Except for the under 7 crowd, most people I know pass on pancakes for breakfast. I can hardly blame them. Who wants to start the day with some thick, get stuck in your throat, gummy pancakes drowned in sickeningly-sweet gooey syrup? Or worse yet, topped with aerosol whipped "topping" and some goopy berries. Think Denny's $2.99 Grand Slam Breakfast from your college years.
Well. My mom was very good to us in certain ways. Several days a week there were homemade cookies waiting for us after school (but all we wanted were Chips Ahoy...go figure!). She baked bread for us, her pie crust is among the flakiest best you will ever taste. What can I say? Her people are from Sweden, and they are known for their baking skills. She also happened to regularly make us pancakes for breakfast.
If you have not had homemade pancakes, I'm sure your mom was good to you in other ways, so don't be too bummed. But you really owe it to yourself to try them and taste the difference. You know how a home-grown tomato picked ripe from the vine tastes like a different thing altogether from a supermarket one in the middle of winter? That's the difference I'm talking about. These are thinner, lighter, and there are so many variations that can add flavor or texture.
Take for instance these pancakes C-Man and I made this morning. They have whole wheat flour and cornmeal in them, so there is that appealing slight crunch and nutty flavor. They also have beaten eggs whites which lighten the batter and make them almost melt in your mouth. And they aren't sweet at all! Which means you are free to drizzle some lovely real maple syrup over them. After you slather them with butter, of course! (I realize they aren't very exciting to look at, but I couldn't put up another blog post without a photo!)
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. cornmeal
1 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. whole milk (plus more if needed)
Whisk dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, oil and milk, and add to dry ingredients, whisking until smooth. Let batter stand 5 minuted to allow flour to absorb liquid (batter will be thick). If batter is too thick to fall easily from a spoon, stir in 1-2 T. more milk.
Beat egg whites just until stiff peaks form. With a whisk, gently but thoroughly fold into batter. You want to keep as much air in the egg whites as possible, so it's important to be gentle. This is what is going to make them melt in your mouth, so don't hate me for this strict instruction.
Brush griddle with vegetable oil (or if you are like I am, use some leftover bacon grease) and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Reduce heat to moderate. Cook pancakes in batches (about 2 T. of batter for each pancake), until bubbles appear on surface, edges are set and undersides are golden (about 45 seconds to 1 minute). Flip pancakes and cook about 45 more seconds or until other sides are golden.
It's very important to serve these piping hot with lots of butter and real maple syrup (you can add a squeeze of lemon to the syrup if you'd like). Also, be sure to buy the "GRADE B" syrup -- it doesn't mean it's inferior to grade A, it means it's darker, richer and plain better.