Fluffy American pancakes
If you search for pancakes on the Web, you’ll find so many recipes it will be hard to choose one. Let’s start with the basics: the soft and fluffy pancakes are typical of the United States and are made for breakfast or for a particularly substantial brunch. On the other side, English and European pancakes are also known as “crepes”, they’re thin and they don’t contain baking soda: have a look at the recipe by clicking here.
The original recipe for pancakes does not have a clear origin, but it is certainly known that in ancient Greece this preparation was known and was then imported into the United States thanks to the Dutch who landed in the New World with their a poffertjes, sweet pancakes covered with icing sugar very similar to pancakes as we know them today.
From that moment the Americans decided to adapt the recipe to their tastes by adding yeast and maple syrup that helped make pancakes so famous in the world.
Pancake Day – Pancake Tuesday
Do you know that Pancake Day is celebrated every year in England and in the Anglo-Saxon countries? Pancake Tuesday is specifically celebrated on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, a period Christians dedicate to deprivation; it falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, between February and March each year.
It started with people using up the last of their butter, sugar, and eggs before fasting, but now it’s a great excuse to enjoy lots and lots of tasty pancakes, topped with all of your favorite things
The same pancakes also represented a particularly symbolic food for Christians because of the ingredients used: the eggs represented the creation, the milk the purity, the flour that represented the nourishment and salt instead represented the well-being.
Today during the Pancake Day in the United Kingdom is celebrated in a particular way: organizing and participating in special races where the pancakes are made to rotate while walking briskly. This tradition was apparently created in 1445 by a woman in Olney, in the Buckinghamshire region, who was busy preparing pancakes and who, not realizing that mass was starting, began to run with the pan and pancakes for arrive in time in the Church and confess his sins before the beginning of Lent.
Ingredients for 12 medium-big pancakes
- 130 grams of flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 240 ml of buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons of melted butter
- Seed oil for the pan
- In a bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and set aside
- In a different bowl (possibly a glass one) mix buttermilk, melted butter and egg.
- Combine the dry ingredients with the moist ones and mix to mix the compounds;
- Grease a non-stick pan with oil then, when it is hot, pour a ladle of batter into it, giving it a rounded shape;
- Cook for a couple of minutes and turn to the other side when bubbles start to form
- Cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side then remove from the pan, place on a baking sheet and repeat the previous steps until the batter is finished;
- Serve stacked pancakes with maple syrup or honey.
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Everything you need to know to make perfect pancakes at home
- Always use bicarbonate/baking soda and not yeast: baking soda acts quickly and does not need to be activated in any way;
- Always use buttermilk for your pancakes: buttermilk allows the dough to grow faster and better than milk.
- If you can not use buttermilk, choose fresh whole milk;
- Never add sugar to the dough so you can decide how to stuff your pancakes;
- Do not mix with a spoon but always with a whisk or a blender: your dough must swell and incorporate air to be soft and only in this way you can do it;
- Do not mix too much and too much the mixture for the pancakes but rather stop when the mixture still has lumps otherwise your pancakes will be too flat;
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature;
- To keep the pancakes hot while you finish preparing them, place them in a baking pan, cover them with aluminum foil and place them in a hot oven keeping the temperature very low (or even turning off the oven if it is hot);
- Even if you always see them presented in this way, the pancakes are not stacked on top of one another while they are still being prepared: they release moisture that causes them to lose their flavor and compactness. Stack them only when they are ready to be served.
More advice for making your pancakes
- You can add cocoa, cinnamon or spices of any kind to the mixture to flavor it;
- You can replace the buttermilk with yogurt following these doses: 200 ml of white yogurt and 40 ml of whole milk;
- If you want to add ingredients to the dough, make sure they do not end up in the bottom. Lightly flour them if they are fruit or chocolate or add them to the mixture when you put it in the pan;
- If you want an even softer and lighter dough, whisk the egg whites apart and add it to the rest of the ingredients at the end mixing from bottom to top;
- If you let the dough of your pancakes in the fridge rest, the batter will be more compact because it will release the gluten and it will be spread so that even your pancakes will be softer;
- To make gluten-free pancakes I recommend rice flour or buckwheat flour: in the first case the pancakes will be smoother and clocloser the classics while in the second case they will be more rustic and ideal to be stuffed with savory ingredients but also with fruit compote;
- Find several tips to prepare your pancakes like a real American on AllRecipes who put together a series of unmissable tips.
[Pics by Giuseppe]