Starting off the month right…

…with pancakes for breakfast on a holiday Monday.

I have an old recipe for “fat free” pancakes memorized. It’s probably not the best recipe for pancakes, but I picked it off of VegWeb ages ago and it’s been the easy go-to ever since.

The basics, because I’ve tweaked this to my own liking over the years:

  • 1 cup of flour – I used ½ whole wheat pastry and ½ almond meal
  • ½ cup applesauce – I buy the snack packs because it is the only use I ever have for applesauce so a jar would just spoil
  • 1 cup water or non-dairy milk (water will produce a thinner batter)
  • 1-½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • splash vanilla (yeah, a SPLASH, who wants to measure that much in the morning?)
  • blueberries if you’ve got ‘em (I didn’t today)

The important thing about cooking pancakes, in my experience, is the equipment. You need a really good nonstick surface–ideally, a well-seasoned cast iron pan–and a super-thin but sturdy spatula. Some basic cooking oil is required. Get it warmed up to medium, medium high heat. Pour batter in a third or half a cup at a time, depending on how big you like your pancakes (and how much room your pan has; you should have a few inches all the way around if you intend to get the spatula under there).

It takes practice to learn your pan, your stove, your technique. That “first pancake is garbage” idea is only really true while you’re still working out the kinks. So you put the batter in–see how fast and how thin it spreads on its own. How long it takes to warm through, indicated by the sleepy tiny holes and the viscous bubbles that grow and pop. The way the edges dry out and you can see the browning just on the underside when the batter cooks and begins to pull away from the pan ever so slightly. Making the perfect flip, no wrinkles or chunks left behind.

They weren’t perfect today, but they were tasty. A little on the thin side. Good with a drizzle of maple syrup and the market-fresh strawberries and raspberries. And I was too hungry to remember I meant to blog about the food, with pictures, until the last bite was in my mouth.

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