My children just love pancakes for breakfast. Sometimes I make Scotch pancakes but usually I make these more robust American style pancakes.
If making pancakes for breakfast seems like a lot of work then let me tell you that it isn't. Really. But you have to make it easy for yourself or you won't do it. Here's how I make
it easy to bake.
1) Have a baking corner
If at all possible dedicate an area of your kitchen to baking. Collect together all your bakeware, mixing bowls and baking ingredients in one place. Store the things you use most often within easy reach.
This is my baking corner. The wall cupboard contains all my ingredients. The cupboards under the counter contain all my bowls, tins, trays and small baking tools. The containers on the bread bin have my measuring spoons and other things I use frequently within easy reach. The scales and food processor are ready to use. I don't use the fp much for baking but I use it for chopping large amounts of veg for the freezer and if it wasn't on the counter I'd never bother getting it out. As you can see this area of my kitchen is used for bread and butter too. Our toaster was taking up too much of my precious workspace so it has been banished to the utility room where it lives on a tray to be brought in whenever toast is needed. The notice board has scrawled recipes for things I make a lot pinned to it.
2) Have the tools for the job. You are much more likely to bash out a batch of cauldron cakes or pumpkin pasties if you have the correct tins. I don't, as it happens, have either a cauldron cake mould nor a pumpkin pasty press, however I have muffin tins, bun tins, loaf tins, cake tins round and cake tins square and even a multi-sized job which you can see in rare use in the pic above.
My loaf tins are my most frequently used things so they are kept in front of my bun tins. Cooling racks and traybake tins are also easy to get to, as are my American measuring cups, big mixing bowl, measuring jugs and electric beater.
3) Have the necessary ingredients. This is key obviously, never be without the essentials, For me they would be; flour- bread, plain and self-raising, baking powder, yeast, sugar, butter (and I mean butter and I like it salted thanks Nigella), eggs, oats, golden syrup and cocoa. I always have a back up packet of these items in another cupboard. I like to store my dry goods in large plastic tubs. It's easy to scoop ingredients from them and they're easy to pull off the shelves. I use smaller containers for yeast and baking powder. This makes measuring spoonfuls much easier than dipping a spoon into a packet or narrow tub.
I keep the spices I use regularly in baking together here. As always, if you click on the photos they will open in a bigger window for an even closer look at my fascinating kitchen cupboards :o)
So, that's how I organise myself for spur of the moment baking, and now here as promised is my pancake recipe which I realise isn't actually baked, but anything that involves faffing about with flour is baking in my book ;o) These are American style pancakes which we eat with golden syrup and butter. Maple syrup is lovely too, but at nearly £5 a bottle it's not really an option for us, you can buy a bottle of wine for that for goodness sake!
I like my cup measures, they're so easy to use for measuring dry baking ingredients but I know lots of people don't like them so I weighed out the flour for you. This makes 15-20 4inch pancakes. I always double the recipe and make enough for the following day so that I can have a day off breakfast making, I got 37 this morning :o)
First heat up a large frying pan or an old-fashioned griddle if you have one. I set the heat at medium and then when I'm ready to cook the pancakes I turn it down to medium-low.
Put in a bowl or wide jug
1 cup/6oz/170g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarb
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons of melted butter (or oil but butter's better-just melt a chunk in the microwave)
½ cup/4 fl oz/120ml yogurt
½ cup/4 fl oz/120ml milk (you can replace the yogurt with milk the pancakes will be thinner but still good)
That's yogurt you can see at the bottom of the picture, yes, I make it myself , I know, sickening isn't it? I can't help myself it's cheap, healthy and so satisfying. This picture shows a double quantitiy being made.
Mix well, I use a stick blender. Pour or ladle spoonfuls of batter onto your pan. In less than a minute bubbles will appear on the surface of the pancake.
Sorry, really bad pic.
When this happens flip them over with a fish slice or similar flat implement. Cook for about half a minute then transfer to a teacloth, wrap them in the cloth to keep warm while you make more.
It's a production line arrangement, you will find that any teenage boys in the vicinity will take them from the cloth and eat them faster than you can make them. Nearly 10 year old girls are quite as bad.
Talking of nearly 10 year old girls. My nearly 10 year old girl will actually be 10 tomorrow. This will be the ninth opportunity for me to remark that the flowering cherry in our front garden has never bloomed so early as it did in 2000 when it was in full bloom the day I brought my baby girl home from hospital.
Preparations are being made. There are presents to be wrapped and a cake to be baked. Hopefully the celebrations will yield a more colourful post from the Quince Tree tomorrow.