With our kitchen still covered in dishes from the night before and a hint of anchovy still lingering in the air, Dylan requested I make pancakes for breakfast this Labour day.
After rummaging around then realising we had a pitiful amount of plain flour in the pantry I threw caution to the wind and did something pretty radical - I used wholemeal flour to top up the difference. Another outrageous move I made was to replace half the sugar with muscovado. Pretty bold moves really especially considering how much of a pancake purist Dylan is but the result was actually fantastic.
The wholemeal flour gave that kind of hearty oaty texture without causing the pancakes to be too stodgy. The muscovado sugar also clumps a bit so I had to rub it in with my fingers but the wee clumps that escaped my fingers melted into the batter as it was cooking and created micro pools of rich and delicious makeshift syrup within the pancake. Adding some vanilla bean paste also just made them all the more fragrant too because we fancy like that.
My friend who recently moved to Canada sent us an engagement present in the form of a tasting trio of maple syrup (of course). This probably couldn't have come at a better time when we had pancakes that needed a drizzling.
The original form of this recipe has been used by my family for yonks. It came from my Auntie Rachel and it was written on small square of paper that came from a memo cube. She even drew a swirly underline underneath the 'Rachel's Yankee Pancakes' title. My brother is still the best pancake maker in the family probably because he always seems to be making them for his hungover friends.
The trick to good pancakes is apparently not to over mix. Even though I should probably be mixing mine with a wooden spoon I threw my batter into my mixer because I am lazy. If you are using technology to aid you in your pancake quest just make sure you only mix until the flour has just been incorporated. If you see wee flecks of flour in the batter it is ok - they will sort their shit out in the pan. Can I also just say that you cannot beat cooking your pancakes in butter. The more butter the better. You are eating pancakes - they were never meant to be a health food so go hard or go home.
(makes around 10 modest sized pancakes - serves two if Dylan is at the table and eats 7.5 of them)
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons muscovado sugar
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or a teaspoon of regular extract)
1 1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter (I literally dug my tablespoon into solid butter to measure this out)
More butter to fry
Syrup and such to serve
Sieve all your dry ingredients into a large bowl except the muscovado sugar which will get stuck in your sieve. Tip the wholemeal bits that also get stuck in the sieve back into the bowl. Using your fingers rub the muscovado sugar into the dry mixture into as small a lumps as your patience can realistically get it. Quickly mix to make it all homogenous.
In a separate bowl or jug whisk together the milk, vanilla, egg and melted butter. Pour this into the dry mixture and stir until the flour has pretty much disappeared and there are no hefty lumps (just be careful not to overmix).
Heat a large and reliable non-stick frying pan (or two) on the stove to a good solid medium heat beneath it. Pop a knob of butter on it and once it sizzles away you are ready to scoop the batter into the pan. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop three or four pancakes worth of batter into the pan. Once they start forming bubbles on the top you are probably good to flip them. Once golden on both sides you are ready to serve them up.
Serve up with a good knob of butter on the top and a generous drizzle of maple syrup. So good!