A couple weekends ago, I was trying to explain to a friend how to make pancakes. Nothing too difficult about it except that I was doing this over the phone. I was trying to emphasize that pancakes are all about timing. When the timing is right, the texture is perfect and the end product is unfailingly delicious. (Hmm, is there a lesson in there somewhere?!)
Its tricky to visualize texture over the phone, hence this post! 'Nuf talk! Grab the batter and set your griddle on the stove. Turn the knob on the stove to 4. As the griddle heats up, lets talk about the batter. You can make batter from scratch or make it from a mix. I am a big fan of Hodgson Mills and I like all three of their mixes, whole wheat, multigrain as well as buckwheat. For the most part, these mixes are pretty forgiving. Half the time, I do not have oil handy and substitute for it with apple sauce, buttermilk, yoghurt and such like. Just make sure that the batter is not too watery.
Give the griddle enough time to warm up. If you grease the griddle with a sliver of butter, the butter should froth and sizzle right away. If the butter browns and/or burns, the griddle is too hot. Pour the batter in 1/3 cup measures on the griddle. Give it a couple minutes and little bubbles will appear!
Resist the urge to look under the pancake, lift the edge etc etc. After you see the bubbles, the bottom of the pancake will appear firm. Flip the pancake over! It should be a lovely golden color, not brown and not apologetically underdone, just a wholesome golden (picky picky!). Let it cook for another couple minutes and you're on your way to creating perfect pancakes! Top with peanut butter and blackberry syrup (see picture above) and enjoy!
I love pancakes because once you have the basic technique down, you can experiment with a zillion different variations. I've sliced an apple, placed a few slices on the griddle and then poured the batter on it. What you get are very pretty pancakes with a flower shaped design on them! We've also made pancake batter with blueberries or cherries in them. Banana pancakes, sweet potato pancakes and apricot or peach upside down pancakes are also fun.
Heres a dishy chef and a delicious recipe for a gourmet pancake.