From the ingredients pictured can you deduce what I’m cooking (the title of this post is a hint)? There’s flour in the container on the right, sugar in the container on the left and vanilla extract in the little bottle up front.

If you haven’t guessed, does the picture to the right help?

Pancakes? Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner.

After eating cereal for breakfast on the weekends for months on end, I decided I needed a change. I cannot stomach most breakfast foods — too fattening, unhealthy and generally disgusting — but pancakes I can handle.

This recipe comes from the awesome cooking site of the Smitten Kitchen and is itself, an adaptation from Ree Drummond.

7 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple syrup

Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-low heat; you want it to slowly get nice and hot.

Stir the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in the bottom of a medium bowl. Dump the sour cream in on top and stir it together very gently; it’s okay to leave the texture a bit uneven. Whisk the eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl and stir them into the sour cream mixture, once again, being careful not to overmix.

Melt about a tablespoon of butter in your skillet or griddle and pour the batter in, a scant 1/4 cup at a time. Cook for about 2 minutes on the first side, or until bubbles appear all over the surface, flipping them carefully and cooking for about a minute on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve in a stack, topped with a pat of butter and a cascade of maple syrup.

When it comes to anything with flour I generally don’t tinker with the recipe… and I didn’t here. This is baking as opposed to cooking. Baking needs exactness. Cooking can live with fuzziness (it allows for more room for experimentation and most importantly, mistakes).

I’ll offer three pieces of advice. First, do NOT overwork the batter. You’re not mixing cement here. Take a light touch and if you think its not quite there, then it most likely is.

Second, BE PATIENT once the batter hits the skillet. You need to wait for the bubbles to appear… and I don’t mean one or two. I mean several.

I confess that my patience is lacking and I pay for it when it comes time to flip. I tend to flip too early and end up splattering batter in the skillet. You can clean this up if you act quickly with the spatula (just push it back into the pancake).

This batch generated six pancakes (a couple are hidden in this photo because they were flip flubs).

My last piece of advice is to use 100% maple syrup and forget the Mrs. Butterworth or Aunt Jemima substitutes. Its a world of difference in taste.


~ by Genevieve on 2010.03.28.

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