My idea of a perfect breakfast: soft and creamy scrambled eggs, a couple of slices of the best prosciutto, freshly baked baguette slathered with good butter, and pancakes.
The husband prefers waffles. So do my parents. And Wee Reader. I’m a pancake lover in a waffle-friendly family.
Sure waffles are crispy and have fun little nooks and crannies for soaking up maple syrup or honey. And I can imagine all kinds of yummy things that would work in waffles (brownie waffles? Cheesy waffles? Bacon waffles? Bacon and cheese waffles? And mmm sweet potato waffles served with fried chicken!). But I’ll take a good pancake over a waffle any day.
What’s a good pancake? Light and fluffy. And not gigantic. I like smallish pancakes (are they called ‘hotcakes’? I’m never quite sure what a hot cake is. Enlighten me please!). But they shouldn’t be too airy – sometimes they remind me of styrofoam that way. It’s not always easy finding a good pancake when we’re out and about. Diners tend to make huge plate-sized pancakes but they can be a bit lethargic. I have had some fantastic ricotta pancakes somewhere, some macadamia pancakes in Singapore, and I recall some great pancakes in this cafe in Illinois. I’ve also been wanting to try those soufflé pancakes in a famous Berkeley diner but so does everyone as there’s always such a long wait, so I’ve not had the chance.
So I mostly resort to making my own pancakes at home.
I’ve experimented with various pancake recipes. But I always always come back to this one that I found on Stay At Stove Dad, where I’ve been a loyal
lurker reader for a few years now. It has that extra step of whisking the egg whites, which some might find a bit more tedious, but it makes for nice and light pancakes!
I’ve adapted the recipe slightly (here’s the original)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups of milk
- 2 eggs, whites separated
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix the dry ingredients together. Beat the yolks in a separate bowl with the milk. Add the vanilla extract. Pour the milk and egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix until it’s just combined (there will be some lumps). Whisk the egg whites (I use a mixer) until they can just hold a peak. Fold the egg whites gently into the batter.
Melt some butter in your pan. Spoon a ladle’s worth of pancake batter into the hot pan, spread it out a bit (this is a bit of a thick batter). Cook as you would normally cook a pancake (if you haven’t made a pancake before, well, just watch for the bubbles, which sort of tell you that the underside is cooked, then flip over).
This batter makes enough to feed two adults and one 3-year-old with extras for breakfast the next day. I find that placing the pancakes on a wire rack helps prevent the bottoms from getting too soggy, especially if you’re keeping them for the next day. I let them cool, wrap them in foil and pop it in the fridge. Warm in the microwave and eat!
If you like, you could add fresh fruit or chocolate chips before flipping the pancakes. As the bubbles form, place a scant layer on the pancake, then flip over. It works better with thinly sliced fruit. We like banana pancakes.
This Saturday though I decided to try out these pancake moulds that my mum brought over from my family’s store in Singapore. Airplane and truck pancakes for Wee Reader. They were a little more fiddly than I was hoping for so the moulds weren’t the easiest things to make pancakes with. He immediately decided that the airplane pancakes were infinitely better. When I told him last night that he would get pancakes for breakfast on Sunday (he likes to discuss breakfast choices the night before), he emphasized: “not the truck pancakes”!
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