For me pancakes are especially nostalgic. My mother, who worked full-time from the time I was 5 years old, would make pancakes on Saturday. Saturdays were a leisurely day when we could sleep in and lounge around. We would have family prayers and then we could watch Saturday morning cartoons while my mom made the pancakes. She used Aunt Jemima pancake mix and we would have the most fluffy, delicious pancakes drenched in pancake syrup. My mother would take each round pancake, fold them in half and cut them into strips which we could pick up and eat with our hands. Pancakes (actually breakfasts) are some of my fondest childhood memories.
When I went strict veg years ago, I knew that I would be most successful if I could replace some of the foods I was accustomed to with vegan alternatives. I jumped into vegetarianism with both feet on my 21st birthday and with lots of determination became a good vegetarian cook and baker. The one food that has challenged me to no end is pancakes. I must have tried ever blessed vegan pancake recipe I could find. For the past few years I've been using one that's serviceable but that just does not come anywhere close to my mother's pancakes. That is . . . until now. I mentioned having found the most fabulous pancake recipe. I didn't realize that I had actually omitted one ingredient (the water). Leaving out the water actually makes for a better, fluffier, more "mom" like pancake! So I'm going to share the recipe.
Now, I absolutely love it when a vegan recipe is simple: no specialty or obscure ingredients that you will never use again. Soy milk is easy to find these days. Even at my local grocery store where you can't find a loaf of bread without high fructose corn syrup. Everything else, even the most novice baker would have in their possession. So without further ado . . .
Pancakes Like Mom Used to Make (Except Vegan)
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or other flavorless oil)
1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp vanilla soy milk or other non-dairy milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Put your oven on "keep warm".
In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Add the dry to the wet and stir until everything is well combined and all the lumps are gone.
Oil your griddle or pan lightly with some flavorless oil. Pour 1/3 cup batter onto skillet and cook until bubbles start to form on the top or until the bottom side of pancake is as brown as you'd like. Flip and cook the other side.
edited 01.08.09 to add: Makes 8 pancakes.
To keep your pancakes warm, put them in a baking dish and cover *very* lightly with foil. Put them in your oven (that you have set to "keep warm"). These pancakes are *best* served warm. Top with pure maple syrup or fruit topping:
Simple Fruit Topping
1/2 cup water or juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp arrowroot
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup of fresh or frozen berries, apples, pears--basically, any fruit you like
Combine juice/water, sugar, arrowroot and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Simmer on low heat for about 2 mins. Add fruit of choice and let thicken.
I keep saying I'm going to make up the pancake mix in bulk so that I will be motivated to make pancakes more often. So far it hasn't happened. Maybe I'd like pancakes to be a special part of my children's memories instead of an everyday kind of thing. Ain't nothing wrong with that.
Anyway, who doesn't love pancakes? I know I do.