Since I started making pancakes from scratch, I have lots of fun incorporating extra ingredients. From bran, to oatmeal, to apples and bananas I find my pancakes turn out so much better, more tender and tasty. And of course, I get to control the ingredients which is something I like to do.
Today, I added a slightly new ingredient. Porridge. Our nephew spent a night with us last week and I made him porridge for breakfast. He only ate half of what I prepared so I put the rest in the fridge until this morning when the half-a-bowl became part of the batter. I also added in bran. The result was the ultimate tender pancake. Now I wouldn't go to the trouble of making porridge to add to my pancake batter; however, when Patrick makes it for himself, now I will be inclined to sneak a half-a-cup for pancakes the next morning!
The recipe I use is a variation from one I stumbled on a few years ago at recipes.com, called Good Old Fashioned Pancakes. I was still living in Vancouver and a few friends and I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather, a friend's sun deck, breakfasts together that would be more quaint and less expensive, plus, no wait time at the local greasy spoon. The result was a new found love for pancakes, so here's the recipe to get you inspired and the extras I like to add in....
1 1/2 cup flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar *can substitute with your favorite fruit
1 1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
I mix all the dry ingredients together in a large measuring cup (makes it easy to pour the batter into the pan), followed by the egg, melted butter and the milk. If the batter is a bit thick I add water to the preferred consistency.
Now here's when it starts to become my recipe.
I put my favorite pancake pan on the cooktop and turn it to medium high. I add the butter, usually a handy knob to the pan and let it melt before pouring it into the batter. I use a piece of paper towel to wipe the butter around the pan which is usually good enough to cook through all the batter. I also place two plates in a moderate oven and use them to keep the pancakes warm until they're ready to serve. Or Patrick's method, which is pretty genius, is to place a plate over a saucepan of boiling water, keeping it just at a boil. As the pancakes are done, lay them on the plate (this is perfect for any food that you want to keep warm).
The ingredients are the next part that make the pancake recipe my own. And these include, but are not limited to the following:
1 banana mashed
1 apple pureed
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/4 or less bran
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup porridge
1 teaspoon cinnamon or other spice
1 teaspoon flavoring, like vanilla, almond or hazelnut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Any of the above ingredients can be mixed in, to your taste. An I find when I make the pancakes with the extra bits they're a nice treat to carry with you when you're on the go. Pretty healthy and hardy too, especially with a fruit, bran, oat mixture.
I suppose the final touch is topping the pancakes with homemade jam. So far, I've used blackberry and an apple cranberry, both were delicious and heck use the syrup and butter too while you're at. It's the best way to start any day!