For me, the traditional pancake breakfast goes up there next to baseball and 4th of July on the list of Americana. I have fond memories of pancake breakfasts and B4D (breakfast for dinner) from my childhood, but never realized how much I loved it until I lived in Granada, Spain, for six months.
Let me tell you a little bit about Spanish breakfast (or lack thereof).
The Spanish Breakfast
There are no pancakes, there are no eggs, and there is certainly no bacon. The closest you’re going to get to American breakfast in Spain is a piece of toast with some jam. As a whole, the Spaniards do not believe in anything substantial for breakfast, just a cup of coffee and a pastry, or some toast. They put themselves through borderline starvation until the comida, where they chow down and if they’re lucky, take a little snoozer in front of the TV before heading back to work.
After six long months of no American breakfast, I had one main objective for the first 12 hours I was back in the states: make a complete pancake breakfast. It didn’t go so hot the first time around. My boyfriend and I were a hot, inexperienced mess in the kitchen, trying to figure out how to time all the components so they all were hot and fresh when it was time to eat. Over and hour later, we had a full, albeit sub-par, pancake breakfast feast in front of us.
Since then, I’ve perfected the preparation of the pancake breakfast, right down to the timing of preparation, and the perfect pancake recipe. I’d like to impart my knowledge by pointing out 3 pancake breakfast n00b mistakes and fixing them.
N00b Mistake #1: Using Bisquick.
Come on, people. If you have the most basic of baking ingredients in your kitchen, there is no need to use Bisquick. As you can see from the label, it has unnecessary ingredients like partially hydrogenated oils to keep it shelf stable. I spend more time trying to get the consistency of Bisquick right than it takes me to just put together the scratch ingredients into a delicious, much more satisfying homemade mix. Overall, you are going to save yourself time, money, and flavor (and maybe some health) if you just make your pancakes yourself. Here’s my tried-and-true, no-fail pancake recipe:
Good Old-Fashioned Pancakes
Makes about 12 4-inch pancakes
1-½ c. flour
3-½ t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1- ¼ c. milk
1 egg, beaten
3 T butter, melted
1 t. vanilla
I added sliced strawberries to my pancake mix.
1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
2. Pour the milk, egg, butter, and vanilla into the flour mixture. Mix until combined, but no over-mixed. The batter will be slightly lumpy. If you’d like to add fruit or chips to your pancakes, do it now.
3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop batter onto griddle, using approximately ¼ c. of batter per pancake (I use a ¼ measuring cup). Brown on both sides and serve hot. Be sure to oil the griddle for each new round of pancakes.
N00b Mistake #2: Serving up hot breakfast items cold.
In a rush? Don't be. Two or three pancakes at a time is all you're going to fit in that pan.
It took me a while to figure it out, but now I’ve perfected the timing of when I prep all my components for breakfast. I will say that it is easier to do if you’re not flying solo in the kitchen. Even having someone in charge of setting the table helps.
Sorry, vegetarians, but bacon hitting a hot pan is a divinely inspired sound.
If you’re serving bacon or sausage, you’re going to want prep that first. Cook your bacon or sausage on the stove, and when they are done, put them on an oven-safe plate, separating the layers of meat with paper towel to soak up excess grease. Pop them in the oven on the warmer setting, or about 200° until it’s time to serve. Next, cook your pancakes or waffles. When each round of pancakes or waffles gets done, pop them into the oven to stay warm on another oven-safe plate, separating the layers with paper towel. Very last, cook your eggs up (I cook mine with a little bit of leftover bacon grease), and send them straight out to serve. Grab the components from the stove (with an oven mitt, of course), and get to enjoying your delicious meal.
N00b Mistake #3: Throwing out leftover pancakes.
My first pancakes stay nice and toasty in the oven while I whip up the remaining batter.
Terrible idea! Especially when you’re using my recipe above J. If you have leftover pancakes or waffles, lay them out in one layer on a cookie sheet and let them freeze up in the freezer. This will keep them from getting soggy or sticking together in the freezing process. When they are hard, you can stack them in a plastic freezer bag or even a leftover plastic English muffin bag if you have one. When you’re ready for breakfast bliss on the fly, take out a few pancakes and defrost them in the toaster. They should be nice and crispy and just as delicious as the first time around.
Part of this complete breakfast!
Hope this has helped make your dreams of a perfect pancake breakfast a reality. Did my tips help? I’d love to hear your own tricks and see some pictures of your perfect breakfast.