Last Saturday my Good Husband and I switched roles in the kitchen…he (Larry) made pancakes for several Italian friends who came over for breakfast and I picked up the camera (just the point-and-shoot one; the SLR is too complicated for me!).

Larry pretty much leaves the kitchen to me…except for making pancakes. Ever since our kids were small, he’s been the chef on Saturdays whenever we have pancakes. I do my part with the toppings. But he makes the pancakes.

Italians are enamored with American pancakes. Probably because it’s one of the few things that is considered truly AMERICAN. So when our friends wanted to learn how to make them, we invited them over, and made a double batch of the recipe below. Here’s how he made ’em:

First, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl so they can be mixed together well…

Then, add the egg white to the milk…

…and the egg yolk to the melted (cooled) butter…

Larry is much more “into” the science of cooking than I am. If a recipe works, I’m happy. It’s a “keeper”. But I don’t need to know WHY it works. But he does need to know WHY. So when he learned that adding the yolks separately to the melted butter helped to emulsify the fat to the liquid (the milk and white of the egg), he recently added this step to his pancake-making process. So if you’re in a real hurry to mix up your pancakes, you can skip this separating-the-eggs step and just combine all of the wet ingredients, but separating them does help the mixture to combine better.

After egg yolks are whisked into the butter, and the egg whites are whisked into the milk, the two liquid mixtures are combined…

Now before you combine everything together, get your griddle hot and ready so you can place the batter on it as soon as it’s mixed together.

About 20 years ago we invested in this wonderful, heavy-duty griddle with a non-stick surface. It’s one of those pieces of kitchen equipment that when you’re considering purchasing it you wonder, “Should I buy it? It costs so much!” but then 20 years later you realize what a great value it really was! A square or rectangle pan allows you to make more pancakes at a time…but round pans works too. Heat the pan over a medium heat until water droplets dance around on the surface. They shouldn’t really splatter but shouldn’t just sit there either. As one person described it, they should be like little hovercraft on the hot surface.

Larry doesn’t generally grease our griddle because, as I said, it’s a non-stick surface. If you use a cast iron pan or something similar, butter the pan lightly and then wipe up any excess with a paper towel.

And then the wet ingredients are poured over the dry ingredients…I forgot to take a photo, but you “get the picture”…

The entire batter should be whisked together for only about 10-15 seconds so as to not overwork the gluten, then use a soup ladle (for larger pancakes) or a spoon or measuring cup to scoop batter onto the hot griddle.

Now, how can you tell when the pancakes are ready to flip over? Tiny bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes…once those burst lift up an edge and check for browning. If your griddle was nice and hot, and your flame is medium, it probably takes about 2-3 minutes. Also, they should be firm enough to flip over quite easily…

Now just 2-3 more minutes of cooking before they’re ready to be eaten. They can be held for a little while in a warm oven if you prefer to finish making them all before eating.

My favorite topping is peanut butter, sliced bananas, and maple syrup! Or, then again, maybe my favorite topping is our Apple Cider Syrup with sour cream or yogurt. (Sorry, no photo, but the recipe for Apple Cider Syrup below.)

Other topping possibilities are:

  • Sprinkle blueberries or walnuts on the pancakes right after you’ve gotten the batter on the griddle–and before you flip them over.
  • Nutella, jam or peanut butter can be spread over cooked pancakes
  • Make your own fruit syrup, such as I did with the strawberries pictured above, by cooking up fresh or canned fruit with added sugar (if desired). If you prefer it a bit more dense, add 2 T. cornstarch which has been dissolved in 2 T. cold water and bring the fruit mixture to a boil stirring constantly.
  • Honey is a wholesome, healthy topping. Light corn syrup, Lyle’s Golden Syrup, molasses…almost any sweet syrup works!
  • Make your own “maple syrup” with 1 C.(250 ml) water, 1 1/4 C.  (250 g) sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla flavoring and 1/2 tsp. maple flavoring (available in North America). This also can be thickened a little by adding 2 T. cornstarch dissolved in 2 T. water. If you add cornstarch, stir constantly until it comes to a boil.

We served the pancakes last Saturday with a side of homemade breakfast sausage (write below in the comments section if you’d like the recipe), American-style bacon, and scrambled eggs. Yum!

Our Italian friends seemed to really enjoy it!

Giacomo, Debbie, Simone and Eva enjoying breakfast together

Want to come over for breakfast next week? I’m quite sure my Good Husband will be making his World-Famous Pancakes again!

Ciao!

Debbie

World-Famous Pancake Recipe

Yield: Makes approximately six pancakes, using 1/3 C. batter for each.

World-Famous Pancake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C.(75 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 T. (45 g) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C. milk

Instructions

  1. Combine the four dry ingredients in a bowl and combine lightly with a fork.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the beaten egg, melted and cooled butter, and the milk. Whisk well.
  3. Now combine the wet and dry mixtures and whisk quickly just until smooth. Don't over mix of the pancakes will be tough as the gluten will be activated.
  4. Begin preheating your griddle or pan before the final mixing of the batter. You can tell the griddle is hot enough once small water droplets dance lightly on the surface.
  5. Once your griddle/pan is hot, pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk together quickly. It's preferable to have a few small lumps in the batter than to over-mix it. If you stir it together too much, gluten will become active and make your pancakes tough. If the mixture seems too thick, add a few more tablespoons of milk to thin it.
  6. When small bubbles on the surface of the pancakes burst, lift an edge to see if they're brown and firm enough, then flip them over and cook 2-3 minutes more.
http://ciaofromdebbie.com/blog/step-by-step-cooking/breadbreakfast-1/larrys-pancakes-step-by-step/

Apple Cider Syrup

Apple Cider Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C. (60 g) sugar
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 C. (500 ml) apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. butter
  • sour cream or plain yogurt

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except the butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add butter.
  2. We enjoy it on pancakes, garnished with a dollop of sour cream. Refrigerate or freeze any remaining syrup. It will keep several weeks in the fridge.
http://ciaofromdebbie.com/blog/step-by-step-cooking/breadbreakfast-1/larrys-pancakes-step-by-step/

This recipe is on page 221 of O Taste & See Some More!

2 Comments

  1. 4-20-2012

    I’d love a good recipe for american homestyle sausage! If you’d be willing to share it would be great!
    It’s one of the things I miss here in Europe.

  2. 11-23-2015

    Looks like you and I both have two posts on Fridays. I really loved these, they were so light and yummy! Yours look wrfueondl with the bacon and syrup!

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