(Apologies to Eric Carle)
We use our share of convenience foods at the Treehouse, but pancake mix is not one of them. Actually very few baking mixes find their way up here--an occasional cake mix, but even that's an exception. I've never found it much of a hassle doing most of our baking from scratch, and as so many people have pointed out, when you bake from scratch, you get to control the ingredients.
In my recipe binder I have about six recipes for pancakes (and waffles), and we use them all interchangeably. Our "usual" (except when Mr. Fixit makes them up as he goes along) is the Buttermilk Pancakes recipe from Food That Really Schmecks. (It's a pretty standard recipe. UPDATE: I added it to the Comments.) We rarely buy buttermilk, but we've used soured milk, yogurt, and thinned sour cream and they all work fine. (I have also used leftover pudding--including tofu pudding--as part of the liquid in pancakes and waffles.) Whole wheat, unbleached flour, even bad-for-you-white all work fine in them. Sometimes we eat them with real maple syrup, more often with homemade maple-flavoured syrup or fruit sauce (recipe below). Or whatever else is around.
We also make Mammoth Flapjacks from a 1998 Flintstones Vitamins calendar--tossed the calendar, saved the recipe. It's easy and doesn't make too many--good for when there are only a couple of us home. And Slightly Sourdough Pancakes from one of the Milk calendars (I think that was a James Barber recipe).
On the other hand, when there are more of us or we're extra hungry, I've used Good Grains Waffle or Pancake Mix (from Vegetarian Times, June 1995) or The Perfect Pancake Mix (from Family Fun magazine, March/April 1993). Because sometimes those 2-cups-of-flour recipes aren't quite enough to make all of us feel pleasantly stuffed and gluey with carbs. And if there are some left, we just freeze them.
Since the recipe for Mammoth Flapjacks is simple and makes only a small batch (you can double it), I'm including it (as originally written) for anyone who doesn't want to get into a big bowlful of batter. (Of course you can always make up one of the mixes and then just use a bit of that as well.)
"Wilma and Pebbles know just how to satisfy Fred's mammoth appetite. Large or small, these pancakes are a family favourite."
What you need:
An adult to help with the cooking
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups milk
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
What to do:
1. Combine first 4 ingredients in medium bowl.
2. Beat egg, milk and oil together in a small bowl; add to dry ingredients. Beat with whisk until smooth.
3. Lightly grease hot griddle or frying pan with oil or butter. For mammoth pancakes, use 1/2 cup batter; for mini pancakes, use 2 tbsp.
4. Spoon batter onto hot pan. When pancakes puff up and have tiny bubbles over surface, flip them over with a lifter. Let brown on other side then remove. Serve with butter and syrup. Makes about 10 mammoth or 36 mini pancakes.
Or Jam syrup.
Measure out a cupful of water; pour as much of it as you can into a jar of jam that has a few spoonfuls left in the bottom. Put the lid on it and shake it up. OR (if your jar of jam isn't so near the bottom), measure a few good spoonfuls of jam into a 1-cup measuring cup and make up the difference with water. Pour the jam-water mixture into a small pot and blend with 1 tbsp. cornstarch. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the mixture clears and thickens. Serve warm. You can add or use almost any fruit or juice in this recipe--use pineapple or orange juice (or the liquid or syrup from canned fruit) instead of water, or add fresh or canned chopped fruit.
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