In Ireland, Canada and UK pancakes are traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday (infamously called Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras) as the last day of the fatty and rich foods could be used up before the month long Lent.
Some schools organize a pancake race where the participants carry frying pans with the pancake in them and toss up the pan cake, and catch it back. This is in honor of an Olney housewife who in 1444 heard the bells of the church ring while she was still busy making pancakes in her eagerness to reach the church she ran with the pan, cake, apron and hat. J
To give the dish all the attention and admiration due to it, I’ll call this blog as Pancakeology. J
Flapjacks, hotcakes, griddle cakes, dosa’s uttappa’s or gutung call it what you want, but this simple dish has a sustained presence through the world in all loco-cuisine and through history. Today it is crowned the king of American food.
Etymology: Middle English word that appears in English culinary manuscript since 1430
Food similar to the modern pancake can be heard of in ancient Rome, they called it Alita Dolcia i.e. Latin for another sweet. It was made of flour, milk eggs, spices, and sweetened with honey or fruits, the savory ones were filled with meats or cheeses. Despite the fact there is a resemblance the pancake as we know it today ha originated in Medieval Europe.
The griddle method of cooking is earlier than the oven baking.
The earliest pancake mentioned by apicius was made of a batter made with eggs, milk, water, flour, and fried. This was then served with honey and pepper.
It is referred to in the recipe books of 1430 England but did not yet take the place of honors associated with Lent or as today on the last day before lent.
Pancake has been the staple breakfast of Native Americans, they called it the Narragansett nokehick which a soft batters shaped by hands it was very soft. The white settlers translated it to no cake. Cornmeal pancakes were called Indian cakes in 1607,
1740 the Dutch in America made the Narrrangsett cakes with buck wheat, panekoeken and these came to be called buckwheat cakes.
The English settlers came in with their pancake Tuesday, just before the Lenten fast.
By 1745 the Americans were also referring to hoe cakes probably because they ere cooked on a flat hoe blade.
The isle of Rhodes has its journey cake or Johnny cake.
Its only in 1870 did the world pancake come into general circulation the way we see it today.
Pancake round the world.
Germany has potato pancakes. Or erdapflaphanna kuehia or kartoffel puffer as the Germans calls them. These were made from left over potatoes which were mashed, grated mixed with onions, flour and then fried on a griddle. These are often served with a variety of condiments both savory and sweet. Like cream, cheese, fruits, berries, sauces. The variation of this is found round the world. The French crique, or potato galiete, Swedish rarakor, Korean Kahm-jajuhn, or the aloo parata in India.
England pancake is similar to the French crepe, and is made of a very thin batter of flour, eggs and milk. They are topped with lemon juice and sugar and eaten as a dessert. If it is served a savory then it becomes part of the main meal is filled with meat, fish or cheese. This is modified to the Yorkshire pudding when it is whipped in and baked.
Netherlands: has a pannekoeken Huis ( the pan cake house) which a small chain of restrauent where the server shouts Pannekoeken when ever they deliver one. This is again similar to the crepe. Egg, flour and milk based batter, large, light and airy. Quite often it is shaped like a bowl with toppings of fruits, beacon, ham, berries or syrup called stroop.
France talks of crepes and galettes, these are very thin pancakes made of a batter consisting of lour, eggs, milk butter and a pinch of slat. These are either rolled or folded round a filling. It could either be sweet crepes or savory galettes. The sweet crepes are made of wheat flour, filled with fruits and berries while the savory is made of buckwheat flour and filled with meat, fish or cheese.
Gutung is the Indonesian version
Dosa and uttappa the Indian avatar.
Baobing in china
Basic classic recipe.
Please look at the pan cake tips1 at the post script before you start. Prep. Time 15mnts. Cook time 5mnts. Makes 8-10
- 2 cups flour
- 1 – 1 ½ baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 -1 ½ cups mild
- ½ light cream or evaporated milk.
- 2 eggs.
- 3bts. Melted butter. More butter.
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and slat. Stir with a wire whisk until combined.
In small bowl combine milk, cream, eggs and melted butter and beat until smooth. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Cover batter and let stand for 10mnts. While the batter is standing heat a griddle to 350 degrees’, rub the griddle with a tablespoon of butter when a drop of water sizzles when dropped into the griddle use 1.4 cup measure to pour four circles of batter onto the griddle.
Cook until the edges look dry and bubbles form a just a begin to burst about that’s about 2-4mnts. Turn the pan cakes and cook for 1-2mnts on the second side just until golden the second side does get as brown the first.
Basic butter milk recipe
- 2 cup all purpose flour.
- 2tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder.
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp. baking soda.
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups butter milk.
- 4 tbsp. oil.
Mix the dry ingredients together, separate the eggs and whip egg whites until firm. Mix the egg yokes, butter milk and oil together and add all at once to the dry ingredients. Fold in whipped eggs.
Stir until slightly lumpy, cook on a lightly greased griddle or skillet.
Tips and tricks to a better pancake.
- Don’t over mix your better – when over mixed the better develops gluten which will lead to chewy cakes. It should be workable and a few lumps are okay.
- Whip the egg whites after separating them it should be firm. When the other ingredients are mixed fold them into the batter.
- Feel free to experiment with spices and condiments. Sometimes even filling.