They may be served at any time with a variety of toppings or fillings including jam, fruit, syrup, chocolate chips, or meat. In America, they are typically considered to be a breakfast food. In Britain and the Commonwealth, they are associated with Shrove Tuesday, commonly known as Pancake Day, when perishable ingredients had to be used up before the fasting period of Lent began.
Archaeological evidence suggests that pancakes are probably the earliest and most widespread cereal food eaten in prehistoric societies. The pancake's shape and structure varies worldwide. In Germany, pancakes are often made from potatoes. A crêpe is a thin Breton pancake cooked on one or both sides in a special pan or crepe maker to achieve a lacelike network of fine bubbles. A well-known variation originating in Southeast Europe is Palačinke, a thin moist pancake fried on both sides and filled with jam.
The Ancient Greeks made pancakes called τηγανίτης (tēganitēs), ταγηνίτης (tagēnitēs) or ταγηνίας (tagēnias), all words deriving from τάγηνον (tagēnon), "frying pan". The earliest attested references on tagenias are in the works of the 5th century BC poets Cratinus and Magnes. Tagenites were made with wheat flour, olive oil, honey and curdled milk, and were served for breakfast. Another kind of pancake was σταιτίτης (staititēs), from σταίτινος (staitinos), "of flour or dough of spelt", derived from σταῖς (stais), "flour of spelt". Athenaeus is his Deipnosophistae mention staititas topped with honey, sesame and cheese.
|American, Canadian and Mexican pancakes (sometimes called hotcakes, griddlecakes, or flapjacks) are pancakes that contain a raising agent such as baking powder; proportions of eggs, flour, and milk or buttermilk create a thick batter. Sugar and spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg are sometimes added. The pancakes can be made sweet or savory by adding ingredients such as blueberries, strawberries, cheese, bananas, apples or chocolate chips to the batter. |
This batter is ladled or poured onto a hot surface, and spreads to form a circle about ¼ or ⅓ inch (1 cm) thick. The raising agent causes bubbles to rise to the uncooked side, before the pancake is flipped. These pancakes, very light in texture, are usually served at breakfast topped with maple syrup, butter, jam, peanut butter, nuts, fruit and/or honey. Pancakes may be served with a bit of powdered sugar and whipped cream, or with cane syrup or molasses instead of syrup or honey. Some pancake recipes use yogurt to give the pancakes a semi-thick, relatively moist consistency.
Pancakes from Scratch
1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour (white, whole grain or 1:1 mix of white and whole grain)
1½ teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 cup (250 ml) milk (substitute buttermilk or 1:1 mix of milk and buttermilk)
1 eggs, separated
1 Tbs white sugar (Optional: this will add a sweetness to your pancakes and is recommended if you are not using any sauces, syrups or ingredient such as bananas or blueberries that will add natural sugars to the mix.
- In large bowl, mix dry ingredients together until well-blended.
- Add milk and mix well until smooth.
- Separate eggs, placing the whites in a medium bowl and the yolks in the batter. Mix well.
- Beat whites until stiff and then fold into batter gently (skip this step for heavier pancakes or if 1 cup buttermilk is substituted for milk).
- Pour ladles of the mixture into a non-stick pan, one at a time.
- Cook until the edges are dry and bubbles appear on surface. Turn; cook until golden. Yields 12 to 14 pancakes.
- Serve with butter, maple syrup, fruit, chocolate spread, melted chocolate, jam or cheese.
- Many variations of this recipe use a beaten egg. In these variations most commonly all wet ingredients are mixed together with the dry ingredients in step 2, and you then proceed to step 5.
- Use buttermilk or yogurt instead of milk, or wholegrain flours instead of white. This will change the consistency of the final product (i.e. whole grain flours generally lead to a denser heavier pancake, so try mixing white and wheat in various proportions as suggested above to get the feel you want).
- Add sliced fruit such as banana and apple, or broken crispy bacon to the batter after pouring into the skillet and before flipping.
Text Credits: Wikipedia || Wikibooks
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons