Musings on pancakes

I just did a Google search for ‘pancake recipe’ and got about 29 million  hits. I’m not sure that this is one of those but it’s the one I use — not because it’s ‘the best’ or anything remotely like that but because it works, it’s good enough and because it’s trivially easy to remember (because it calls for one of everything and all the ingredients are things a lot of people (including me) have around the house).

1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix everything together in a bowl. Don’t bother trying to get all the lumps out; it’s not a big deal if it’s not smooth — it only has to be ‘smooth enough.’ Some cooks say that having ‘some’ lumps is good. Some cooks also say to mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another, then combine them. I’m not convinced that makes a huge difference but some people swear by it. If it’s thicker than you like, add a bit of milk. If it’s thinner, add a bit of flour. If you happen to have buttermilk in the fridge, use it instead of the milk if you feel like it. (I usually have it around but I recognize most people don’t. ) As far as oil goes, I use whatever sort of unflavoured oil I happen to have on the counter.  For me that usually means EVOO but anything is fine. I’ve heard people swear by melted butter which sounds good but I just can’t be bothered. As far as sugar goes, I use the spoon that’s in the sugar bowl which is (I think) around a tablespoon. Whatever — some people leave it out anyway. Some people add a pinch of salt. I don’t – not because I think it’s better (or worse) without it, I just don’t think it makes a huge difference.

I cook them on an electric griddle set to around 325 Fahrenheit but whatever your routine is should be fine. I use roughly a quarter cup of batter per pancake but whatever makes you happy. Cook one side until bubbles start to appear, then flip for roughly the same amount of time.

I looked at three ‘how to make pancakes’ videos on youtube. Of the three, none uses this exact recipe (although they’re all recognizable). I don’t think that’s a problem. Rather, I think it’s a sign of how much you can vary pretty much everything and have the recipe still work. (1 2 3 — there are many more but I didn’t look at them.)

This was put here in July 2018 but it isn’t technically part of ‘the blog’ so it will at some point disappear without notice.