Breakfast: Pancakes and Waffles

I think I mentioned in another post that breakfast is my favorite meal, although it was not very fancy on school days.  On Saturdays, the kids got to eat in their pajamas, and we always served pancakes.  When they were younger, we sat at the table and ate together, but as they grew older, they somehow got into the habit of eating in front of the TV while watching Bugs Bunny and  Animaniacs.  (I don’t remember anyone giving permission for that!)  We  had waffles for a change every so often. When Dad worked the evening shift, the kids and I would sometimes have waffles for supper. Waffle irons can often be found in thrift stores, a sad testament to the lost practice of eating breakfast together. The one that I use is the same Sunbeam baker that my mom used.  It must be 50 years old now — still cooks great, although the handle has fallen off and you have to be really careful when you open it!

So here I am posting a recipe for pancake mix, and two waffle recipes. I made the pancake mix in big batches; it really made the job quick, and traveled well when we went camping.  I always use half whole wheat flour.

Pancake Mix

(makes  4 lbs: get a large Rubbermaid container)

  • 12 cups flour ( I use half  whole wheat)
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 3/4 cup (yes) baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cups dry milk powder

Mix all this together well and keep in an airtight container.

To use:

Mix in a bowl:

  • 2 eggs (see note)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 1/2 cup mix

Stir only until combined (there will still be a few lumps). Fry on a hot griddle. (Test your griddle’s temp by tossing a few drops of water on it.  When they dance, you’re hot. ) Pancakes are ready to turn when the bubbles on the surface pop and when the edges look dry. This will serve 3-4.

I learned a trick from an older woman re: buttering the pancakes.  It seems cold butter was always too hard to spread on pancakes, so I started keeping mine on the counter at room temp.  We didn’t have to worry about it going rancid, since we used it up so fast.  In fact, we used it up too fast.  This lady told me that she always put a pat of butter on top after she flipped them.  That way, the butter was perfectly softened and easy to spread when it was served.  It was sensible: we used less butter and the kids didn’t tear up their pancakes. Win-win.

Note:  The recipe I have calls for only 1 egg.  But my husband taught me that adding one extra egg always makes them less likely to stick.  Of course, if you are watching your cholesterol, you might not want to try that, but I always add an extra egg.

“Oh Boy” Waffles — straight from the 1941 edition of the red plaid covered Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  Thanks.

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (again, I use half whole wheat)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 1/4 cups milk (again, again, I use reconstituted dry milk)
  • 3/4 cup oil (I use less, like about 1/2 cup)

First, lightly grease the waffle iron and heat it up.  I like to use a baking spray.  Stir the dry ingredients together.  In a small bowl, stir together the milk, oil and egg yolks.  (Do this by hand) With a mixer, beat the eggwhites in yet another small bowl until they are stiff.  Actually, to save dishes, I combine the dry ingredients with the wet, and then I rinse out the small bowl and use it for the whites.  You have to put the whites somewhere, but that can be just a small dish.  You’re going to have to wash 3 dishes one way or the other.  Fold the whites into the batter.  REMEMBER TO STIR PANCAKE AND WAFFLE BATTER BY HAND AND NEVER OVERMIX.  Your waffle iron should be hot now, so spoon on the batter.  It rises and spreads, so you don’t have to completely cover the grid.  Close the lid.  Watch for the steam  — when it stops or lets up, the waffle is done.  Enjoy!

Of course, the nice thing about waffles and pancakes is their versatility.  You can add fruit such as chopped apples, mashed bananas or blueberries.  Dried blueberries and cranberries are great, and when I was little, my favorite add-in was raisins.  Nuts are good, and chocolate chips.  The 1941 BHG cookbook recommends adding 1/2  cup of crushed cornflakes! You can serve any kind of fruit on top of either pancakes or waffles, and I remember some memorable summer-time suppers of waffles, strawberries and whipped cream.  Nowadays, I like waffles and pancakes with peanut butter, banana and honey.

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