"One of the pleasantest of all emotions is to know that I, I with my brain and my hands, have nourished my beloved few, that I have concocted a stew or a story, a rarity or a plain dish, to sustain them truly against the hungers of the world." --MFK Fisher (Gastronomical Me)
I'm taking an online course (through Coursera.org) on The Science of Gastronomy. It's being offered by the University of Hongkong's Professors Lam Lung Yeung and King L. Chow. The class is very interesting and exciting because it explains the basic scientific principles that are applied on food preparation, just totally brings out my inner geek. We just started today and after watching the video lectures, it inspired me to brush up my basic cooking skills. And what could be more basic than re-reading Michael Ruhlman's Ratio.
2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: 1/2 part butter: 2 parts flour
Using the book's basic ratio for simple cakes, I made these pancakes from scratch for our afternoon snacks (note: the original recipe calls for milk, but I thought I could never go wrong with buttermilk). And, using an organic vanilla paste wouldn't hurt either.
So, here's the recipe (and I am telling you this is waaaay better than a store bought pancake mix):
8 oz ( 1 cup) buttermilk, you can also use homemade yoghurt or milk
2 large eggs
2 oz butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz flour ( you can replace 25% of the flour with cornmeal, whole wheat flour, or other ground cereals for complex textures and flavors).
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Whisk until properly mixed. Press through a strainer to get rid of lumps. Cook it on a griddle with a lightly oiled surface. A film of bacon fat would give it a nice crisp crust.
This will make 8 medium size pancakes. You can double or half the ratio depending on how many people you are feeding.