Today's pancake is a relative of a Roman pancake recipe that was made of milk, eggs, and flour with spices added. It was more of a flat bread but was called "RoeAlita Dolcia" and was served with fruits. Another version was stuffed with cheese and meat and served for lunch or dinner. Europeans made pancakes in the medieval times that more resemble the ones we have today. The first published recipe was in a 1430 English cookery book.
Breakfast is the best time to serve pancakes. Pancakes are the star of the show on Shrove Tuesday. This is the day right before Lent starts when one is allowed to eat those things thought of being a luxury, as pancakes are. The next day starts lent when one should sacrifice and often people give up sweet things during the period of lent to Easter.
The German people have a pancake recipe that incorporates potatoes in as do the Jews who make latke from potatoes. Crepes are a type of pancake but are very thin and are usually topped with fruits and rolled over in half. In Indonesia they make dadar gutung, from India comes the poori, and in China families enjoy bao bing. Panekoeken, pancakes made from buckwheat, are made by the Dutch. Recipes for pancakes that puff up very high and are enhanced by fruit and sprinkled with powdered sugar, are plentiful and delicious.
Where ever they come from, pancakes are a staple of the American Diet. An Old fashion pancake recipe is the best there is. It is simple yet fluffy and light and smothered in syrup it makes a great breakfast or lunch. These pancakes are even good at dinner time with a little sausage. To make them you sift together in a large bowl one and one half cups flour, three and one half teaspoons baking powder, one half teaspoon salt, and one tablespoon white sugar. Make sure it is mixed well and then make a well in the center by pushing the ingredients to the side of the bowl leaving a crater in the middle. Pour one and one fourth cup of milk into the crater and crack one egg into it as well. Melt three tablespoons of butter in a measuring cup and pour it in the crater. With a fork start to beat the liquid ingredients incorporating a little of the dry as you go. Go around the crater and keep incorporating all the dry ingredients into the egg and milk mixture until it is all incorporated.
Place a frying pan or griddle on the stove and get it hot. Pour about one tablespoon of oil onto it. Using a ladle fill it with batter and pour it on the griddle or pan. Bubbles will start to form all round the edges of the pancake and when they do appear turn the pancake over. Once the bubbles come back all around the edges you can remove the pancake to a plate and put some butter on it. Make sure to have syrup nearby to pour over the pancake.
There are several variations to this recipe to make them different. Make buttermilk pancakes by using buttermilk instead of milk in the same amount. You can also use orange juice instead of milk and make orange zest with the rind and throw it in to make orange flavored pancakes. One teaspoon of almond extract added to the recipe will make a delicious almond flavored pancake. Add three fourths cup of blueberries that are whole and washed and you will have some wonderful blueberry pancakes. Strawberry pancakes can be made by slicing three fourths of a cup of strawberries and adding them to the batter. One more variation is to add a cup of chocolate chips. Instead of syrup just put whipped cream on top.
If you love chocolate you might want to try chocolate pancakes. You can't beat them for flavor and uniqueness. Chocolate pancakes should be a dessert instead of a main dish. Combine 2 cups flour with 3 teaspoons of baking powder and one fourth of a teaspoon of salt. Add three fourths of a cup of granulated sugar and combine well. Pour in a cup of milk and 4 teaspoons butter that has been melted. Mix to combine and add two whole eggs and mix. The last ingredient is 6 teaspoons of cocoa. Mix it all well.
Using a ladle put batter on hot skillet with a little vegetable oil. When bubbles form around the edges flip it over and remove when the bubbles start to appear again. Spread with a little butter and place several dollops of whipped cream over top to eat. You can also sprinkle some chocolate chips on top and let them melt a little.
Pancakes are a favorite especial for children. Your family will be excited and actually eat breakfast when you serve pancakes. Use the two recipes above and make them different every time you serve them, even at dessert.