I woke up grumpy as hell today. I was ravenous and someone in the household had eaten the last two buchis that I had reserved for myself the night before. I just hate it when my stomach is all geared up to eat something and it’s missing from the fridge.
With my stomach growling ”“ a reminder that it needed to be fed ”“ I perused the contents of the fridge, but nothing appealed to me. With me getting more irate by the minute, soon even I would give Grumpy the dwarf serious competition.
Might I be in the mood for French toast, perhaps? I didn’t want to make a coffeecake, and I just didn’t have the energy to get out of my pajamas and go out for some Danish pastries. I’m also not the type to have rice for breakfast, since I grew up on sugary cereals like Trix, Cap’n Crunch, and Frosted Flakes. Now, all the cereals I ever buy for myself are disgustingly fiber-dense things like Grape Nuts and bran flakes. Eck.
So I made pancakes. When I was a kid, my mom used to make plate-sized pancakes for my two sisters and me. There was always a side of bacon to go along with them and some Vienna sausages, those cute canned wieners that are capable of making anything taste good. I should ask my mom to make me those platter pancakes again sometime.
My previous pancakes always turned out brick-like, dense enough to leave some temporary damage to someone’s face. I sought to make pancakes that were fluffy, similar to the ones at Pancake House, which in my opinion, consistently serves the best pancakes in Manila.
Achieving light-as-air pancakes depends on the leavener used ”“ baking powder and/or baking soda ”“ as well as light-handed mixing. Overly enthusiastic mixing will only create gluten, which will make the pancakes tough.
The recipe I used called for both baking powder and baking soda as well as buttermilk. Buttermilk is not available in Manila, so I used a mixture of vinegar and fresh milk to come up with “clabbered milk,” an acceptable substitute. The acid in the baking soda gave the pancakes a coarser crumb, making them light with “bite.” The baking powder helped the pancakes rise, and the buttermilk contributed flavor.
After putting together the rest of the ingredients, it’s simply a matter of dumping the wet into the dry. A few seconds of whisking just until everything is incorporated is all that’s needed. A few minutes on a hot skillet, slap a pat of butter and douse with real maple syrup ”“ that’s all I needed to make my house a Pancake House.