Baking diary – log 1 – 25/04/2012
It’s true that once in a while, even the strongest person has doubt of him/herself and needs a kick on the ass to wake up.
So, I start my blog, officially today. My blog is my personal journal of my baking and cooking passion.If you are looking for a fancy food blog with all photoshop-ed bling bling photos of constant 100% guaranteed successful recipes, I assure you that you are in the wrong place. The experience with this blog will not be that smooth. There will be successes, and of course, failures all the way. There will be tips, instructions, and not-to-do-next time lists, also. This blog will act as my online baking diary, with everything in it, in sick or in health. So, be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.
So here we are. My log no.1. The pursuit of a Fluffy Pancake.
Today I woke up quite late comparing with what I wanted to last night. I intended to follow some pancake recipe I found interested in last nigh surfing my regular blogs. Many thanks to Evan of Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings.
Pancake is the 1st baking product I ever made, back in 3 years ago when there was not any scale or measuring cup whatsoever. Many people, like I used to be, can underestimate the complication of making a good pancake. What could be easier than making a pancake, you may wonder? Flour, check. Milk, check. Baking powder, check. Egg, check. Sugar, check. What can possibly go wrong with those 5 basic baking ingredients? The answer is yes, in fact, many. I have been there, believe me. Dense pancake. Thin pancake. Dry pancake. Undercooked pancake. Egg-y pancake. And many more to encounter.
I, personally, have never had a specific recipe for pancake. I eye-measured all the ingredients and left hell lot of space for creativity, and disaster. This can be a good thing for possibility to run across a good combination but the tricky part is to remember what you have put in there and be able to reproduce it afterward. I admit my lack of the ability to recall what and how I put things into my pancake batter, so every time was a new battle to conquer the great pancake. It’s just very tiring that way, therefore, I will start writing down pancake recipe. 🙂 Here is my version of fluffy pancakes, well, not so fluffy this time. I will explain to you why later, and it’s not because of the recipe. 😛
Ingredients and Instructions
- 1 cup flour (all-purpose flour works just fine, but if you have in hand some cake flour, well, even better, but don’t use high protein bread flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well. (Pic above)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg york
- 1 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 1 tbsp melted unsalted butter or oil
2. In another bowl, whisk together egg yolk, sugar and milk followed by butter. Mix well.
3. Add egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk to combine, until just combined (it’s Ok if there is little lumps of flour left). You don’t want to over-mix this mixture (for example, mix until everything is perfectly smooth, and then mix some more) because it will develop the gluten in the batter and cause the denseness in the pancake. Let’s call this mixture A. (Pic above every step)
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp granulated white sugar
4. Beat the egg white until soft peak with sugar added gradually in the first minute of beating. Well as you see in the pic above, here is where my problem appears. My egg white was not well beaten. It kept the liquid form and did not gain any volume or thickness. As I checked the cause of my problem, I realized that I have not clean the bowl properly. Egg white is highly conflicting with oil or other unwanted substances. There was some little oil left from my last baking, and that’s why. Unsuccessfully beating the egg white, my final batter is a lot thinner than it should have been.
5. I unintentionally put the batter in the fridge for 2 hours because I was late for my morning class. It was totally unplanned but surprisingly pleasant since my batter thickened up quite a lot, made it easier to manage in the pan, pourable but not too spreading.
6. Heat the pan on medium low heat for 5 minutes. Remember to keep the pan on constant heat. If it is too hot, the pancake will burn easily without thoroughly cooked. If it is too cool, the pancake will dry out and result in a patch of doughy, dense pancake. Pour ladles of batter on preheated pan, each for every pancake.
7. Cook until bubbles appear evenly on the surface, flip it over and cook until golden.
8. Stack them up on to a plate. Serve warm with honey or maple syrup drizzled on top and small cube of butter.
As the stack of pancake gradually grew up, my fear of uncertainty went down. I remember the excitement I used to feel waiting for the final result to come out, to have a taste of my own baking, and then when it turned out right, the joy of achievement and satisfaction. There are always uncertainties, but as long as I keep be true to my own self and trying hard enough, everything will be alright.
As for the pancake, it was thinner than I expected. But again, my batter was not in the best condition it can be.Its taste, though, very good, not sweet, not so overwhelming by egg and does not have powerful flavor or quite plain , go well with maple syrup and many other combination of your choice. For instance, this recipe can also be improvised by adding cinnamon or blueberry or corn. If wanted, it can also be cut back in sweetness and be the base of many savory appetizers, like crab+mayonnaise or smoked salmon.
Something to remember for today’s baking:
- Wash bowl thoroughly before beating egg white in it. (apply to other baking matter as well, keep your utensils clean and dry)
- Keep the pancake batter in the fridge for at least 1 hour before baking to maximum overnight to have better and thicker pancake.
Control your heat to medium low heat, and maintain it. If it gets too hot, the pancake will burned easily on the outside and the inside is not cooked properly. If the heat is too low, it will took forever to have to golden color on the outside, the cake will have slightly doughy taste and dense.
Well, that’s almost it for today. Still an exam and a party to go tomorrow. I am just so happy to finish my first post, at last. 🙂 Now back to reviewing for the exam business.