Today, I’m going to tell you about two things I love so much. Breakfast for dinner, and my husband Matthew’s perfectly thin, slightly crisp, pancake. The best pancakes in the world.
At home, we serve our pancakes with my mom’s homemade raspberry jam, which is made from raspberries she grows herself. It’s sugary and delicious and tart, and I roll it up in my pancake and eat it like a little cake. I don’t even need a fork. It’s the greatest meal ever.
When our kid was young, Matthew would make pancakes into all kinds of crazy shapes. He even once, accidentally, turned a pancake into a political statement for me.
And today, dear reader, he’s giving us his recipe.
Pancake Takeover by Matthew Welch
I like to get up early on Saturdays, play music in the kitchen and cook. I realized, when we had a kid, that breakfast is a great activity, but also a necessity, so ease-of-use was my main priority with this recipe.
I grew up going to my Great Grandma Hester’s trailer home on Saturdays and I remember the long thin kitchen, and her round shape, in an apron, cooking over the griddle. Whenever we went to visit, she’d make all the kids buttermilk pancakes, so I wanted to start my own tradition for my kid.
Her buttermilk pancakes were thick and fluffy, maybe even dense, and I’m sure they were made from Bisquick. I remember the yellow box. I started with recipes I found, probably Martha Stewart or something like that. Over time I have modified it into an easy-to-use recipe, that I could remember without going back to a cookbook or computer.
When Karla and I first started dating, we used to go get crêpes on a corner in Vancouver. She loved how thin they were and I thought that was a good variation on the pancake, and I tried modifying my recipe.
Over the last 15 years, I’ve observed and eaten pancakes at many places, grandparents, in-laws, even restaurants in different countries. One of the places I was able to witness the pancake process was at Musso and Frank’s, sitting at the counter on a Sunday with my two closest friends, Paul and Noah. I silently watched Domingo the counter chef put down the batter. It was thinner, almost crêpe- like, and the griddle was smoking hot… I logged this in my brain.
This is when the recipe really started becoming my own. I’m still on an evolving journey of the pancake, but here’s my current version and some options to make it your own too…
Matthew’s Thin Pancakes:
Place one cup of flour into a bowl
Organize your measuring spoons from largest to smallest
3. Now add:
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt – I love to use Fleur De Sel for the salty crunch
4. Whisk this all in a bowl
5. Add one egg (or egg substitute)
6. Add one cup of 1% milk (or Oatly regular oat milk)
7. Add one cup of water (if you want to try a thicker variation, you can leave this out)
8. My secret ingredient goes in last…real vanilla.
If you need a measurement to start, go with a teaspoon. But give it some je ne sais quoi, and pour from the bottle, it’s boring to be rigid!
9. I heat our seasoned griddle to high - it runs across two burners on our stove so you get a nice flat surface that will make 2 to 4 pancakes at a time. You can also use a pan.
10. Once this is completely hot, I turn both burners down to 3/4 and I butter my griddle - if I’m going vegetarian, I use olive oil.
11. Ladle the batter on, in similar sized circles to start - if you want extra thin, use the ladle bottom to spread the batter out before the pancakes start to set.
That said, being a pancake artist is part of the fun, so let yourself explore other options beyond basic circles. The nice thing about a thin batter, is it’s easy to draw shapes with. I’ve made everything from hearts and dragons, X-wing fighters and Pokémon, skulls and dog-bones shapes, for our 4-legged friends.
Also, I don’t stop at shapes, so feel free to throw in walnuts, chocolate chips, blueberries or whatever else you might want once you put down the batter. These additions will show up once you do the final flip… so if you wanna make any decorative decisions, this is it.
Lastly, some topping ideas… we top with real Canadian maple syrup, or Karla’s mom’s raspberry jam… I even love “pigs in a blanket” with MorningStar vegetarian sausages. Walnuts and bananas are great too.
The last and most important ingredient, is the love of the cook, knowing who you are cooking for… and how they like their pancake. The way Karla likes her pancakes, is thin, plain, nothing in them, and cooked well on both sides with jam. Sometimes I will give hers a second flip to re-cook the first side, as a lot of the steam comes through and softens them. So that’s my hot tip if you want a crispy, or more well-done pancake.
Hope everybody has a great weekend at the griddle making some love and make them your own!