast. When I asked her to elaborate, she advised, "I want pancakes and a scrambled egg."

    Later when they were self-starters, I was cut from the breakfast detail. However when they had exams or something challenging to do, they asked for a special power breakfast: pancakes and a scrambled egg.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #26 - December 22nd, 2008, 12:33 pm
    Post #26 - December 22nd, 2008, 12:33 pm Post #26 - December 22nd, 2008, 12:33 pm
    Another trick, if you make pancakes a lot, is to mix together a very large batch of the dry ingredients (as much as you'd use in 6 months, for example). When you want to make pancakes, you take one batch-worth of the dry ingredients and mix with one batch-worth of the wet ingredients. Consider this half-way between cooking from scratch and using a premade batter.
  • Post #27 - December 22nd, 2008, 2:00 pm
    Post #27 - December 22nd, 2008, 2:00 pm Post #27 - December 22nd, 2008, 2:00 pm
    Darren72 wrote:Another trick, if you make pancakes a lot, is to mix together a very large batch of the dry ingredients (as much as you'd use in 6 months, for example). When you want to make pancakes, you take one batch-worth of the dry ingredients and mix with one batch-worth of the wet ingredients. Consider this half-way between cooking from scratch and using a premade batter.


    I would sometimes fill pint mason jars with the ingredients, then add the egg and milk later. Convenient when time was tight or we were heading to Wisconsin Dells for a weekend in a cottage.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #28 - December 28th, 2008, 10:47 pm
    Post #28 - December 28th, 2008, 10:47 pm Post #28 - December 28th, 2008, 10:47 pm
    If someone could explain to me WHY the first few pancakes always turn out badly, I'll be in your debt. If I recall correctly, even Alton Brown made a comment in his pancake episode that the first one gets fed to the dog.

    I do try to make big batches from scratch and freeze them, but sometimes I run out. So I'm with Mhays and IBlock9 on the prepackaged dilemma. With two kids under the age of 4, one of which is looking like a life-time "Breadatarian" with a 4 minute attention span, sometimes having a packaged product handy is worth it to save time and, in my case, prevent a preschooler meltdown at 6:00 am.

    Kim
  • Post #29 - December 29th, 2008, 2:10 am
    Post #29 - December 29th, 2008, 2:10 am Post #29 - December 29th, 2008, 2:10 am
    One of the first things I mastered when my household was plunged into a gluten-free zone was pancakes. I wanted great pancakes, not merely good.

    I use a mix of GF flours - brown rice, sorghum, buckwheat, some starches, even a bit of amaranth and a touch of mung bean. I make about ten cups of the blend at a time. Then I take about 4 cups and make my own Aunt Jemima mix. All I need to do is add an egg, milk or water, a bit of oil, etc. Usually I make 2 cups at a time and freeze the remainder. That means we have instant breakfast anytime we want panckakes.

    The blend is delicious - sort of like a light whole wheat; the resulting pancakes are soft and tender but with flavor and a bit of texture. While the blend contributes to their deliciousness, it's the sourdough starter that makes them what they are.

    I can't get a good GF starter (rice or sorghum) to stay functional here in Chicago, but I can keep one made with potato flakes. It's NOT a true starter, but it works and that's what counts. I highly recommend it simply because of the pancakes it makes. It also works a treat in GF pizza dough.

    3 T potato flakes
    1 cup of filtered water
    3 T sugar
    1 packet of commercial yeast

    Mix together, leave on counter for three or four days until bubbly and slightly beery smelling. Put in fridge. Every so often remove some and add 1 cup water, 3 T potato flakes and 1 T sugar. You never need yeast again and I'd like to hope that some native yeasts have moved in, but it's OK if they haven't.

    I use about 1/3 cup of starter with 1 1/2 cups of mix, 1 egg, 1 1/4 cup milk or water (or dairy free milk), and 2 T oil or butter. The mix is typical - the flours with baking powder, baking soda, a bit of salt and sugar. I use some gum to keep the GF flours together, but you wouldn't with a mix of gluten flours.

    These are high and light with no hint of the starter in the taste. Just fluffy deliciousness. If you like the starter taste, add about 2/3 of a cup or a bit more and you'll get a bit of that sourdough bite.

    Per making things for kids...at various times I've had children in my care and we all have to make decisions that allow us to function in our lives and keep to whatever convictions to which we are convicted. My solution was to cook large amounts of whatever I make, then freeze the rest. I still do even though I no longer have any children to care for.

    Pancakes? No problem, they are in the freezer. Homemade breakfast sausage? I make about 15 pounds at a time, portion it and fry it. Brown and serve at your service. From brown rice (which takes 45 minutes to cook) to steel cut oats, there are so many things you can make, portion and freeze, making your own microwave meals.

    Since I have to cook brown rice for dinner, I just make four times what I need...the rest goes in the freezer in 1 cup portions. Same with oatmeal - I make 6 or 8 servings at a time even if I need only one. right now. The rest goes in the freezer. Pasta sauce? It takes about the same time to make enough for tonight as it does to make enough for a few months. Sometimes I can it; but mostly I don't have enough time or haven't followed a canning recipe, so freeze it. I even freeze portions of pasta - just slightly undercook it, take it out and throw in a pot of boiling water. 2 minutes and you have dinner ready.

    It allows me to feed myself and my family in the way that I prefer, while I keep my sanity at 6 AM or 6 PM.
  • Post #30 - December 29th, 2008, 2:52 pm
    Post #30 - December 29th, 2008, 2:52 pm Post #30 - December 29th, 2008, 2:52 pm
    ViewsAskew, I bow to your superior GF cooking! I'm gluten-free too, though I really get a bit lazy when it comes to pancakes and baking. I typically go for the Bob's GF pancake mix when I'm craving pancakes, and his mix works just fine for us, though I like to add cinnamon & nutmeg, or cardamom to the batter.

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