Wake up with pancake batter ready

Document Sample
Wake up with pancake batter ready Powered By Docstoc
					The Washington Times
Wake up with pancake batter ready

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES
By Jenn Garbee
April 9, 2008




The pancake station at the St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach in California offers a tempting array of toppings.




The sound of sizzling butter, the telltale tiny bubbles dotting the batter's surface, a warm plate
at the ready soon to be filled with a piping hot stack of pancakes. These are the makings of
my ideal leisurely weekend breakfast.

In reality, the only thing piled high on my kitchen table most Saturday mornings is slightly
burnt toast smeared with last week's bread-crumb-crusted butter. When faced with the choice
between waking up early to whip up pancake batter or hitting the snooze button for a coveted
extra hour of sleep, I'll begrudgingly settle for cold toast.

Recently, however, a friend told me she made a pancake batter that can sit in the fridge
overnight. The flavor also improves after a few days, she boasted, so the pancakes are even
better on Sunday morning. Back-to-back mornings of fork-tender pancakes ready before the
coffee finishes percolating? It's too good to be true, I quipped, all the while taking mental
notes as she rattled off the recipe.

In my mind, the idea of overnight pancake batter had one insurmountable problem. The key
to making a tender pancake is mixing the wet and dry ingredients just prior to cooking. Let
the batter sit on the counter for too long, and you'll end up with dense, heavy pancakes best
suited for an afternoon of fetch with Fifi.

The secret, said my friend, is adding yeast to the batter. It's the same concept as allowing
baguette dough to rest overnight in the fridge so it can rise more slowly. By morning, you've
got a premade pancake mix with extra lift from the yeast and a pleasant tang. Not to mention
that a batter made on Friday night will last throughout the weekend — even until Monday,
should you suddenly feel an urgent need to call in sick and taste your way through Grades
AA, A and B of maple syrup. (Don't mistake B for the underdog — it's complex with dark
caramel notes.)

This whole overnight batter idea necessitated immediate action. I bought pounds of sweet-
cream butter and maple syrup by the jug to prepare for what would surely be countless
weekends spent in front of the hot griddle perfecting the recipe, but the recipe didn't need a
bit of tweaking.

The batter took minutes to prepare (the night prior, no less). The pancakes were delicious, a
cross between a fluffy modern day pancake and a more rustic classic griddlecake. I called my
friend between syrup-soaked bites to extol the virtues of her recipe (and atone for doubting
her prowess behind the griddle).

Now that I didn't need to get up early to make great pancakes, I found myself using the extra
time to experiment with classic mix-ins like toasted nuts and fresh berries. Add mix-ins just
before cooking, not the previous night, to prevent them from becoming soggy or watering
down the batter.

Once I got the hang of it, I began to think of the batter as an anything-goes blank canvas to be
splattered with my favorite fruits and nuts — even chocolate candies (it's the weekend, after
all) — a la Jackson Pollock.

That's exactly how Frederic Castan, executive chef of the St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach
south of Los Angeles, approaches his pancake station every weekend. It's a towering double-
wide buffet table stacked with glass bowls six deep (at varying heights, all the better to see
the peanut butter cups amid the prunes).

The usual suspects, including dozens of toasted nuts and fresh and dried fruits, are here.
However, you'll also find a treasure trove of exotic fruits such as gooseberries and golden
kiwi, homemade sauces and jams, and a dizzying array of chopped candy bars and treats,
including chocolate chip cookie dough and crumbled brownies.

The spirited can add a shot of liquor to the batter, such as tequila, with a fresh honeycomb
chaser. Add a pinch of lime zest and Grand Marnier syrup, and you've got an edible breakfast
margarita. For dessert, there's lemon chiffon cake, pumpkin pie and s'mores, all in flapjack
form.

Somehow I doubt that Mr. Castan and his staff are hitting the snooze button on the weekends.
All-weekend buttermilk pancakes

1 teaspoon (about ½ package) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons lukewarm water
2 cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons tablespoon honey
Butter, as needed

Dissolve the yeast in the water. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking
soda and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, oil and honey. Add the yeast
and buttermilk mixtures into the flour mixture and whisk to combine (the batter will not be
completely smooth). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To cook pancakes, heat a griddle or nonstick skilled over medium heat. Lightly butter the
griddle and let melt. Stir the batter and pour 1/3 cup into the skillet, lightly spreading out the
batter into a circle, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 minutes.

Flip and cook until the bottom is lightly golden and pancakes are springy to the touch. Keep
warm in a low oven and repeat with remaining batter, buttering the griddle each time. Makes
10 to 12 large (6-inch) pancakes.

Note: Pancake batter will keep for 3 days, refrigerated. Little black dots may form on the
batter's surface on days 2 and 3 — they're a harmless result of oxygenation. Just stir to
combine. Add mix-ins such as nuts, fresh or dried fruit, or chocolate chips to the batter just
before cooking.

Overnight s'mores pancakes

This recipe is adapted from chef Frederic Castan.

1 teaspoon (about 1/2 package) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons lukewarm water
2½ cups well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons butter; melted
½ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup chocolate syrup, warmed

Dissolve the yeast in the water. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add the yeast and
buttermilk mixtures into the flour mixture and whisk to combine. Add the melted butter and
graham cracker crumbs and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To cook the pancakes, heat a griddle or nonstick skilled over medium heat. Lightly butter the
griddle and let melt. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet, lightly spreading the batter into a
circle, and sprinkle with a few marshmallows and chocolate chips and cook until bubbles
appear on the surface, about 2 minutes.

Flip and cook until the bottom is lightly golden and pancakes are springy to the touch.

Keep warm in a low oven and repeat with remaining batter, buttering the griddle each time.
To serve, top each serving of pancakes with a few marshmallows and chocolate chips and
drizzle with chocolate syrup. Makes 8 to 10 large (6-inch) pancakes.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:10
posted:4/26/2010
language:English
pages:4