Sunday, March 30, 2014

Beer Batter Pancakes

It's not Sunday morning without PANCAKES!
At my house, a decent Sunday morning starts off with a big stack of hot, buttery, maple syrupy pancakes and a generous, heaping pile of premium bacon. Ah, it doesn't get much better than that! Real butter and real maple syrup, too, please! There are some things in life you just shouldn't scrimp on and pancake toppings are at the top of my list. (Right up there with two-ply toilet paper and fine craft beer.)

Sadly, many young people today believe that "homemade" pancakes are made from either premixed batter that comes out of a freezer or prepackaged pancake mixes. Ick. Pancake batter should always be made from scratch. It's so easy, even a Beer Guy can do it! Oh, yes, and by the way, my favorite pancake batter recipe contains...BEER! Of course it does!

Here's my recipe:
  • 2 cups of all-purpose white flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 and 2/3 cups of buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup of pilsner beer
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
SIFT the flour, baking powder and baking soda together into a large mixing bowl. This is very important! I recommend sifting THREE times. This will result in fluffy pancakes. Not sifting will result in pancakes that are more like biscuits. You can also use cake flour, if you want extra light and fluffy pancakes.

Whisk the egg and buttermilk together thoroughly in a smaller bowl. Whisk in the sugar and the vanilla extract. Then gently mix in the beer. (It's gonna foam at first.)

You'll want to use a lighter flavored beer. Even a cheap adjunct lager is better than a big, hoppy brew for this recipe. You want a light, subtle, malty beer taste. Nothing overpowering, but if you want to experiment with different beer styles, I say go for it!

Finally, gently whisk the liquid into the dry ingredients. Don't beat the batter! It may be a little lumpy, but that's okay. It you beat it too much, you'll get stiff, manhole cover-like pancakes. You'll want a nice, pour-able consistency, so add the the last of the liquid gradually until it seems right. Add a bit more buttermilk if it seems too thick to pour.

I recommend covering the batter and refrigerating it overnight, but that's not necessary.

I also recommend cooking the pancakes on a lightly oiled griddle, or the biggest non-stick frying pan you can find. A droplet of water should dance across the griddle when it's hot enough. Reduce to medium heat. Pancakes are ready to flip over when the edges start to look solid and bubbles rise and pop in the middle of the cakes.

This recipe makes about 10 to 12 medium-sized pancakes.

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