The best pancakes I ever made

…that’s what my wife says. She’s a hobbyist gourmet cook, so I take that as pretty good praise indeed. Hey, and it wasn’t hard either!

I figured I’d better hammer this in quick so that I don’t forget anything. So here goes.

The base recipe comes from a magazine-format publication from Fine Cooking called Best of Fine Cooking Breakfast and Brunch. I had to tweak the recipe because I didn’t have most of the standard stuff around: the recipe calls for regular all-purpose flour and buttermilk; I only had Medium-size eggs, and so on. Essentially most of the base ingredients are substitutions from the stuff we had in the pantry. Also, it called for canola oil, and I don’t use it anymore*.

But the result – wow. And she keeps calling me The Breakfast Chef. So I’m going to claim credit for the way this turned out.

First, cook four strips of bacon on the griddle. Pour off the fat and reserve it for cooking the pancakes.
I’ve been using a Lodge 10-1/2″ round flat griddle and have had really good luck with it. So after you clean the griddle, wait a few minutes to start heating it back up, so it can dry.

Meanwhile, get a 2-cup measuring cup. Put in:

  • 1-1/2 Cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

Stir together and go work on the rest of the recipe. I did it this way because I didn’t have buttermilk standing around. This mixture needs to stand undisturbed a few minutes (like 5-10) to ‘work’.

Now whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl that’ll hold 4-6 cups of material:

  • 1 Cup SoftaSilk cake flour
  • 1/2 Cup King Arthur Italian-style flour (says on the label: “Bakes like Italian 00 flour, great for pizza and breadsticks”)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda – make this a “scant” teaspoon – don’t fill it
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt – if you’re using table salt, use 1/2 teaspoon

Whisk this together and set aside.

Now go back to the measuring cup. Add:

  • 2 Medium eggs
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil

and whisk until smooth.

Dump the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until well combined but not perfectly smooth. You only have a few seconds before the baking soda begins to act, so get it together but leave any small lumps; they’ll absorb into the batter.

Now while that stands a moment for the baking soda to work, get the griddle going. Give it a shot of vegetable oil and wipe it down to get it started, then you can get going for real.

As soon as the griddle’s ready, hit it with two teaspoons of the bacon fat, and spread it around with your pancake turner.

Spoon the batter onto the griddle in your choice of pancake size. I used about 3″+, which is the amount a serving spoon holds. You can do about 4 at a time this way.

First side is done when there’s just a wet puddle on the top, with the edges dry. Flip and allow to cook for about 15-20 seconds on the second side.

Fine-tune your heat: if they’re white when you flip, then turn it up a bit. Too brown, turn it down a bit.

Enjoy… or should I say, “Manga!” with the addition of the Italian-style flour…

.

*I just can’t stand the taste of canola oil. Stuff cooked with it tastes ‘gritty’ and greasy to my mouth, and there are other more natural substitutes – like Wesson vegetable oil. Notice I don’t use corn oil; it’s good only for frying chicken. Instead, regular vegetable oil has a good smooth taste, and always works well when cooking.

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