The Improvisors

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It was a Breakfast For Dinner kind of night. A chant went up, and they demanded the old standby, Puffy Pancakes. Hardly the wholesome, locally-sourced, in-season meal I had in mind, after all of my crunchy reading during the past weeks.

We started to bargain. I agreed to make the pancakes in two batches: the first would be plain, for Sam the purist (he won’t even take syrup on his puffy pancakes), and the second would be my improvised somewhat-healthier version. They agreed to try both types. Both batches were made using the same batter, and the extra ingredients were added to the healthier muffin versions right before baking. Here’s our re-modified recipe:

Dutch Baby – 1/2 standard, 1/2 imps

Preheat the over to 425 F

Whisk together until smooth:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup white flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (not because it’s healthier, it’s what we had on hand tonight)
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature)

In the preheating oven, melt about 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter in a 9×9 or 8×8 baking pan. For our dueling batches, we also used 12 standard size muffin tins, and melted a dollop of butter in each tin.

When the butter is melted, take the pans out of the oven and make sure the butter covers the bottom of the baking pan and the muffin tins. Pour 1/2 the pancake batter in the 9X9 baking pan. Ladle or spoon the remaining batter into the muffin tins – each tin should be about 3/4 full.  Then layer your topping ingredients on the batter in the muffin tins.
  • Possible toppings: strawberries, shredded coconut, diced pecans (you could substitute any combination of fruit and nuts that suit you)
 Bake for about 15 minutes. Serve immediately, and enjoy!
This was a kitchen improvisation that paid off. Though Sam still claims to like the plain version best, the rest of us voted for the strawberry-coconut-pecan mini puffy pancake versions. There were no comments about the addition of wheat flour – I think it made the larger square pancake less puffy, but nobody else (Sam) seemed to notice, so I’ll keep making that substitution in the future.
What do you think we should name our new pancake recipe? 
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