They say that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, and one of the staple foods of any early morning feast is the pancake. Generally made from flour, eggs and milk, pancakes are basically found in every culture and on every continent. This doesn’t imply however that everyone cooks pancakes in exactly the same way; for instance, Asiatic pancakes are quite different from European varieties. In this article we’re going to concentrate on improving what might be identified as European / North American varieties of this incredibly tasty food.
Firstly, many cooks recommend separating the dry and wet ingredients for their pancake batter, opting instead to blend each separately to ensure consistency and even distribution of ingredients. Next, you should slowly pour small portions of the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients bowl, making sure to stir and whisk the contents until they achieve the correct consistency (not too dry and lumpy and not too watery). You should have a nice viscous batter once finished.
Some cooks report that it is possible to achieve much lighter pancakes by adding some slightly unconventional ingredients to the wet mixture. For example, carbonated beverages like seltzer water or ginger ale can be used to create pancakes that are not only more flavorful, but quite a bit “fluffier” than conventional varieties. You should only add a small amount of any carbonated beverage to your mixture at a time, ensuring that (once again) you’re not “watering down’ your batter mixture too much. You can also experiment with adding dashes of spices like nutmeg, or splashes of lemon juice to your batter for added flavor.
Next, you’re going to want to pre-heat your cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan to 375 degrees F. Coat the pan with a sliver of butter, margarine, vegetable oil or cooking spray. Generally speaking, the first pancake you make will tell you whether or not the heat is too high, so pay attention to this initial test pancake for clues.
Once you’ve got the heat setting nailed down perfectly, begin making your pancakes. Pour your batter into the pan and watch for the sides of the pancake to become solid and little bubbles to form on the top side of the batter, once this happens you can flip them over. Whatever you do, don’t press down on your pancakes as it will give them the wrong texture and more or less destroy their fluffiness.
For the best results, serve the pancakes immediately with butter and maple syrup on the side.
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