24 April 2018

Pancakes

I'm still all of a muddle, with so much to do I think I'm busy doing nothing, so when a post from Mimi popped up entitled "Budget Busting Pancakes" of course I just had to read it :)

We are a big fan of pancakes in our house.

They can be sweet or savoury, freeze, thaw and pack well and can be thick or thin(ish). When the kids were at school they'd often find pancakes in their lunchboxes as a treat.

They are quick and easy to make, and the batter can be made ahead and kept in the fridge, ideal for a quick breakfast.

They can be cooked just about anywhere - pancakes are a staple "bread" when we are camping or remote (I'm not a fan of paying $6.50 for a loaf of frozen bread from a store outback - there are other better things we can buy to support them).

And my favourite way to eat them is with Tom. He is the champion pancake maker in the family, and he often whips up a batch for us to have for brunch before he starts work or goes to sleep (depends what he's doing, his work schedule can be crazy).

I like them with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of white sugar. Tom loves them with my homemade jam - raspberry is his favourite, otherwise he'll force down strawberry or plum.

Here's my pancake recipe:

Ingredients:
2 cups SR flour
2 tsp sugar (just enough to sweeten, too much sugar and your pancakes will burn)
1 cup water, less 1 tbsp (yes, measure it!)
1/4 cup milk powder (full cream, skim - it's up to you)
1 tbsp white vinegar

Method:

Combine the milk powder with the water until the milk powder has dissolved.
Add the vinegar to the milk mixture and let it sit for 15 - 20 minutes until it has thickened and there are a few bubbles on top.
Sift the flour (or whisk it). Don't skip this step, it really does make a difference. Add the milk/vinegar mixture and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Let the batter rest for 15 minutes at least.
Heat a frying pan over a medium-low heat.
Wipe the base of the frying pan with a butter paper (or a piece of paper towel with a scrape of butter).
Pour the batter into the hot frying pan. Don’t crowd the pan, leave room between pancakes.
When bubbles start to appear in the top of the pancakes, use an egg lifter to flip them. They'll only need a minute on this side to finish cooking.
Remove from the pan to a plate and cover with a tea towel to keep them warm.
Repeat with the remaining batter.

Over the years I've adapted my Mum's recipe to suit our budget and our tastes (and my unique cooking style) and, as the lovely Pamela says, I've made it my own.

It calls for a version of MOO buttermilk. Buttermilk makes the lightest, fluffiest pancakes, but it's expensive to buy and I don't use fresh milk in pancakes. Instead I use milk powder and water, and add the vinegar to this mixture, then let it sit for 15 - 20 minutes.

I also rest the batter for at least 15 minutes, preferably half an hour or even overnight. In the fridge of course - don't leave it out on the bench, it will start to ferment.

Another tip is to make sure the pan is hot, then use a butter paper to grease it. Then add the batter, leaving room for the pancakes to spread. Being me, I like to use my 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour the batter so they're all the same size. Don’t overcrowd the pan, leave room for spreading as I mentioned and so you can flip them without squishing up the edges. Or not - you may like squished up edges.

When we make pancakes we'll usually make at least a double recipe and freeze them. To do this let them cool completely then stack with freezer film (cut up cereal box liners in our house) between them so they don't stick and into a freezer bag or an airtight freezer container. Then just take as many as you need from the freezer and let them thaw or microwave them for a few seconds, and enjoy!


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