With close to 30″ of snow dumped on us this weekend, all our plans have gone to the wayside. My son planned to have his buddies over for a Superbowl party, of course that didn’t happen. But the Super Bowl went on and we had all this stuff bought to make party food. He wanted me to make homemade pizza bites not the ones from the bag. I think I have spoiled him a little with making homemade dinners. He wanted my chili cheese dip, potato soup, and a vegetable pizza for his vegetarian friends. He was going to make his buffalo chicken wings and some brownies. No, we did not go ahead and make all that food for three of us. We just made a regular pizza, the chili cheese dip and the wings. I am making the potato soup for lunch today. He would have much prefered to have his friends over but mother nature is unpredictable.
This morning I decided to cheer both my husband and son up by making breakfast on a weekday. They love pancakes. Me, not so much, but I will make it for them from time to time. I must admit, I am not a morning person so I cheat and make pancakes from a mix, however, there is no mix to be found in my pantry today. I have to make it from scratch. I have never made pancakes from scratch, but when has that stopped me from doing anything.
To Make Pancakes
Take a quart of milk, beat in six or eight eggs, leaving half the whites out; mix it well till your batter is of a fine thickness. You must observe to mix your flour first with a little milk, then add the rest by degrees; put in two spoonfuls of beaten ginger, a glass of brandy, a little salt; stir all together; make your stew-pan very clean, put in a piece of butter as big as a walnut, then pour in a ladleful of batter, which will make a pancake, moving the pan around that the batter be all over the pan; shake the pan, and when you think that side is enough, toss it; If you cannot, turn it cleverly; and when both sides are done lay it in a dish before the fire and so do the rest. You must take care they are dry; when you sent them to table, strew a little sugar over them.
The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy(1774)
If you notice the only leavening agent in this is eggs and lots of it. This also looks like too thin of a batter for modern tastes.
Pancakes should be made of a half a pint of milk, three great spoonfuls of sugar, one or two eggs, a tea-spoonful of dissolved pearlash, spiced with cinnamon, or cloves,a little salt, rose-water, or lemon brandy, just as you happen to have it. Flour should be stirred in till the spoon moved round with difficulty. If they are thin, they are apt to soak fat. Have the fat in your skillet boiling hot, and drop them in with a spoon. Let them cook till thoroughly brown. The fat which is left is good to shorten other cakes. The more fat they are cooked in, the less they soak.
The American Frugal Housewife (1844)
By the time of this receipt, the cook uses less eggs and is using Pearlash as a leavening agent. Pearlash is refined Potash, which is Potassium Carbonate, you know it as Baking Powder. This receipt also sounds like a drop biscuit instead of what I call a batter pancake. So looking at these two receipts and knowing that my family prefers to have maple syrup on plain tasting pancakes, I decided to leave out the rose-water, brandies, or spices and did the following.
3/4 cup milk, 3 eggs beaten in a bowl. I sifted together, 1 1/2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons of Baking Powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, and a pinch of salt. Following Mrs. Glasses recommendations I slowly added the flour to the egg mixture, making sure all was encorporated before adding more flour. Once all was encorporated. I heated a skillet with a Tablespoon of butter (about a walnut size I thought) and using a ladle I poured enough batter to make a 3″ pancake. I knew to turn the pancake when the side up has a good many bubbles, turned it and it takes not too long for the other side to cook. This batch makes about 12 pancakes.
The batter is a little thinner then I usually get with a box mix.
Result: A very eggy pancake. It was the right texture but not the flavour my family likes. I guess this will be a work in progress. I’ll update you on the changes once I do this again. I think I would like to try it with the brandy and spices…any takers?