Big Gaye Pancake Day

Hi my name is Matt and I have a problem. I can’t stop reading the Gourmet cookbook. What started as an exploration of the “Brunch” section quickly escalated into reading it before I went to bed, and starting back up immediately when I got up. I’ve always been a big streak reader but this is ridiculous.

My return to Gourmet also means going back to recipes. I’ve been improvising lately but when it comes to anything involving baking powder or soda, hell flour for that matter my confidence level plummets. I think that its a sign of a truly remarkable home cook to be able to riff on batter based breakfasts.

So there I was, in the kitchen, thinking about hotcakes, a kitchen stocked with everything I need to make them, and freshly ground Stumptown Burundi making a special appearance in the french. The Obama of breakfasts, this guy had a lot of promise.

The recipe I ended up going with was Gourmet’s Whole Grain Pancake. I subbed the whole grain flour for unbleached whole wheat (can someone explain to me why there are so many different flours?) and discarded their syrup recipe in favor of something more buttertastic.

These probably were good for you at some point.

Whole Grain Pancakes with Honey Lemon Butter

For Cakes:
1.25 cups whole wheat flour
.33 cups cornmeal
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, separated
.25 cups vegetable oil/canola oil/motor oil
1.5 cups milk, the richer the better to a point

For Butter:
Half stick unsalted butter (if you only have salted, neat, but just don’t add the salt)
1 tbsp honey
juice of .33 lemons

Mix your dry ingredients in a big bowl. For those of you who are intimidated by judging moisture contents, that is the flour, sugar, salt, cornmeal and baking powder. Quick tip, have a big sieve in the bowl, throw everything into it and bang out. It mixes more uniformly and provides an opportunity to use bang out in a kitchen setting.

Wet ingredients time. Mix the yolks, oil and milk. The milk won’t want to mix, but milk has always been a bit of a emulsive curmudgeon. Treat this goop like a salad dressing and emulsify a thin stream of milk at a time, whisking like a mad(wo)man. Once it is blended, mix into the dry batter and let sit. If you just immediately used that batter, your pancakes are going to taste awful. Let the flour absorb the goop. Very important.

Did you think I forgot about the egg whites? Nope. Time to get fancy. By beating them stiff it will make the fluffiest pancakes ever. If you have an emulsion blender this is a good time to use it. You want stiff peaks, and you get them by putting as much air in the whites as possible. I did this by using the Native American start a fire stick method wherein I spin my whisk between my hands a lot. This works just fine. Now, fold the whites into that soaky batter and prepare to griddle. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and hit it with a tbsp of the oil. A lot of people like to use butter, I’m one of them, but it does make the frying process quite a bit trickier.

While the first batch is going, prepare the butter. Find some way, any way to melt the butter slowly. Thankfully, we have an all but useless teeny gravy warmer that is perfect for this, you can use a bowl and your microwave. Combine all the butter things in the bowl and heat slowly. When the butter is melted, mix it up. Simple. By now your first batch of pancakes should be up and you should put them in a big stack and douse them in butter. Don’t wait, do it now.

In honor of Marvin Gaye’s birthday I have uploaded Mr. Gaye’s now famous declaration of his love for butter, at a time when margarine was beginning to seem like the future of fat consumption. Also, one for the enviros.

Marvin Gaye – Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing, Baby
Marvin Gaye – Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

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