Sunday, August 23, 2009


Pancakes are a standard breakfast around here. At this point I have changed the original recipe so much that the one we use is completely my own. We make them enough that both Lewis and I have the recipe memorized. This means it is much faster to prepare a batch as there is no referring back to a recipe to slow you down. Because of this these even get served on crazy school mornings. It also means I can tell you what happens when almost all of the ingredients get left out, cooking before having coffee is always a dangerous activity if you were hoping for consistency.

My boys love this recipe and at this same time they often take them for granted. If they appear too frequently they have been known to whine and ask why we can't have popovers, crepes or something else equally time consuming. I wonder if the two of them will ever realize just how spoiled they are at the table?

On the way back from vacation in Cape Cod we stayed with my brother and his family. Before going away I made up a triple batch of the dry ingredients for pancakes so we could make breakfast for both families. My brothers says his two daughters are both horribly picky eaters, vegetarians who pick the tofu out of things and discard it. When we made these pancakes for breakfast my brother had to insist that his oldest daughter, Vina, try one. She grudgingly took one bite and then happily devoured three pancakes.

While she was eating them Vina declared our pancakes "better then daddies", daddies pancakes had already been declared "better then mommies". About a minute later she asked if she had hurt daddies feelings. The answer was no, he was just ecstatic to have something she wanted to eat. When everyone was done with breakfast he quickly followed our instructions for freezing the pancakes to have another day. I don't think I have ever seen him listen to something I have to say quite so closely.

We had a lot of fun at my brothers house, even with my nieces telling Sebastian and Julian that they don't like playing with boys. Most of Julian's best friends are girls and Sebastian has several girls he play with as well, they were both mystified. There was also a small problem with our food joking clashing with the girls fear of meat. Years ago we went through the drive through at the bank and my children were both given teal blue lollipops. Both boys asked what flavor they were. Honestly what food in nature is teal blue? So I told them they were liver flavor. Ever since then teal blue lollipops are liver flavor, sometimes my boys even request liver flavor now. Well at one point all four cousins were sitting around the table and Sebastian told them the lollipops we had for the car ride were liver flavored. As an exacting vegetarian Vina freaked and ran from the table. We convinced her it was not liver, and order was restored. Its a good thing we did not try to serve liver flavored pancakes.

When making pancakes for my family it takes one and a half of the original recipe to satisfy everyones hunger. For 1 and a half times the original recipe we add another whole egg rather then try to divide an egg. I feel the recipe is better with the slightly higher amount of egg that this results in. I have listed the recipe 2 ways below, the original quantities and one and a half times the recipe, this way if you want a larger batch you won't need to do math before having coffee.

Pancake Ingredients (original batch size)

1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk (you can use regular milk or buttermilk, the baking soda makes the recipe flexible)
1 large egg
2 Tbsp butter melted and slightly cooled

Pancake Ingredients (one and a half batches: enough to satisfy all 4 people in my family)

3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cups white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
3 Tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/8 tsp baking soda (I often just use 1/2 tsp baking soda here)
1 1/2 cup milk (you can use regular milk or buttermilk, the baking soda makes the recipe flexible)
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp butter melted and slightly cooled

Sift the dry ingredients together. Measure the milk and add the egg/eggs to the milk and whisk to combine and beat the egg/eggs (I use a large glass measuring cup and then whisk the 2 together by spinning the whisk between my hands. Both my boys can imitate this move perfectly with their toy whisk). Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, a few lumps are fine, overmixing is not. Add the butter while still mixing in the wet ingredients.

Use a small ladle or measuring cup to pour pancake batter onto a preheated hot griddle that has a light film of butter on it (I set my electric griddle to 350°). If adding fruit evenly press it in to the batter on the griddle, if using frozen blueberries you do no need to defrost them first. Flip the pancakes when they appear to be dry around the edges and holes appear across the surface of the pancakes. If you are unsure if they are done lift a corner of a pancake with your spatula to check the color. Cook the second side until light brown and either keep warm in a 200° oven or serve immediately with butter and real maple syrup. Sometimes I serve them with a fruit sauce like apple or plum.


  1. Sounds Yummy, Robin

    I make pancakes on the fly, with various flours, and varying results -- I'll try your recipe!

    I like the idea of mixing up a big batch of dry ingredients to use as mix on school mornings.

  2. Elsa, I hope you like this recipe. We often make the mix up ahead of time when we go away on vacation for easy breakfasts away.


  3. Speaking (in passing) of milk, what is your position on the underground trade in raw milk in Vermont; there is a list circulating of producers (keeping their heads down, I imagine), but I wonder if there should be a push to legalize this...

  4. Patrick, Actually the sale of raw milk in Vermont is not underground provided certain guidelines are followed. It is legal for a farmer to sell up to 50 quarts of raw milk a day. However the farmers cannot advertise that they sell raw milk.

    My neighbors are part of a raw milk co-op where members drive to the farm and pick the milk up for everybody. I did see literature form a farm locally that will deliver their raw milk. This farm is not in compliance with the regulations, however the a list you see of farms that sell their raw milk would not be advertising and would be legal.

    Personally I think raw milk sales and advertising should be legal. There are many health and nutritional benefits to raw milk, however the price can be cost prohibitive to most. If it was supported it might bring the price down some. However I personally would never drink raw milk from a large scale producer, so the cost would always be higher.


  5. Those pancakes are absolutely AMAZING! Perfect consistency, yummy, yummy taste - the best!