Making Pancakes with Peter Hermann
Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy pancakes with Younger's Peter Hermann! Make your very own using Peter’s recipe:
What you need:
3.5 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
4 cups buttermilk
2 ounces butter
What you do:
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and let it cool.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
3. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.
4. Combine egg yolks, buttermilk and butter.
5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
6. Fold in the egg whites.
And that's your pancake batter!
A few things:
1. Melt the butter a little in advance. It takes a moment to cool, and the waiting will make you mad.
2. Use regular salt instead of coarse grain. The coarse grain won't fit through the sieve when you sift the dry ingredients together, and it'll make you mad.
3. Regular buttermilk, as in not low-fat, can be hard to find. The low-fat version is fine, but the full-fat full-bore full-tilt version is better.
4. Wars have been fought over soft peaks and hard peaks when beating egg whites. Supposedly the soft peak is when you pull the mixer out (or the whisk, for the purists) and the egg-white peak bends over at the tip just a little, like an elf hat. I think the egg whites need to be a little harder for these pancakes, so beat the dang things until they stand tall, ok? It'll make everything fluffier.
5. Two ounces of butter is a half stick. Which is easier than saying two ounces. But I wanted to stay true to the Montana cook's recipe.
6. You'll need a few big bowls. Three will do the trick, I think. Plus some small ones. Good to have them all out before you start, so you're not hunting around for things in the middle of the proceedings. But you know that. I only mention it because that's what I end up doing every time I make these things.
7. For cooking the pancakes, I've tried cast-iron skillets, a regular pan and a griddle. All of them are great, though the griddle is of course very nice because you have the most room.
8. I like to put butter and oil on the griddle because the oil lets the butter get hotter before it burns. I think that's how it works, at least.
9. The pancakes are entirely lovely plain, but if you want to go next level, add both blueberries and raspberries. But don't just dump the blueberries and raspberries in the batter. Someone's always going to want plain ones, so you can't just unilaterally decide that everything coming off the griddle is going to be blueberry-raspberry. Or you could, but you're nicer than that. Dumping the berries in the batter also takes out some of the air that you worked so hard for with your egg whites beaten to perfect peaks. So pour the batter onto the griddle, then drop a few blueberries and raspberries into each pancake. This way you can also obsess over perfect berry placement. If you have giant blueberries and raspberries, the pancake can get a little uneven when you flip it over, so maybe cut the blueberries and raspberries in half.
10. One more thing about the egg whites, if you don't know what folding means, I think there are videos to watch. It's sort of hard to explain. It takes a while and you need to do it gently, otherwise all the air will come out of the batter.
11. When you cook these things, yes, the first one will be the bad pancake. I think it happens when the griddle isn't hot enough yet. Which reminds me: the griddle should be good and hot. But anyone who says that there isn't a first bad pancake is lying. Someone even said to me once that the first one is the best one. Lies, nothing but lies.
12. It's also vitally important that you dust the pancakes with confectioner's sugar before serving them. Putting the sugar through a sieve makes a nice dusting. The sugar combined with the slight zing from the raspberries, trust me, most fine. And the pancakes looks prettier for your Instagram posts!