Basic Pancakes (with a lot of ideas for jazzing them up)

Basic Pancakes (with a lot of ideas for jazzing them up)

 

I’ve been spending November working on the next book in the Living Well on a Budget series – Vegetarian Cooking on a Budget. I’ll be posting some excerpts and related materials as I make progress toward finishing and publishing it.

Basic Pancakes (with a lot of ideas for jazzing them up)

There are a ton of ways to personalize these. I’ll include a basic recipe, then several ways to alter it.

Recipe:

2 cups flour (I usually use one whole wheat and one white; adjust proportions as you like)

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 T sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup melted butter or oil

2 1/2 cups milk

Mix together dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients and mix well. This makes a thin batter that makes somewhat thin pancakes; I’ll suggest ways to change that after the recipe for if you want thicker pancakes.

Heat a lightly-greased frying pan on low to medium heat. I tend to use lower rather than hotter; too hot and the outsides will be overdone while the insides are still raw.

Pour batter on frying pan. Half-cups make an average sized pancakes, but you can use less for silver dollar pancakes, or kid pancakes, or more for larger pancakes. Cook until edges look done and middle is bubbly, then flip pancake over and cook for a short time to finish that side. Repeat until all batter is used up.

Serve with desired toppings.

Ways to Vary Your Pancakes

This batter is thin, and makes a thin, soft pancake. Thin, flexible pancakes like these are nice to wrap about veggie sausages, a banana, or to make a roll-up with peanut butter and jelly. Thicker pancakes feel more hearty, might have a better mouthfeel for you, or might encase your added-in ingredients (see below) more effectively.

If I want thicker pancakes, there are two things I’ll might do, depending on how thick I want them, and what texture I want.

  1. You can cut the milk by 1/2 to 1 cup. This makes the batter thicker by the simple expedient of having less liquid in it.
  2. You can add a couple handfuls of rolled oats to the batter. Let it sit for 5 minutes to let the oats soak up some of the fluid, then cook. I like the texture and flavor this gives, and it makes you feel fuller for longer. Keep in mind that thicker batter will mean thicker pancakes, and you’ll need to cook them longer to ensure the center is done.

To make these buttermilk pancakes, substitute 1 tsp of baking soda for one of the spoons of baking powder, and use buttermilk instead of regular milk. Buttermilk is not cheaper, but I find buttermilk powder in some groceries, and it is. Reconstitute it with water as per directions and use.

You can use reconstituted powdered or evaporated milk instead of fresh milk if milk is expensive right now where ever you live.

You can add inclusions to the batter for different flavors.

I’ll often add a teaspoon or two of vanilla, and/or a teaspoon of cinnamon. It makes them taste sweet without adding more sugar.

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of any of these to the batter: chocolate chips, chopped nuts, blueberries (dried or fresh), cranberries, chopped apples (good with cinnamon!), chopped strawberries, chopped peaches, chopped pears, vegetarian sausage.

Add 2-4 ripe mashed bananas for banana pancakes.

Ideas for Topping and Serving Pancakes

Butter and syrup are what most think of when thinking of pancakes, but it’s far from the only option.

Try sprinkling brown sugar with butter instead of syrup, or use honey.

Peanut butter is great. Peanut butter and heated applesauce is delicious.

Use a fruit syrup or fruit soup as a topping, with or without peanut butter. Recipes for syrup and soup are already in the book manuscript, and might get posted on this blog at a later date.

Simply put dried or fresh fruit on top of your pancakes, again with or without butter and peanut butter.

 

Enjoy your pancakes, and keep your eyes open for more information on Vegetarian Cooking on a Budget.

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