Thursday, 7 April 2016

Pancakes - 2. Got it right :)

Last time I wrote about pancakes, I was complaining abut how I couldn't find kefir here. Since then I discovered the food court of El Corte Ingl├ęs. I don't know why I didn't check it out earlier, I guess I have a blind spot for basement departments.

Point is, they do have kefir. They have a good range of products from the Pastoret company and kefir is one of them.

 So, here is another recipe and another set of pictures. As you can (hopefully) see, they are thick, fluffy, uniform in texture and have a very mild flavor, so can be used with both sweet and savory toppings. (Our older son prefers sweet, and the younger one savory). 
Because of the way they rise and then keep their volume, the amount I end up making is always high, but they go really fast, there is so much air in them.

I modified this recipe (in Russian) a bit, proportion and amount-wise. (You won't believe the amount you'll get if you follow the original).

Kefir, 0.25 l. Pastoret's kefir is a lot milder than I remember, so I add juice from a slice of lemon to it. Let's say a half-teaspoon to one teaspoon lemon juice.

1 egg (small one, if you have a choice).

Sugar - 1 teaspoon.

Salt - 1/4 teaspoon, a good pinch effectively.

Flour (all purpose) - 1 cup, and  possibly a bit more if the batter looks too liquid.

Baking soda - half a teaspoon.

Beat kefir, lemon juice and egg together, use electric mixer if available.
Add salt and sugar, beat some more.
Add flour and soda, mix with a spoon and beat briefly, till everything is uniform with no lumps. The batter should be just pour-able, like thick, non-set (or stirred) yogurt.

Important: cover the mixture and let it sit for about half an hour. I am not sure what happens exactly, but this step does make a difference, the pancakes don't collapse and stay fluffy.

Heat a large frying pan, medium to high heat, you have to experiment with your cooker. I use a non-stock pan. If I don't use any oil, the pancakes cook just fine, but I don't like the color and texture of their surface, so I use a variation of what my gran used to do - use just a film of oil. To do this, pour a spoonful of refined oil into a saucer, bunch up a couple of paper towels, soak them in the saucer, and wipe your frying pan with these oily towels between each batch of pancakes.

Without stirring the batter, take tablespoonfuls of it from the edge of the bowl and pour gently onto the pan. The idea is to disturb the batter as little as possible after its rest. I didn't experiment with the speed of pouring though, so it might be a ritualistic approach.

If the heat is right, pancakes rise and bubbles appear pretty fast.

Once pancakes rise and the upper surface is bubbly and starts loosing its shine, flip them on the other side. Remember that the other side always takes less time.

The way they rise is a joy to behold :)

Check the other side pretty fast. My pan holds about six pancakes at a time, and by the time I finish flipping the last one, the first one might look ready to eat.

Enjoy :)

Note: I believe kefir can be replaced by non-sweetened natural yogurt, not the thick type though. Something like greek yogurt will have to be diluted with milk. I will try to make an experimental batch, and report the results here. Watch this space.

UPD : was just reminded that I never added this update. YES, the pancakes can be made with natural (unsweetened) yogurt. Pour-able yogurt is fine; greek yogurt needs to be diluted with milk 1:1 and then a teaspoon of lemon juice added to make it sourer

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