Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Pancake Day!!

Hey remember this blog? I didn't either for a while. Big things have been going on in my life, and stuff like writing had to be pushed to the side for a while. I am happy to say that stuff has settled down, and I am ready to get back to work. I recently moved out to Nevada, from Pennsylvania and am living with my girlfriend and her awesome 3 year old son. This can only be good for the cooking blog, because it means that I am making dinner every night and occasionally other meals, baking, etc... I get terribly bored if I cook the same things too often, so I am sure to be experimenting with new recipes and posting here. I already have a few first drafts that just need to be polished up and posted. Those are recipes for another day though, this is PANCAKE DAY!! What better way to get back in the saddle than on a day dedicated to one of my favorite foods.

I am a huge fan of holidays that are based around eating. This is partly because I am the Worlds Fattest Vegan™ and even more because one thing I can not get enough of is the fellowship of food. I know that sounds cheesy, but there is just something about sharing a meal with people that I care about, that I can't get enough of.

Pancake day is mainly an English thing, and is the exact same day as Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday, etc...) It started way back in the day, when the Brittish housewives would make pancakes on the day before lent, to use up their fat and rich foods. The origins aren't that important to me though. What is important, is that this is a holiday dedicated to PANCAKES! Seriously, who doesn't like pancakes? Foolish people, who don't like fun, and hate having a good time, that's who.

I have seen a lot of vegan pancake recipes, but I haven't ever found one that I really liked, so I did what I always do in such a case. I ignored the vegan recipes I had found and started looking at traditional omnivore recipes instead. I took the non-vegan recipes that I liked and used bits and pieces of different recipes, combined with vegan substitutes and a lot of trial and error. I think what I came up with in the end is pretty darn good. Unfortunately, with pancake making, the recipe is only half the battle, there is a whole lot of technique involved, so be prepared for a little trial and error, but in the end you should be able to make some pretty darn good flapjacks.

ArtieKGB's Bettermilk Pancakes

1 1/2 Cup - All Purpous Flour
2 Tbsp - White Sugar
3 1/2 Tsp - Baking Powder
1 1/2 cup - Soy Milk
1 egg worth - Powdered Egg Replacer (made with soymilk instead of water, I like Bob's Red Mill)
3 Tbsp - Melted Vegan Margerine (I like EarthBalance)
2 Tsp - Apple Cider Vinegar
Vegetable Oil

1 large mixing bowl
1 2cup graduated carafe (liquid measuring cup)
2 small dishes (like a monkey dish or something like that)
1 med frying pan (teflon coated is nice but not required)
spatula, whisk, etc...

  • Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the large mixing bowl, and whisk until evenly combined.
  • Prepare your powdered egg replacer in one small dish. Make sure you mix it really well, so there are no lumps remaining.
  • Melt the margerine in the other small dish
  • Add the soymilk and sugar to the graduated carafe and mix until the sugar is all disolved, then add the vinegar and stir a few more times.
  • Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and pour the milk, margerine and egg replacer in.
  • Mix for only as long as it takes to combine all the ingredients. It may look a little too thick, and kind of lumpy, but as long as there are no large dry clumps, you are all set. If you over mix it, you will work out all the leavening agents and get flatter, tougher pancakes.
  • Let the batter sit for a minute, while you heat about a Tbsp of oil in your frying pan over medium high heat.
  • Once the pan is heated, use a wadded up paper towel to wipe away excess oil. You can use this same towel to re-oil the pan between cakes if it gets too dry.
  • Add the batter to the pan in around 1/4 to 1/2 cup scoops, depending on how big you want your cakes, using the back of a serving spoon to spread the batter around into a 1/2 inch(ish) layer.
  • Watch the pancake for bubbles, when the bubbles just start to leave pock marks in the cake, it is ready to flip.
  • Let second side cook for aprx. 30 more seconds, until it is golden brown.
  • You can serve the pancakes right away, or reserve them on a cookie sheet in the oven set to the lowest temp possible.

  • Heating the pan right is going to be the biggest problem you have. If it is too hot you will burn the pancakes, if it is too cold they wont cook up right. What you want is for the bottom side of the cake to be a nice golden brown, at the same time that the bubbles start leaving pock marks in the top side of the cake. Once you figure out the right setting for your stove, you should be on the right path. Then you are just going to need to keep an eye on the cakes as you are cooking them and make small temp. adjustments as you go.
  • Remember, practice makes perfect. Your first few batches will probably be less than stellar, but once you get the hang of it, they will be awesome.
  • This recipe is awesome for adding things like fruit, chocolate chips, or other treats (I once made pancakes with broken up pieces of Ritter Sport marzipan bars) to. Just make the batter as normal, and then sprinkle your additions to on top of the cakes while the first side cooks. Make sure that larger fruit/treats are chopped up into smaller pieces and don't over crowd the cake.