There’s all kinds of ways to mess with pancakes. I won’t lie. I’ve messed with ‘em. I’ve mixed it up. I’ve hassled the poor guys. Those gents try to comply. … more
There’s all kinds of ways to mess with pancakes.
I won’t lie. I’ve messed with ‘em. I’ve mixed it up.
I’ve hassled the poor guys. Those gents try to comply. But no self-respecting pancake can accommodate a slice of banana yea thick without collapsing into a withering mess. Chocolate chips will become chocolate mush. Smear it will (Yoda).
[Apropos of nothing, did you know that Yoda tweets? Wise he is.]
We’ve all done the ol’ layer of pancake batter on the griddle + layer of filling parts + top layer of pancake batter. Meh. Too thick! I’m stuffed.
Or the sneak attack. Right before the pancake is sealed forever, you nestle a few bananas, a handful of blueberries, or a couple chips in there, then flip and … presssss with the spatula.
Ease up, would ya? It’s a pancake. Not a panini.
Mmmm… paninis. I bet you don’t need me to show you how to make a panini. What do I know? I only pretend to know. And sometimes, you pretend to not know. And it’s really nice of you. ‘Cause it makes me feel like maybe I have a job.
Should I get a job? Do I have a job? I make no money. I work a a lot. Just ask my kids. They’ll tell you. I think I need a list. “Make some money” would be at the tippy top of such a list. Can you remind me? Maybe I wouldn’t be on such a freaking shoestring if I had a real job. Perhaps the money would follow the job. I have a vague memory of how it works. It’s hazy. And fuzzy. Like an Instagram photo. Can someone explain Instagram to me? List item #2. Figure out Instagram. Ask around.
Am I making you uncomfortable? Have I told you how pretty you look today? Do you have a job?
Let’s talk pancakes. Pancakes are common ground. A tall stack of ‘cakes makes me happy. I forget about my non-job job.
I think … that we should appreciate pancakes for what they are. Not try to force a square peg into a round hole. Look, no one would love endless riffs on pancakes to be too legit to quit more than I. I’ve got 100 knock-your-socks-off recipes due and owing to my editor on February 1, 2012 (send help – I have been blogging to you, but not writing to her; S.O.S.). But, although bananas do belong in Pancake Muffins, especially the varietal that I included in my cookbook, they just don’t belong shoved against their will into an otherwise perfectly legal griddle pancake.
I am humbled by this very important realization. Just so you know. And relieved. From now on, if you need me, you’ll find me kickin’ it old school. I stack those pancakes, dust ‘em with some cinnamon & sugar, pile up the fruit, and ring the bell. Breakfast is served.
Before we jump to the recipe, a couple tricks of the trade:
1. It really (really) helps if your ingredients are around room temperature. Butter and milk are super easy to warm in the microwave to take off the chill from the refrigerator if you haven’t left them out to warm to temp (just be sure to stir the milk after it comes out of the microwave to even out any hot spots that could scramble the eggs). But the eggs. Oh, the eggs. If you’ve forgotten to bring them to room temp organically, just place them in a bowl of warm (about 100 degree F) water for a few minutes. It will gently take off the chill without harming the egg.
2. Gluten-free batters do tend to thicken upon standing. I hate it when I have to admit that. But it’s true. I like this batter to be pourable, so I keep some extra room temperature milk by my side as I work. If the batter thickens, beat in a tablespoon or two of the extra milk, and you’re back in the saddle. Pancake batter is not temperamental at all. It can take basically whatever you throw at it and still, well, make pancakes.
3. If you want your pancakes to mellow and brown around the edges, it’s going to take some butter or shortening on your cooking surface. Not a big problem.
- 2 cups high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
- 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (plus more)
- 2½ cups milk (nondairy is fine, low-fat is fine but nonfat is not), at room temperature (plus more)
- Heat your griddle surface (or a large nonstick pan) and coat generously with butter or shortening. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar and whisk to combine well.
- Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the eggs, butter and milk, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Continue to beat until the batter comes together, and you’ve worked out the lumps.
- Working quickly, ladle the pancake batter on the griddle surface, and allow to sit until bubbles begin to appear on the surface (2 to 3 minutes). Flip and continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the underside is browned.
- The batter will thicken as it stands. Thin with more milk, if necessary to maintain pourable consistency.
- If you’d like, while you finish the batch, you can keep the pancakes warm in a 200 degree oven on a parchment lined baking sheet.
How about you? Have you been known to try to fancy up your pancakes? To paint refined gold, to gild the lily? Or do you make ‘em the way nature intended, round and proud, plain batter through and through?
Sealed With A Kiss,
Me (It’s me. Nicole)