Imagine this: you open your eyes after a good nights sleep, and that’s when the nutty smell of melting butter, and the sweet aroma of vanilla and maple syrup fill the air. The sizzle of batter being cooked, so you run to the kitchen and see a high stack of soft fluffy pancakes on a plate!
What is it about these pan fried pastries that makes us so happy? I’m sure science and psychology have a lot to do with it, after all most of us out there associate pancakes with happy memories, and if the story of Pavlov’s dog had taught us anything, it’s that even the foreshadowing of a good meal is enough to get any living creature excited.
If we go a bit further down that road, we could explore the idea that it’s nostalgia. I mean, pancakes are the breakfast equivalent of a surprise bouquet of flowers. In the way that it’s always from someone important to you.
However, I’m going to go with a more spiritual theory. I believe pancakes are a gift from the culinary GODS! A reward for those of who choose to wake up early and sacrifice themselves to such a messy time consuming ordeal. In those moments of early morning cooking, you are turning your cooking space into a church! I would even go as far to say, that making pancakes for someone is practically a religious right of passage in any parental, platonic or romantic relationship, no different than a wedding or a baptism.
That would explain why making pancakes predates and is more wide spread than all current major religion! That’s right! Some scratch marks on a 30,000 year old grinding tool suggest that people back then where making flour out of fern and cattails, mixing it with water and cooking it on a greased rock…. so basically pancakes! Not to mention Otzi, the 5,300 year old caveman found in the ice of the Italian alps. His stomach contained… that’s right PANCAKES. They are also literally made everywhere. Each continent has a variation; some even differing vastly from country to country. At one time, pancakes where common place for Strove Tuesday. This was in anticipation for lent. People would want to use up their perishable eggs and milk, and what a better way to celebrate a 6 week long commitment to the divine then to make pancakes, the FOOD OF THE CULINARY GODS!!!… even if it’s really THE Christian god.
So while I can’t say for sure whether it’s nostalgia, science or the divinity of the pancake that has contributed to its longevity, and cultural significance, I will say it’s definitely worth making.
I decided I wanted yeasted pancakes. Yeast isn’t as fast or convenient as Baking Powder or Soda, but it does bring complex and wonderful flavours that they can’t. It also has the added benefit of being done the night before, so you don’t have to wake up early to make them.
- 1 Cups Buttermilk
- 1/2 Cups Milk
- 2 1/2 Cups Cake Flour or Soft Flour
- 3 Tablespoons Honey
- 3/4 teaspoons Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/4 Cup Butter
- 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 1 3/4 teaspoons Dry Active Yeast
- Put Butter on a pan set to medium low heat, You want to wait for it to completely melt, and turn brown. It should take on a nutty/caramel smell. Run it though a fine strainer, and allow to cool.
- Mix Together Buttermilk, Milk and Honey into a bowl and mix until the honey has completely dissolved. add the yeast and allow to sit for 10 minute in a warm place to Bloom.
- While Milk mixture is Blooming, sift together the Flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Salt into a a clean bowl.
- Once the Milk Mixture has bloomed, combine it with the cooled Brown Butter, Vanilla and eggs, whist until nicely combined.
- Mix the Sifted Flour mixture into the Milk Mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX. It’s ok if there are a few lumps.
- Cover the bowl of batter with plastic wrap, and place it into the fridge over night.
- Remove the batter from the fridge, and let sit on the counter for 20 mins
- Heat buttered cast iron pan to medium heat.
- Place a 1/4 of batter on to the Pan. This is a thick batter, so you might have to use a spatula to spread the batter out nicely.
- Wait about 30/40 seconds, and tap the part of pancake that is on the heat with your spatula. If the whole pancake moves, it’s time to flip it over.
- Push the top of the pancake down to make a little thinner. Leave to cook until pancake is cooked entirely though
- Take a fancy Photo and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #foryourfoulmouth!
My recipe is a heavily altered version of this recipe quite a bit, however if you’re looking for the orginal here it is: http://www.cookingbythebook.com/recipes/yeasted-overnight-pancakes-from-homemade-decadence-by-joy-wilson