My sister's pancake recipe, perfected over many years. She started off with a tiny recipe for making pancakes for just one or two, then expanded the recipe to fit her growing family with a large recipe for a tableful of hungry pancake lovers.
“… fantastic. … loved the flavor … really fluffy! Definitely a keeper!" ~Mrs. FussyPants
“… the very best pancakes I have ever made!” ~Karen
"… the only [recipe] I use [for] pancakes” ~Susan
Once upon a time, a young newlywed relied on a Cooking for Two cookbook, a gift from her sister. Straight off, she loved the cookbook’s pancake recipe, a tiny batch of light and fluffy pancakes just enough for two on lazy Sunday mornings.
As her family grew, first one baby boy and then another, her recipe grew too, expanding to feed more mouths and in short order, growing appetites. When her boys were little, a medium batch was enough. When little boys grew into hungry teenagers, it took a large batch.
But life circles round, doesn’t it?
Those boys are nearly grown now, not often home on weekends. But she still makes pancakes, returning to the original tiny batch, just enough for two. Then last week, she got lots of ‘likes’ on Facebook when family gathered for Memorial Day and a high school graduation. “My pancake recipe has evolved over the years to fit the different sizes of family groups,” she wrote. “This morning I had to DOUBLE the biggest recipe to feed three hungry teenagers, two kids, and two adults.”
Truth be told, the lifetime pancake-maker behind this family-flexible recipe is my sister Adanna. She’s talked about it for years. Many weekends, one of her boys will sign off, “Gotta go, Auntie Al. Mom’s making pancakes.” But until recently, I’d never tasted one. Whoa – my sister makes great pancakes, right up there with My Mom's Pancake Recipe, but thicker and lighter.
HAVE GRIDDLE, WILL TRAVEL My sister packs her pancake griddle for visits! Two days in a row, she made pancakes for my dad, his companion Olga and me. All dreamy-eyed with her light and fluffy pancakes, I fantasized a moment to ask, “Would you ever open a pancake restaurant?”
She grinned and answered with certainty. “I’d call it Adanna’s Pancake Emporium.” In the pancake restaurant of her dreams, she would dish up the pancakes, everyone would choose their own pancake toppings, a few bits at a time.
For now, there’s no Adanna’s Pancake Emporium in the real world, except the one each of us can open up right in our own kitchens. Make pancakes at home, for breakfast, for supper, for one or two, for a tableful or for a crowd. Add toppings. Sue’s Pancake Emporium. Laurie’s Pancake Emporium. LeAnne’s Pancake Emporium. Barb’s. Lynda’s. Sharon’s. Peggy’s. Laura’s and Diane’s and Michele’s. All of us, we can each open our own place.
That’s the beauty of my sister’s Lifetime Pancakes.
THE BREAKFAST SPECIAL from
ADANNA’S PANCAKE EMPORIUM:
- 1/4 cup yogurt, preferably low-fat vanilla
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 65g
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Enough for 1 or 2
- 1/2 cup (115g) yogurt, preferably low-fat vanilla
- 1/2 cup (112g) water
- 2 tablespoons (21g) vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 125g
- 2 teaspoons (10g) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Enough for 3 or 4
- 1 cup yogurt (130g), preferably low-fat vanilla
- 1 cup (225g) water
- 3 tablespoons (30g) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 250g
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Enough for 5 or 6 or 1 hungry man and 1 bottom-less pit teenage boy
- 1-1/2 cups (345g) yogurt
- 1-1/2 cup (335g) water
- 1/4 cup (42g) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 375g
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Enough for 7 or 8 or four hungry teenagers
- Toasted nuts, small bits of fresh fruit (strawberries, apple, banana, raspberries are very good), frozen blueberries, sausage crumbles, bacon bits, mini chocolate chips
Heat a skillet on medium to medium high or an electric skillet on 350F-375F. Brush lightly with oil.
While the pan heats, whisk together the yogurt, water, oil and eggs in a bowl. Separately, stir together the remaining ingredients, then gently stir into the yogurt mixture, just until mixed.
About 1/4 cup at a time, drop pancake batter onto the hot surface. If using, sprinkle a few toppings on top. Let cook, without touching, until the bottom edges begin to get crispy – okay, go ahead and peek, lift the corner of a pancake with a spatula to see if the bottom is brown. Once it is, turn over and cook the other side for just a minute until the bottom browns.
Serve hot with butter, warm maple syrup and Baked Bacon.
THE FAMILY PANCAKE-MAKER
Pictured, my dear sister Adanna mixing pancakes! She uses a non-stick griddle that cooks about eight pancakes at a time. I've got my eye on this large griddle, I like how it's got a tilt function to drain off the bacon grease cooked before the pancakes, also that it's dishwasher-safe. There's also a smaller electric griddle that might better fit into kitchen cupboards. [Update: I have indeed purchased the larger griddle, it cooks pancakes so evenly, even the first ones are perfect. I don't use it for bacon, however, since we love the convenience of Baked Bacon.] Father's Day gift, anyone?
MORE RECIPE NOTES
Adanna and I both continue to make Lifetime Pancakes again and again, adjusting the recipe to fit our lives. I’ll keep the notes here, more ideas for others.
LIGHT VANILLA YOGURT KEEPS (Adanna) The yogurt will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks. If the yogurt turns pink, it's gone bad and should be thrown away. If the whey (that's the liquid) separates but is clear in color, just stir it back in.
BUTTERMILK (Adanna) Adanna has switched from non-fat yogurt to buttermilk nearly all the time. (Alanna) Buttermilk is my dairy-liquid of choice as well, using either grocery-store buttermilk (it keeps for weeks) or Homemade Buttermilk.
SOUR CREAM or GREEK YOGURT (Alanna) Sour cream or Greek yogurt can be substituted for low-fat vanilla yogurt. Just add a half teaspoon of vanilla and stir in an extra tablespoon or two of water, to loosen the batter.
WHOLE-WHEAT PASTRY FLOUR (Adanna) Adanna now uses 2/3 whole-wheat pastry flour. (Alanna) All whole-wheat pastry flour is too much, it really affects the color and the taste.
WEIGHT vs VOLUME (Alanna) If you own a kitchen scale, just measure the ingredients into the bowl, no measuring cups to wash later! I'm adding weights as I make the different-sized batches.
PUMPKIN PANCAKES (Adanna) For pumpkin pancakes, add a “glop” of canned pumpkin purée to the batter and use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon.
LOW-CARB DIETS (Adanna) To limit carbs, Adanna no longer makes “pancakes for breakfast” but instead goes for “eggs for breakfast with pancakes on the side”. Even for three, including two male adults, the Tiny Batch is plenty when served with eggs.
GRIDDLE TEMPERATURE (Alanna) I set the electric griddle at 325F.
Apparently, We're a Breakfast Family ;-)
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