hi friends. i realize it’s not saturday just yet. but you are likely wishing, hoping, wanting it to be saturday and soon enough it will be and you’ll be enjoying a holiday weekend, celebrating the fourth of july. whether you’re spending the holiday with a dozen drunk friends, at home with your family, or maybe on this rare occasion, by yourself, making pancakes this saturday morning is a good idea.
pancakes have always been one of my favorite things to eat. growing up, they were a saturday ritual in my house. unlike my family’s sunday breakfast routine of fried eggs, bacon, and bagels, which my dad still cooks up weekly, saturday pancakes were made by my mom. i have memories of her whipping up pancakes on the lake in north dakota where she grew up, in chincoteague, maryland before watching the pony parade, and in our house on lazy saturday mornings where i would wake up smelling the maple syrup, hot out of the microwave. my mom’s pancake batter varied from truly homemade to a quick bisquick assembly, always bubbling with her signature blueberries.
it isn’t surprising that i developed a pancake routine of my own. when living in new york, pancakes grew back into saturday ritual status, a time when i could invite friends over for breakfast or enjoy a homemade (and cheap!) meal as fuel for the day. the photo collage up top is just a sampling of pancakes i ate while living in new york, both homemade and diner-bought.
throughout the last few years, i’ve tested different pancake recipes and experimented with add-ins. the pancake recipe below is one of those always reliable recipes, time after time producing delicious, basic pancakes. a trick to give your pancakes some fluff? whisk the egg white before you add it to the rest of the pancake batter, a trick i learned from at food52. and don’t hesitate to play around with fun toppings and fillings. lemon zest! jam! nuts! honey! coconut! add some maple syrup and a fat slice of butter — you’re set.
when breakfast duty inevitably comes up this saturday, step up to the plate and keep this recipe in your back pocket. oh, and here are some other things to do with your holiday weekend!
if you find yourself in nyc this weekend or any other, make sure to check out lorimer market for a+ sandwiches
my friend sam just recommended this. next on my reading list!!!
check out this account. she makes bread = art
makes 12 four-inch pancakes (adapted from martha stewart’s easy pancakes)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (i like to use buttermilk)
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted (+more for cooking)
1 large egg, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 pint blueberries, or other fillings (optional)
nothing! (assuming you have a bowl, spatula, and skillet. i hope you do, call me if you don’t.)
- overachiever step 1 that actually pays off but is by no means necessary. i rarely do it: preheat oven to 200 degrees. place a baking sheet in the oven as it heats up and transfer pancakes to that sheet as you finish cooking to keep them nice and warm.
- mix all your ingredients together, with the exception of the egg white (and blueberries if you’re using them). whisk your egg white for 30 seconds and then add to the rest of the batter. remember, do not overmix. lumps are a-ok.
- place your skillet on the stovetop and heat to medium-high. upon heating, add a (fat) slice of butter to the skillet. wiggle your skillet around so that the butter covers the entire bottom surface, coating the pan. once the butter melts off, add two big spoonfuls of pancake batter. add more or less depending on how big you want your pancakes to be. try your best to dollop cleanly, so that you get those pretty symmetrical circles for your pancakes. if you’re making blueberry pancakes, add a handful of blueberries to the spoonful of batter you’ve just placed on the pan.
- cook pancakes for 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on your stovetop’s heat and how big you make them. once cooked through (you’ll see both sides browning), transfer pancake to your heated baking sheet in the oven. they’ll keep cozy there.
- repeat steps 3-4 until you get through all your batter. a little bit left over? make a baby pancake like you can see in the top right of the first photo. it’s a good topper for any pancake stack.
- keep pancakes in the oven while you prepare your toppings: heat up maple syrup, pull out the powdered sugar from the pantry, or cut fresh fruit. once ready, pull the baking sheet out and enjoy your saturday pancakes!
photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs