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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fluffy American pancakes (basic recipe)

Today is Shrove Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, or in more laymen terms, International Pancake Day. Before Ash Wednesday, or entering into the lent period before Easter, people traditionally eat a lot of fatty and rich foods to get their fill before fasting. :) In old and almost forgotten Romanian tradition, the day is called "Lăsata Secului", which roughly means the Descending of the dry-out, sort-of like nightfall descending but instead of night you have "sec", aka dry-out, barrenness. Brace yourselves for lent, in other words :). Also, in many parts of the world, it's traditional to eat pancakes specifically, not just rich foods (the Romanian version of the holiday also features pancakes as central). 
So I thought this just might be a good opportunity to share with you my ground recipe for American pancakes. The quick guide to the fluffiest American pancakes possible. :)
An American pancake is somewhat opposed to the larger and much thinner French-style crepes (European pancakes) and their charm lies precisely in their fluffiness. :)
There is much room to improvise starting from these. I can think of various things to put inside the batter and various things to top them with. I'll leave it up to everyone to find their favorite fillings/toppings. Meanwhile, if you were wondering how to fluff up your pancakes and mornings, here's a good start.
P.S: After making a batch of unfilled, basic pancakes, just like the ones above, I usually simply serve them with some berry jam and a little cream. ;)
Recipe source: here.

Last year: Mexican hot chocolate.
Two years ago: Three cheese pasta with bell peppers and cranberries.
Three years ago: Blue skies cocktail (Blue curacao milk), Fastest home-made crackers (Romanian sărățele) and Oeufs Cocotte (French baked eggs).

Ingredients (serves 3-4 people):
  • 135 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 130 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus some extra for cooking

Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, milk and butter until even. Pour over the flour and mix well with a fork until you have an even batter. Let the batter rest for 2-3 minutes.
Heat some butter in a frying pan and add large spoonfuls of batter in it. Fry them until bubbles appear on the surface, then flip them over. You will have to fry them for 1-2 minutes per side. If you fry them more than that you'll lose some of the fluffiness, and we wouldn't want that now, would we? :)
Keep frying them until all the batter is gone. Stack them high and serve warm, with your favorite topping.

They're done, dig in! :)

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