Anna Olson's Pancakes + Pancake Technique

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Guys, I can't lie.  My pancake game is strong.

It's been several years in experimentation, but I have (I believe anyway) perfected it!

I swear if you take the time and have the patience, you will never use Aunt Jemima pancake/add-water pancake mix again. Cuz once you go 'scratch', you never go back.

I have been using Anna's Olson's recipe for a bit (She is a Canadian baker queen!).

Basically, here is the recipe (tweaked a little for my taste):

1 1/4 c AP flour
2 Tbsp of granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of table salt
1 large egg
1 cup of milk (I often use buttermilk, if I have it on hand)
1/4 cup of sour cream or yogurt (I use greek yogurt cuz it's extra thick)
1 tbsp of melted butter
1 tsp of vanilla
at least one cup of frozen or fresh blueberries. Add more to taste, if you like.

So while the recipe is amazing, the technique has to be on point too. Here's where my years of experimentation come in! (Oh dear, I sound so lame!)

I am sure we have all been a victim of the "throw-away-first-pancake".

Usually the culprit of a too hot or too cold pan.

So here's my first tip: Before you even start to put the ingredients in a bowl...take a frying pan or two (I use two non-stick frying pans) and put them on low.  On my stove, I turn them on '2" out of a total of an '8' analog scale. This lets the pans heat up slowly and evenly. I use a few drops of canola oil in the pan, as well.  This low temp lets the oil come up to temp slowly. This way you can't burn the pancakes right off the bat.

Second tip: Sift your dry ingredients.  My sifter is a dollar-store-grade metal sifter. It works by aerating your dry ingredients, leading to less chance of clumping of the ingredients and allowing for more air incorporation (i.e. fluffiness). (It also catches those weird things that sometimes end up in flour bags....I can't even.)

So, sift your flour, sugar, b. powder and b. soda and salt into a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk your milk, sour cream, egg and vanilla. Melt your butter and let it cool slightly, before you drizzle it in, while gently whisking. This ensures that hot butter does not clump up once it hits the cold ingredients, and it doesn't scramble your egg.

Now gently fold in your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients. Add your blueberries. The mixture should be quite thick. Similar to a coffee cake batter.

Let your batter sit for a few minutes in a warm place and keep an eye on it. You will start to see the chemical reaction (air bubbles) come to the surface. Take a small spoon and do a test drip of batter into the pan. If it bubbles furiously, your pan is too hot. If it doesn't appear to be cooking at all, your pan is not up to temperature yet. You can always turn it up a notch (on my stove, a '3').
Look at this little guy!  He was toast..ahem

When you are confident that the pan is ready, spoon the batter into it. I use a ladle to spoon a large amount of mixture into my pans and smooth it around with a mixing spatula.

Now my biggest tip: PATIENCE!

It will take a while for the pancake to cook. Usually about 4- minutes per side (now you know why I go for the big pancakes and two pans!).  You know it's ready to flip, when air bubbles rise to the surface and when you turn up the edge it is golden brown.

When both sides are browned, put this big guy in a warm place (like in the oven on low) and when ready to serve, top with everything and anything!  This morning I did strawberries, plain greek yogurt and maple syrup (by the way...splurge on real maple syrup for these pancakes...and for always).

Basically, this technique really does make you think about a pancake as a 'cake'.
While these are definitely a 'weekend pancake', take your time and I swear you will enjoy the spoils. Now, please excuse me as I roll away from the table.

Have a great week!


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