Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Breakfast for Supper

Although I've never observed Lent, I've had pancakes on Shrove Tuesday more often than not. I have fond memories of my father whipping up a batch of homemade pancakes (that always included his "secret" ingredient, "l'amour", love) and serving them alongside fried baloney (an Atlantic Canadian delicacy). Did we ever feel special! Breakfast for supper?! The madness!

I skipped a few pancake suppers while in university, because, let's face it, when you don't really cook, and you were spoiled with love pancakes throughout your childhood, what's the point in trying to make them yourself? However, I am proud to say that for the second year in a row, I have reintegrated this delicious tradition into my home.

I'm no expert on making pancakes; to be honest, I've made them less than a dozen times and am not yet fully comfortable with the process. Things like over-mixing the batter, and finding the right heat level and cooking time get me a little frazzled. It doesn't help that Jeff is a Pancake Connoisseur, which makes me desperately want to impress him, and only adds to the pressure. (To be fair, this panic is self-inflicted. I could serve Jeff baking soda pucks, call them pancakes, and he would still rave about them for days). As usual, when I'm unsure about a cooking method, I turn to good ol' Betty. The Betty Crocker Cookbook recipe for basic pancakes is the one that I follow, because its detailed instructions (and handy tips) guide me along, and they turn out a little better each time I make them. What a gal!

It's time for a foodie confession. I know fluffy pancakes are the ideal, but I find them too dessert-like; therefore, since I'm a savoury breakfast kind of girl, I choose the whole wheat flour option when using this recipe. Consequently, the pancakes have the denser texture that I prefer. If lighter-than-air pancakes are more your thing, use all-purpose flour and make sure your batter is perfectly lumpy (that is, stirred until just combined). To each their own!

Shrove Tuesday or not, breakfast for supper is a great idea. Over the course of the day, whenever my mind wandered to that night's dinner, as it often does, I would remember my plan for pancakes, and smile. (Sometimes only in my head. Smiling about pancakes while in a meeting isn't a very good idea). I'm suddenly inspired to consider breakfast as an option for supper more often when planning meals. If it makes me feel so happy, I think it should be done more than just once per year.

Don't wait for a tradition; make pancakes for supper whenever the mood strikes you. If you've never made them from scratch, please don't be afraid! Practice makes perfect. Just don't forget the secret ingredient, and you'll be fine.

Pancakes: The Recipe
From Betty Crocker Cookbook

Amanda's notes: As I mentioned before, I use whole-wheat flour. Since this results in a much thicker batter, I do stir in extra milk after mixing (2-3 tbsp). I substitute brown sugar for regular sugar (just because I love brown sugar) and also add a teaspoon or so of cinnamon for flavour. I grease the pan with butter, and re-grease as needed.

This is a pretty small recipe. I usually get about 5 medium-to-large pancakes out of it, which is perfect for two people, but I've doubled and even tripled the recipe for guests.

I keep pancakes warm on a plate in a 250C oven until I'm ready to serve them.

If you'd like to add fruit or chocolate chips, the best way to do this, rather than mixing them directly into the batter, is by pressing them into the pancake as soon as you pour it in the pan. This way, you get a more even distribution of the good stuff.

It would be a sin to serve these with anything other than pure maple syrup.

Prep: 5 min Cook: 10 min Yield: Nine 4-inch pancakes

1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1.Beat egg in medium bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth. For thinner pancakes, stir in additional 1 to 2 tablespoons milk.

2. Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat or to 375 degrees. (To test griddle, sprinkle with a few drops of water. If bubbles jump around, heat is just right.) Grease griddle with vegetable oil if necessary

3.For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter from cup or pitcher onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes until bubbly on top, puffed and dry around edges. Turn and cook other side until golden brown.


  1. I've never made pancakes myself!

  2. You should try, next time you want to have a special breakfast (or dinner) at home! :)

  3. Pancakes for dinner? What a great idea!! I really like whole wheat pancakes. They're definitely more tasty and not as "cake-like".

  4. Weird.. I was just thinking about making pancakes for dinner last night.. but didn't get around to it.. I'm thinking about trying ricotta pancakes!

  5. Hey, Kevin. So glad you agree! I love them.

    I would love to try ricotta pancakes, Evil Monkey. I hear about them all the time! I bet they have an amazing texture. Thanks for the inspiration!