The Pancake Hall of Fame Vol. 2: The Weekend Pancake
As I mentioned in my last post, Michael has always been a bit skeptical of my efforts to healthy-up our pancake game. It is not that he is resistant to healthy food in general. I have yet to come across a veggie that he won’t eat. I think that he just believes that pancakes are not the place to muck around. He will eat the banana oat pancakes I make happily enough, but on a Saturday morning, what he really wants is something closer the Aunt Jemima version he grew up with. And honestly, I think he deserves to get his wish. After all, weekend mornings should be for extra coffee, lazing about, and eating things that truly give you pleasure. At the same time, the older I get, the less my body is willing to tolerate the gigantic, decadent brunches that we enjoyed every Saturday (and sometimes Sundays, too!) in the glory days before we had kids.
So, these pancakes are a sort of compromise between super virtuous and so over the top that you need to take a post-pancake nap. They are based on Julia Turshen’s Sour Cream Pancakes, from her excellent book Small Victories. I have made them so many times that the page has become splattered with batter and smeared with blueberry fingerprints. They are made with white flour and thus are soft and fluffy. They don’t contain any flax seeds or whole grains, but they also don’t containing whole sticks of melted butter. Tender and tangy and blond and soft—the quintessential American-style pancake—they are the perfect canvas for just about any flavor combination you can dream up. Mae always demands chocolate chips. The rest of us usually go in for blueberries or bananas that have been caramelized in a pan with some butter and maple syrup. Lately, Zoe and I have been into using big flakes of toasted coconut. My favourite filling of all time, however, is probably some very thinly sliced ripe pears fanned out in the batter as they cook, along with a very modest sprinkle of finely chopped dark chocolate.
Classic Weekend Pancakes
Adapted from Julia Turshen
Yield: I have doubled Turshen’s original recipe so that it makes enough to satisfy our family of four—about 18 medium sized pancakes.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. table salt
1 cup plain yogurt (whole milk preferred) *
1 cup milk
1 tbs. lemon juice or vinegar (white or cider)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbs. maple syrup or brown sugar (optional)
*Turshen’s original recipe calls for sour cream instead of yogurt. Feel free to use that instead if you like. Creme fresh or buttermilk would also work wonderfully. I have also swapped out half of the quantity of yogurt for milk, simply because it saves me from emptying my entire tub of yogurt into the batter and being left with none for the rest of the weekend. have added the small amount of lemon juice or vinegar to ensure that the baking soda gets properly activated.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, whisking to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk wet ingredient well.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently stir, stopping as soon as it is mostly smooth (a few lumps are ok).
Griddle in a little butter or oil as you would any other pancake, adding any fillings you like and waiting to flip until air bubbles form and burst on the surface and the edges begin to look quite matte and dry.
Top as desired and eat while pipping hot!
*Refrigerate any left overs for a few days, or freeze them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet before popping them into a bag and returning them to the freezer. Reheat them in the toaster for best results.