This morning, there was as wonderful confluence of events that led to an unexpected Adventure in Domesticity. 1) I ran out of my normal breakfast cereal that I eat everyday; and 2) I learned it was National Pancake Day, at least as declared by IHOP. What better way to fill the breakfast void than by cooking up some flapjacks myself, a humble mission I had never actually attempted before (potato and kimchee pancakes don’t count). Yes, I’ve made some bizarre and dainty items at this point, but never have I tried the simple pancake.
After some research, I settled on a generic recipe from the Food Network and got to work in my kitchen. The results after the jump…
The stage is set for some breakfast excitement.
In bowl number one go the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg. I halved all the ingredients as I didn’t need a family-sized batch of pancakes, but I think I neglected to halve the nutmeg. It wound up a bit strong in the finished product.
Bowl number two has the frothy, wet ingredients: an egg, some skim milk, and some vanilla extract.
A generous pat of butter (about a tablespoon and a half) prepares for melting.
The butter goes into the milk mixture, and once combined, the milk mixture goes into the dry ingredients. It all gets whisked until it becomes a thick batter.
The pan heats up. I originally was going to use the cast-iron skillet, but as it warmed, I could still smell garlicky odors from the soft shell crabs I had cooked in it two nights prior. Not a complementary addition to pancakes. I opted for a different skillet.
Pancake #1 is in!
The rule of thumb is that you flip the pancake when bubbles break the surface. The problem was that since I had made my wet ingredients so frothy with excess whisking, the bubbles appeared almost immediately.
What to do?
After two minutes, I flipped the pancake. It was a touch browner than I would have liked, but not bad for my first pancake.
A decent start.
I opted for chocolate chips for my second pancake. So far so good…
Yikes. Not good.
Oh well. Not the prettiest pancakes in the world, but they got the job done.
I’m happy to report that once I added some maple syrup and Earth Balance, the pancakes tasted quite delicious (especially the chocolate chip ones). Dark hues be damned, they were flavorful and tasty. Plus, they were super fluffy. I actually went back and made a third pancake that turned out pretty perfectly, but I silly me, I didn’t take a picture of it. That’s okay though. I have some batter left in the fridge, which means I have one more chance to make a perfect pancake and document it (at least until the next time I assemble some batter).
I should note that my friend Andrea warned me that the best pancakes ever are Ina Garten’s sour cream banana pancakes. Sadly, I had no sour cream or banana; so that attempt will have to wait for another time….