Pancakes are great because they can handle a good deal of creative substitutions. Although this is true for a lot of baking, I think I tend to notice it more at breakfast time because the last thing I want to do in the morning is run out and grab some buttermilk. Mornings are very sacred in my little universe, and I tend to wake up stupidly early just so I can sit and nurse a cup of coffee and a book. Morning people are ridiculous, I know. But I happen to be one.
The base recipe I use for my pancakes is from Beth Hensberger’s Bread Bible. It calls for blueberries, which 340 days of the year are too expensive for me. So I’ve adapted it various ways (apples, strawberries, blackberries), and my latest favorite is the following:
- 1 cup white flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- lots of cinnamon (at least a tablespoon, but it’s your call)
- pinch of nutmeg, cloves
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk (or plain yogurt)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla (in actuality I just use ‘a splash’ so I don’t know exactly how much this tends to work out to)
Combine wet and dry in seperate bowls, then mix together (minimally), and then add 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Get your pan so approx. 1 tablespoon butter is dancing away on it, and then pour the batter on (If this sounds so obvious I shouldn’t bother to mention it, well… it took me a good year to finally figure that out. Many burned pancakes leaving their ‘skins’ on the pan and roommates mocking me with their perfectly formed creations).
As you can see from the pictures, I like to make mine super thick and I don’t care if they run into each other and fill the pan with a giant pancake. Not the most aestetically pleasing results, but It is Breakfast and I Am Lazy. This recipe makes more than one person can eat without immediatley needing a nap, so a good solution is to toss the leftovers in the freezer, you’ll thank yourself later when they are fresh out of the toaster.
Hunting around on blogs, I’ve discovered that there’s a lot of options for playing around with the dairy component of your pancake, which is something I haven’t really explored as much as I could: I’ve used yogurt, but never cottage cheese or sour cream or ricotta… the list goes on. And that’s just one blogger’s imagination I’m exploiting. There’s also a whole world of savory pancakes that has yet to be explored… so many reasons to get up early.