Sunday, June 27, 2010


The morning has been filled with cleaning, wrestling with Stout/getting my ears and hair bitten, and a delicious breakfast.  The salmon berries are not the most superior of the local berries, but if you get them right before they are ready to fall off the bush the red ones have a good amount of flavor and are not too tart.  The blueberries are starting to get a little bit of sweetness to them already.  They are everywhere in the woods right next to the apartment.
One thing I would like to pass on about pancake making after my dad was out here complaining that he loves pancakes but gets frustrated making them because they are never really good.  I've done a little reading online and what I've found is there are two tricks to making really, really fluffy pancakes.  It doesn't seem like the actual recipe matters too much, but if you do these two things I guarantee better pancakes (here you go dad!).

1.  Mix dry ingredients first, then mix in the milk and egg yolk only.  In a separate bowl add just the egg whites.  Mix/stir/whip the egg whites vigorously for a minute or so until you get almost a foam forming.  Now add half of the whites to the batter and gently fold in/stir.  After it is mostly combined add the other half and again mix it in with as few strokes as possible.  The idea here is to keep the bubbles you've generated in the egg white mixture.  Start cooking immediately.  (You can also store batter in the fridge overnight to give the baking soda time to 'mature the batter and give it the bounce, but who plans pancakes the night before)

2.  Temp is important and if you don't have a temp controlled griddle (should be 375F) it takes some tinkering.  It should take about 3-4 mins on the first side.  Large bubbles form in the cake and the edges start to dry out just a little bit, but it shouldn't be too dark.  Flip gently and cook for about a minute more. 

Some other tips: 
-Save money and make better cakes by making your own large container of dry mix from flour rather than buying Bisquick and storing it in the pantry.  There are lots of recipes but basically it is a combination of flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar.
1 egg
1 cup of (butter)milk
1 cup of flour
 2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
-Some recipes have oil added to the batter.  I've made with and without oil and haven't noticed much of a difference, so I make them without oil added and increase the health factor.
-Buttermilk does make better pancakes, but it isn't always on hand, and also decreases the health factor.  I will add a little less using milk compared to buttermilk.  The batter should be a little bit thick to get some fluff.
-Shortening is better than butter for pan lubrication to get consistent color.

Pancakes are simple to make.  Great pancakes at home are rare ...

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