Cooking Books -> Breakfast
Pancakes A to Z
Houghton Mifflin Co
Published: September 1997
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Even cooks who can make perfect pancakes often can't make perfect first pancakes. The first batter that goes on the griddle has a lamentable tendency to tear, crumple or otherwise go awry.
Marie Simmons' new book, Pancakes A
to Z, tells you how to solve this problem. First, Simmons writes, preheat the griddle over medium heat and test by adding a drop of water. It's hot enough when the water sizzles for a second and then evaporates. Choose the right kind and amount of fat
(oil or clarified butter), use a pancake turner with a beveled, not blunt, edge and 'Never rush pancakes.'
In the book, Simmons continues, 'A rushed pancake, though brown on the outside, will be underdone inside. Let the pancakes cook slowly
until tiny bubbles begin to appear all over the surface. This will take from 2 to 3 minutes or more on each side, depending on the consistency of the batter. When bubbles appear on the surface, gently lift one side and look at the bottom of the pancake
to see if it is evenly browned. Turn and cook other side.
Also, Simmons advises, brush the heated pan or griddle with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Or spray with nonstick spray. First-pancake failure often is due to having too much oil on the
Truth to tell, I had skipped right over most of these pancake pointers, having learned the hard way that less fat on the griddle works best. I liked the book, because it was compact and beautifully made (in Italy) and illustrated, and
not least because it was filled with appealing recipes. Simmons, who worked in the Women's Day test kitchen and was pastry chef at Gage & Tollner in Brooklyn, is the well-regarded author of 11 books, and this one looked perfect for holiday giving, along
with a jug of pure maple syrup.
From the Publisher
Also in the A to Z series: Muffins A to Z and Bar Cookies A to Z.
A piping-hot stack of buttered pancakes drenched in maple syrup is an all-American image. But the
age-old tradition of preparing pancakes comes from countries all around the world-from the crisp lentil patties of Southern India to the buckwheat blini of Russia to the delicate crêpes of France. Pancake recipes range from the savory to the sweet,
and over 45 simple yet imaginative variations can be found in Pancakes A to Z by award-winning cookbook author Marie Simmons. Effortlessly perfect food has become the trademark for Bon Appétit and Los Angeles Times Syndicate columnist Marie Simmons. In
her 12th book, Pancakes A to Z, she applies her knack for dazzling combinations to the versatile pancake. Marie starts with the basic formula for the all-American pancake and lets her culinary imagination take over from there: adding buttermilk lift; or
stirring in sour cream, cottage cheese, applesauce, or yogurt to make the pancakes richer, more tender, sweetly moist or tangy; folding egg whites
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