Friday, January 13, 2012

OMI'S GERMAN PANCAKES

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Americans like their pancakes big and fluffy, with butter not only in the batter, but, also on top of them. I grew up with thin, crispy German Pfannkuchen, and can't get used to thick, doughy ones.

Though pancakes are, in my opinion, the wrong place to go low fat, I prefer the butter in the skillet, for crisp baking, not melting on top of my pancakes.

The sugary sweet sirup, poured over the stack, was another novelty for me, Germans sprinkle their pancakes with cinnamon sugar, and serve them with fruit compote..

Since the best of all husbands and I love pancakes for brunch, we found a good compromise. 

My Omi was a very good cook
Either I follow my grandmother's Pomeranian recipe, or Richard mixes the contents of some packages, throws an egg in, and dilutes it to Pfannkuchen consistency.

Meanwhile, I grew fond of maple syrup, but I need some tangy fruit sauce to balance its sweetness.

Omi's recipe can serve as base for sweet and savory pancakes.

 I changed it a little bit, adding vanilla extract and substituting some of the white flour with whole wheat, but otherwise it remains:


OMI'S PANCAKES:
(2 - 4 servings, depending on your appetite)

100 g all-purpose flour
 25 g whole wheat pastry flour (or more AP)
 2 eggs, separated
125 g buttermilk
1/8 tsp. baking powder*)
1 pinch salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
sparkling water, for adjustments

Add-ins
berries, banana or apple pieces (optional)
almond slices or chopped nuts (optional)
 
butter, for baking

How to make:
In large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, egg yolks, buttermilk, salt, sugar and vanilla extract until well blended. Adjust with sparkling water, until mixture is fairly thin, like crêpe batter. Fold in add-ins.

In separate bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into flour mixture.

Whipped white makes the pancakes light

Heat heavy skillet over medium heat. Melt 1 tbsp. butter, and, with a ladle or large spoon, pour batter for 1 large or 3 small pancakes into pan. When edges start to brown, after 2-3 minutes, flip pancakes over (adding more butter to pan if necessary,) and bake until they are golden brown. Place on warmed plate and keep warm.

Repeat, until all batter is used. Serve with maple syrup, or sprinkle with sugar. We like them with blueberry or other fruit compote.

Savory Pancakes:
Substitute 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan for the sugar and vanilla extract. Fold in cubed ham, grated cheese, chopped fresh herbs or other savory add-ins.


*)My grandmother didn't use any baking powder - the whipped egg whites and the sparkling water can do the (not so) heavy lifting quite well. If you leave it out, let the batter rest for 30 minutes, before folding in the egg whites.

(Post re-written and updated 2/26/14)

2 comments:

  1. Love pancakes. Both, ( homemade) american ones,( with the eggwhites beaten as well and lemon zest ) and german, thin ones. We used to sprinkle sugar on them or strawberry jam and than roll them up as kids, now i like them with lemon juice and powdered sugar :)

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    Replies
    1. The beaten egg whites are a great way to lighten pancakes. I sometimes add lemon zest, too, and smear them with lingonberry preserve.

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