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Pancakes for Dad

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My father was the king of weekend breakfast. Lunch and dinner were my mom’s domain, and breakfast on the weekdays was a quick bowl of cereal. But when Saturday morning rolled around, it was his time to shine.

Fluffy scrambled eggs, creamy polenta, and eggs in a basket that oozed yolk when you cut into them all made a regular appearance on the breakfast table. But the most frequent guest, and the one my dad had down to a science, was a steaming stack of perfect pancakes.

They were usually topped with some of the fresh raspberries or mulberries that grew wild in our backyard. Never maple syrup. And the pancakes themselves were impossibly large. I still have no idea how he managed to flip them in one piece.

Now I’m the pancake maker in my household. And I stick to the same basic formula, even if mine are a bit smaller. It’s best to make a big batch of the dry ingredients ahead of time. I like to limit the amount of measuring and math I have to do when I’ve just woken up and that first cup of coffee hasn’t kicked in yet.

Dry Ingredients (Makes One Batch)
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
Splash vanilla extract (optional)

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together ahead of time. I usually quadruple the recipe and store the excess in an airtight container. Then just use a heaping cup of dry when it’s time to make breakfast.
  2. Beat some air into the egg, then add in the rest of the wet ingredients.
  3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined, it’s ok if there are still lumps in there.
  4. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes. This was his secret to fluffy pancakes.
  5. Heat a heavy pan over medium heat and butter it. The pan is ready when a drop of water dances around the surface.
  6. Pour in the first pancake’s worth of batter.
  7. Flip it when the edges have set and bubbles break on the surface.
  8. Cook until the other side is golden brown.

This recipe makes about 8 pancakes, perfect for two or three people in the morning. I top mine with a smear of butter and a dollop of raspberry jam.

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