Eat This Week: How to Make Perfect Pancakes

July 3, 2017

Pancake season is here! With Stampede right around the corner, we’re already seeing early morning pancake breakfasts popping up around town — you can find the schedule of Calgary Co-op community pancake breakfasts here. If you’re making your own, there’s no need to rely on a boxed mix — and a few tips will have you flipping perfectly golden pancakes by the stack.

If you want to make your own mix, it’s a nice thing to have on hand for quick breakfasts, or to pack to take camping or to the cabin. Stir together a ratio of 1 cup flour to 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder and a pinch of salt. Any flour will work—all-purpose, whole wheat, oat or barley, or try a combination. Grainy flours lend a nuttiness that works well in a pancake, while boosting nutrients and fibre. Store your mix in a jar or zip-lock bag with the instructions written on the front. To use your mix, whisk a cup of milk, an egg and a tablespoon of oil into each cup of mix. An easy formula to remember! To make buttermilk pancakes, add 1/4 tsp baking soda per cup of flour as well, and use buttermilk in place of the milk.

When cooking your pancakes, choose a heavy skillet, which will conduct heat more evenly—cast iron is ideal, if you have one. Set your skillet over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of oil and wipe it around the pan with a paper towel. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter into the pan using a ladle or measuring cup. If you want to add berries, place them on the batter right in the pan, which will guarantee they’re evenly distributed and keep your batter from turning purple from the juices. Banana slices work well here, too.Pancakes while they cook

Wait until bubbles begin to break on the surface of the pancake and the edge turns from shiny to matte—use a thin spatula to flip your pancakes. The bottoms should be golden—cook for another minute, until golden on the other side, and flip it directly onto someone’s plate to serve. If you’re not ready to eat, keep them warm in a 200˚F oven until you’re ready for them.

To make your pancakes extra-special, warm your maple syrup before serving—and if you like, warm it in a small saucepan with a handful of blueberries, blackberries or saskatoons, which will soften and release some of their juices into the syrup. A perfect prairie breakfast. Happy Stampede!

 Pancakes with toppings

Easy Pancakes

This formula makes a small batch—perfect for two or three, and leftovers are easy to freeze and reheat in the toaster or microwave. If you have more at the table, the recipe is easy to double or triple.

1 cup all-purpose or barley flour (or a combination)
1 Tbsp sugar or brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1 Tbsp canola oil, plus extra for cooking

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the milk, egg and oil and whisk just until combined.

Set a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle with oil and wipe it around the pan with a paper towel. Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in about 1/4 cup of the batter at a time and cook until bubbles start to break through and the surface looks matte. Flip with a thin spatula and cook until golden on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve the pancakes warm, with maple syrup and berries. Makes about 4 pancakes.

- Julie

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