The Pancake Challenge Part Two

By Marissa Bognanno, Professional Chef & Zumba Instructor, and Author of The Boot Blog

Kate arrived yesterday, all glowing and cute despite the two-hour delay and subsequent non-arrival of her baggage. “I feel like we’re already eating a lot,” she said as soon as we got to Manu’s parent’s house, though she hadn’t even eaten yet. Baked penne, bresaola with arugula and shaved cheese, individual ricotta domes with berry jam, buffalo mozzarella, and strawberries and gelato for dessert. Needless to say we’ve been taking the stairs. 
Dinner was a girls-only birthday party for Chicchetta - grilled vegetables, bruschette, more cheese, truffle frittata, asparagus souffle. I’m sorry Kate, but we’ll be fattening you up on this trip to Barletta, because this morning, we’re having pancakes. 
This second round of pancake-making included actual effort, (no shakin ‘n pourin) but with fabulous results. Mark Bittman’s Everyday Pancakes were a delight.
Taste - beautifully buttery yet smooth pancake flavor
Difficulty - easy, can be prepared in about 5 minutes 
Consistency - fluffy, but slightly dense when reheated
Esthetics - puffy and golden 

Mark Bittman’s Everyday Pancakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
2 eggs
11/2 to 2 cups milk
2 optional tablespoons melted and cooled butter, plus
unmelted butter for cooking, or use a neutral oil like
grapeseed or corn
1. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat while you make the batter.
2. Mix together the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs into 11/2 cups of the milk, then stir in the 2 tablespoons cooled melted butter if you’re using it. Gently stir this mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to moisten the flour; don’t worry about a few lumps. If the batter seems thick, add a little more milk.
3. Use a little butter or oil each time you add batter, unless your skillet is truly nonstick. When the butter foam subsides or the oil shimmers, ladle batter onto the griddle or skillet, making any size pancakes you like.  Adjust the heat as necessary; usually, the first batch will require higher heat than subsequent batches. The idea is to brown the bottom in 2 to 4 minutes, without burning it. Flip when bubbles appear in the center of the pancakes and the bottoms are cooked; they won’t hold together well until they’re ready.
4. Cook until the second side is lightly browned, a couple more minutes, and serve or hold on an ovenproof plate in a 200°F oven for up to 15 minutes.
Again, if you think you have the perfect pancake recipe for me to try in this series, let me know either here in the comments, on facebook or twitter! To see part one, click here!

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