First of all, there are many types of pancakes out there but this post only concerns american pancakes. No crepe pans, or scotch pancake griddles around here.
I’ve been using the pancake recipe from the Joy of Cooking for some time now. The recipe is veganized by replacing the non vegan ingredients with their vegan counterparts. Besides the obvious, eggs are replaced with Ener-G egg replacer. I’ve been fairly happy with the results but it could definitely be better.
About a month ago, Paul told me about a guy, Erik Pukinskis, who had spent a day testing a number of different recipes and blogged about the results. Paul made the ones that were determined to be “the best” and they were really good. Definitely better than the Joy of Cooking ones I had been making.
I decided I wanted to make them too and checked out his blog. It seemed that the two key differences were the amount of baking powder and the method used to mix the fat into the batter.
More baking soda = fluffier pancakes. Apparently it really is that simple, as long as you don’t add so much you can taste it.
Fat mixing method.
The usual method for mixing margarine into pancake batter is to melt the margarine and mix it in with the other liquids. It makes logical sense. However, Erik decided to try cutting/rubbing the solid margarine into the dry ingredients the same way you would make biscuit dough. I really think that this is a big factor in the final texture of the pancakes.
To try and keep the number of variables low (yeah, I know 2 is already too many to draw any scientific conclusions) I decided to apply the previous two alterations to the JoC recipe. There are also a few things that I like about my usual recipe that I wasn’t so into about Erik’s. I like to use egg replacer instead of banana since the taste is neutral. I also don’t know whether I can believe that he “tried both soy and oat milk, and it didnâ€™t seem to matter. Water was just as tasty.” Really?
This is the final recipe that I used:
Makes 5 six inch pancakes.
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Earth Balance
1 cup soy milk
1 1/3 eggs via egg replacer (2 tsp egg replacer, 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp warm water)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in earth balance until a crumb structure is formed. Whisk egg replacer and water using an electric whisk. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix with a whisk until relatively smooth.
Erik should definitely take the credit for putting in all the America’s Test Kitchen-esque hard work . I think, if anything, my test serves to reinforce some of the techniques that Erik used in his recipe.