Pancakes!

28 Jan

Pancakes 2 ways. So if you have been to Clinton Street Baking company on the LES, you know how absurdly good their pancakes are. Like so good- and you can even order them at dinner. This recipe is a little more involved than your average pancake recipe (mainly b/c it involves whipping egg whites– which, while not especially difficult, i never quite feel like doing hungover or before coffee). But on New Years day– they finally happened–and man they are fucking good.  Just what pancakes should be. Super fluffy. And it has been agreed– tasting best when eaten w. your hands.  But I didn’t want to just post this recipe— as I wanted to give you, dear reader… the option for a pancake when you got some time- and it is well worth it-  but also a no fuss alternative. So my darling college roommate Alice V. Ely– was kind enough to write in with her pancake recipe from Joy of Baking.

Clinton St. Baking Company Pancake Recipe— I halved this recipe– and it was still a shit ton of pancakes
* = see notes

4 cups all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder (2 teaspoons)
3/4 cup sugar (my 3/4 cup thing has a half-way mark so I just eye-balled it)
1 teaspoon salt (1/2)
6 large eggs, separated (3)
3 cups whole milk (1 1/2 cups whole milk)*
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted (6 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, unmelted for the griddle and lots more for serving
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (more vanilla the better so i kept this at 1 tsp)
Maple syrup for serving

1. Measure the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a large bowl.
2. In another bowl, whisk together the yolks, milk, melted butter, and vanilla until combined. Slowly whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture just until combined. The resulting should be slightly lumpy yet still combined.
3. Whip the egg whites by hand with a whisk or in the bowl of an electric mixer until they reach medium peaks. You can whip them by hand with a whisk or place them in the bowl of an electric mixer. (Peaks are “soft” when you put your finger in the whites and they fall over. Peaks are “medium” when you put your finger in and they drip over a bit and stand up. “Stiff” peaks develop when you whip the whites longer and they stay up.) You don’t want to over-whip the egg whites.**
4. Gently fold half of the whipped whites into the batter with a large rubber spatula. Then gently fold the remaining whites into the batter. Remember, this batter should be slightly lumpy and have large parts of egg whites not fully incorporated and should look like whitecaps in the ocean with foam on top. (The batter will last a few hours in the fridge without deflating too much.)***
5. Heat a griddle — either an electric griddle, a stovetop griddle, or a big flat skillet — over medium to medium-low heat. Grease the hot surface with a teaspoon or so of the remaining butter. Drop 1/4 cup of pancake batter on the griddle. Now let it set. When you see bubbles start to form on top, lift the pancake halfway up to see if it’s golden brown and crisp at the edges. If it is, flip the pancake and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove to a plate with a spatula.
6. Repeat with the remaining batter and filling, adding more butter to the griddle as needed and cooking several pancakes at a time. Serve immediately with ample butter and maple syrup.

Variations: If desired, you can sprinkle 1 tablespoon fresh or frozen blueberries or a couple slices banana and 1 teaspoon chopped walnuts onto the pancakes before turning them. Never add the fruit to the batter; always add the fruit to the pancakes once they’re on the griddle. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar for the blueberry pancakes, cinnamon sugar for the banana-walnut.

*yes, i used whole milk. I would not go w. skim. but you can make all sorts of substitutions if you really don’t want to run out for it. Such as combining low-fat milk w. half and half or heavy cream. or even some melted butter
**I overwhipped. man i was pissed. but i added a few drops of milk and it sort of fixed it- and overall still worked.
***I left mine out of the fridge– for maybe 20 mins? and it entirely deflated- the extra batter yielding an entirely different pancake.So you can try in the fridge- but best bet is to make them directly after making the batter.

Pancakes! Post by Alice

For a straight-forward, no-fuss pancake, I head straight to Joy. You can easily mix the dry ingredients and keep them in a ziploc in the fridge, making these just as easy as Bisquick to throw together (and way better). Contrary to Joy, and due to my electric stovetop, I usually mix the dry ingredients first and mix in the wet ingredients while the griddle is heating up. Also, note that the butter must be melted, so pop that on the stove or in the microwave while you’re mixing the dry ingredients.
Whisk together: 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
.5 teaspoons salt (though, if you are out of unsalted butter as I frequently am, you can skip the salt here and use salted butter later)
Heat the griddle – not smoking hot, but enough so a spritz of water from your fingers skitters across the top.
In another bowl, whisk together: 1.5 cups milk (whole is best, but whatever you have in the fridge will work in a pinch)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
half teaspoon vanilla (Joy says this is optional, I say it’s mandatory)
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk them together, mixing until just combined. Fold in any toppings you like.
Ladle batter onto griddle for each pancake – the best results will be either silver dollars (~3 in diameter) or mid-sized (~5 in across), otherwise flipping becomes arduous, messy, and disappointing. Cook pancakes until they are speckled with bubbles, some of which have burst, and the edges have just started to cook (slightly longer than you expect). Flip to cook the other side – DO NOT PRESS DOWN (this makes your lovely fluffy pancakes flat and chewy and awful. Don’t do it), and cook approximately 3-5 minutes more. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup (which is best if you warm it – 10 seconds in the microwave does the job).
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