Beyond Pancakes

My family adores pancakes of all types, whether fried or baked. Get pancake recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Say “pancake,” and Americans usually visualize tall stacks of round, freshly fried batter, dripping with butter and maple syrup and often made from a prepackaged mix. But every culture seems to have its equivalent, and many require so few, and such common, ingredients that they can be made straight from the pantry.

My family adores pancakes. My mom put together a cookbook of family recipes in 1990, printed on her dot-matrix machine and bound with plastic combs. It includes Linda’s Pancake Mix, a recipe from a family friend that features oats, corn, wheat, and powdered milk and was my mom’s go-to blend throughout my childhood. But it also includes Æbleskivers, Danish pancakes that remind me of holeless yeast donuts but are cooked in a special pan. They were my grandfather’s specialty; my sister inherited his pan, and my niece and nephew dip them in copious amounts of Nutella. My mom’s cookbook also holds recipes for Southern Spoonbread, a cornmeal-based baked “pancake” that’s closer to a soufflé and that we considered a dinner dish, and Dutch Babies, its flour-based breakfast counterpart that puffs beautifully, causing us all to claim a corner as it emerges from the oven. If I were to put out a new edition of Mom’s cookbook today, I would add crepes and their Russian variation, blini.
Learn to make Dutch Babies and Mushroom-Stuffed Blini

Advertisements

Sourdough Starter

Long before I started baking my own bread, I craved sourdough. But I had a lot of misconceptions about the process. So for years, I baked yeast breads. I learned along the way that a dough hook on a standup mixer might prevent sore arms but at the cost of dense, inconsistent loaves. I also discovered yeast can be quite unforgiving to overproofing: leave the house during the rise time, and you’re sure to come home to a collapsed, flat mess. But I imagined that sourdough would require daily care—and consumption.

Then I was gifted a starter and took a shot at becoming a sourdough baker. I’d also been reading about no-knead breads and was intrigued by the idea of making loaves by hand without sore fingers. A bit of research, a bit of practice, and my delusions about sourdough evaporated like the liquid in a baking loaf. Learn how to find and care for sourdough starter