Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pancake Tuesday

Today isn't Tuesday, it's Saturday.  But I'm having pancakes anyways.

It's a snowy Saturday in Toronto which seems to be normal this winter.   I am happy to stay indoors and do some marking, and some tidying up and some cooking - anything to not go outside until tomorrow morning.

I have been thinking about having pancakes all week: Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday, a day I look forward to with great enthusiasm.  Unfortunately, I missed having pancakes on this day, because I left my cell phone in my sister's car and had to retrieve it.   I had evening engagements every night of the week, so I knew my only chance at pancakes would be this morning - a Saturday.

Today I have a helper in the kitchen - my cat Buddy.

Years ago when my son was an infant, we had a nanny, Allie, from the Netherlands.  Shortly after she moved into our house she said she was going to make pancakes for breakfast.  I checked my pantry and found that I had very little pancake mix on hand.  Allie looked a bit puzzled.  "Pancake mix?" she asked.  "What's pancake mix?"  So I showed her the nearly-empty box, and she appeared to be quite surprised.  She said she had never heard of such a thing. "Pancakes are so easy to make!" she exclaimed, "They are just flour, and baking powder and milk and a bit of oil - you don't need a mix!"    She made pancakes for breakfast quite often, never with a mix.  Sometimes she would cut up an apple into thin slices and mix the slices in with the pancake batter.  Sometimes she added chocolate, sometimes fresh berries.  She didn't have a recipe, she just mixed up the batter herself.  She used to say, "It's  one to one - that's all you have to remember!", referring to the ratio of flour to milk.  I must say, however, that I like a bit more milk in mine than the one to one ratio, but that's a personal preference.  I will write down the recipe as I received it from Allie.

In the years since she moved back to the Netherlands, I have used her recipe many, many times, but now I have veganized it.  I no longer use dairy milk, but still mostly keep to the one to one ratio.

 Sometimes I still add fruit.  I often add nutmeg (I did today) because it imparts an interesting depth of flavour to the pancakes.  These pancakes are light and fluffy and are always a hit.

This recipe makes enough for our family - at least twelve very large pancakes or twenty smaller ones.  You can cut the recipe in half or multiply it - it's easy to remember.

Dry Ingredients

2 cups of Flour

2 tablespoons of baking powder

2 tablespoons of vegan-friendly sugar
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 pinch of salt
Note: if I am adding berries, I use frozen berries and add them to the dry ingredients.

Wet ingredients
2 cups of milk - I use President's Choice soy milk - it's fantastic (I prefer adding 2 1/3 Cups of milk)
4 tablespoons of canola oil


Pour some canola into a frying pan on high heat and allow the pan to get good and hot.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a big mixing bowl.

Mix the canola oil and the soy milk (or other non-dairy milk) in a measuring cup - it won't stay mixed so don't worry if you skip this step.

Pour the oil-soy milk mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined.  The batter makes better pancakes if it is not mixed perfectly smoothly.  You will notice that the batter is light and fluffy - much fluffier than boxed pancake mixes.

I use a 1/4 Cup measuring cup to scoop the batter into the hot frying pan, and I spread the batter a bit with the bottom of the measuring cup.

It's really difficult to say how long to cook each side of the pancakes, because different people have different ideas about what constitutes a hot frying pan.  For me, it's full speed ahead - I have the pan as hot as my stove can make it, or if I am using an electric frying pan, I turn it up as far as it will go.

Generally speaking, you cook the pancakes until the uncooked side is filled with bubble holes and the bottom looks golden around the edges, and then you flip the pancake over and cook it until the bottom again looks like it is golden around the edges.  Then you put the pancakes on a plate and enjoy them.

These pancakes are great with maple syrup, with Lyle's Golden Syrup (a non-corn syrup) or with brown sugar.

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