September 2, 2010

The easiest dinner ever. Pancakes

I try to take nice pictures of my food. I really really do. Sometimes it works out, but sometimes...not so much. See above.

Regardless of the picture, these pancakes are the easiest recipe to throw together and they taste fantastic. I love experimenting and adding different fillings, such as cinnamon chips, blueberries, bananas, lemon zest, or other fun things. But even without any additions, they are just a good and simple pancake.

Mark Bittman, to the rescue...yet again!

Basic Pancakes
adapted from Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 TBS sugar
1 or 2 eggs
1½ to 2 cups milk
2 Tbsp. melted and cooled butter (optional), plus unmelted butter for cooking, or use oil
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat while you make the batter.

Mix together the dry ingredients. Beat the egg(s) into 1½ cups of milk, then stir in the 2 tablespoons melted cooled butter and vanilla (if you are using them). Gently stir this into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to moisten the flour; don’t worry about a few lumps. If the batter seems thick, add a little more milk.

If your skillet or griddle is nonstick, you can cook the pancakes without any butter (but why would you WANT to???). Otherwise, use a teaspoon or two of butter or oil each time you add batter. When the butter foam subsides or the oil shimmers, ladle batter onto the griddle or skillet, making any size pancakes you like. Adjust the heat as necessary; usually, the first batch will require higher heat than subsequent batches. The idea is to brown the bottom in 2 to 4 minutes, without burning it. Flip when the pancakes are cooked on the bottom; they won’t hold together well until they’re ready.

Cook until the second side is lightly browned and serve, or hold on an ovenproof plate in a 200-degrees oven for up to 15 minutes.