Tweaking a pancake recipe
- mcsheridan Jun 7, 2014 06:52 AM
In my mind, at least, this started before February of this year, but was kicked into high gear by this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9628...
So I haunted the various markets in a 20 mile radius from my home, and while it took some doing, I found the flours I needed (with long expiration dates) to get started. Finally, this morning, I got around to experimenting. I used and already tweaked a copycat recipe to mimic the old Aunt Jemima recipe, not the garbage they're selling now. The resulting pancakes had a very slight corny crunch (which I wanted) but also a very slight pastiness (which I most definitely do not want). This list includes the tweaks I made to the source recipe.
1 cup KA AP Flour
2 Tbl. Hodgson Mill Stoneground Rye Flour
2 Tbl. Arrowhead Mills Organic Corn Meal
2 Tbl. Bob's Red Mill Stoneground White Rice Flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbl. sugar
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
I include the brand names not to name-drop, but because these mills all have different methods and end-results in product. I'm asking all you experienced bakers out there: what should I be tweaking to make pancakes less pasty? I'm currently thinking along two lines: either reducing the rye or rice flour, or soaking the cornmeal.
PS: I should add, these are already better than anything that ever came out of an Aunt Jemima's box. :)
re: Kris in Beijing
Hate to put you off, time-wise, but it's hard to clarify it right now except that it's a pasty taste more than texture; I've got a little more than half the batter in the fridge now, and will be making more pancakes tomorrow morning. Either tomorrow's batch turns out differently, or I'll be able to clarify then.
To your point about obvious solutions, I've thought about it, and it may just be that this slightly heavier batter needs a hotter griddle than what I've done in the past.
Do you mean freezing cooked pancakes, and then re-frying? Interesting...
Your are using King Arthur All Purpose Flour which has a protein/gluten content of 11.7%. It is similar to bread flour (12% protein/gluten) and will make the pancakes "chewy" and tough. Gold Medal All Purpose Flour has a protein/gluten content of 10.5% and would be better.
For really light pancakes mix 1/2 cake flour (7% protein/gluten content) with 1/2 Gold Medal All Purpose Flour for a gluten/protein content of 8.75%. This is similar to a soft southern flour like White Lily (8 to 9% protein/gluten content).
FLOUR PROTEIN / GLUTEN BY TYPES AND BRANDS (retail supermarket flour):
CAKE FLOUR - 7% to 9.4% protein
Best Use: cakes, blending with national brands all-purpose flour to make pastry flour or Southern flour substitute.
-King Arthur Queen Guinevere Cake Flour, 7.0%
-King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend, 9.4%
-Pillsbury Softasilk Bleached Cake Flour, 6.9%
-Presto Self Rising Cake Flour, 7.4%
-Swans Down Bleached Cake Flour, 7.1%
ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, SOUTHERN - 8 to 9% protein
Best Use: biscuits, cookies, muffins, pancakes, pie crusts, quick breads, waffles.
-Martha White Bleached All-Purpose Flour, 9%
-White Lily Bleached All-Purpose Flour, 8 to 9%
SELF-RISING FLOUR (flour, baking powder, salt) - 8 to 10.5% protein
Best Use: biscuits, cookies, pancakes, muffins, quick breads, waffles.
-Gold Medal Bleached Self-Rising Flour, 10.5%
-King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour, 8.5%
-Martha White Bleached Self-Rising Flour, 9.4%
-Pillsbury Best Bleached Self-Rising Flour, 9.7%
-Presto Self Rising Cake Flour, 7.4%
-White Lily Bleached Self-Rising Flour, 8 to 9%
ALL PURPOSE BAKING MIXES (flour, shortening, baking powder, salt) - 6.25 to 12.5% protein
Best Use: biscuits, cookies, coffee cakes, pancakes, quick breads, pastry, waffles
-Arrowhead Mills All Purpose Baking Mix, 12.5%
-Bisquick Original Baking Mix, 7.5%
-Jiffy All Purpose Baking Mix, 6.25%
-King Arthur Flour All Purpose Baking Mix, 10%
-Pioneer Original Baking Mix, 7.5%
ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, BLEACHED & UNBLEACHED, NATIONAL BRANDS - 10 to 11.5% protein
Best Use: makes average biscuits, cookies, muffins, pancakes, pie crusts, pizza crusts, quick breads, waffles, yeast breads.
-Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour, 10.5%
-Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour, 10 to 11.5%
-Pioneer All-Purpose Flour, 10%
-White Wings All-Purpose Flour, 10%
ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, NORTHERN, BLEACHED & UNBLEACHED - 11.5 to 13% protein
Best Use: cream puffs, puff pastry, yeast breads, pizza crusts.
-Heckers and Ceresota All-Purpose Flour, 11.5 to 11.9 %
-King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, 11.7%
-Robin Hood All-Purpose Flour, 12.0%
-Five Roses All Purpose Flour, 13.0%
-Rogers All-Purpose Flour, 13.0%
BREAD FLOUR - 12 to 13.3% protein
Best Use: traditional yeast breads, bread machine, pizza crusts, pasta.
-Gold Medal Better For Bread, 12%
-King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, 12.7%
-Pillsbury Best Bread Flour, 12.9%
-White Lily Unbleached Bread Flour, 11.7%
To make U.S. self-rising flour, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp table salt to each cup of flour. (British, Irish and Australian "self-raising flours" only add baking powder to the mix, and no salt.)
To make a lower protein flour (similar to White Lily or Pastry flour), mix half cake flour with half all-purpose flour.
Another substitute for soft Southern flour, not quite as tender, for each cup of regular all-purpose flour, replace 2 Tablespoons of flour with cornstarch, mix well. (1 cup lightened all-purpose flour = 14 Tbsp flour and 2 Tbsp cornstarch.)
I don't know if I would like rice flour in a pancake. Are you putting it in to counteract the non tenderness of the rye and corn flour? For tenderness I would up the oil to 1 1/2 Tbs. and for pastiness maybe drop the buttermilk down to 1 c and add water if you want the thinner tender pancake.
I also love the flavour of buckwheat in a pancake.
Just make blueberry buckwheat pancakes last weekend and wish I had enough buttermilk to make them this morning.
The most delicate pancakes I've ever made were a sourdough.
Yes, I thought perhaps the source recipe was shorting the oil here, but I try not to make too many tweaks at once. And the source recipe never specified any quantity of milk at all beyond the words "enough milk to make the right consistency after beating". So I started with 3/4 cup, and wound up with 1 1/2 cups I list above. I actually thought about water when I'd gotten up to 1 1/4 cups, but kept going with the buttermilk.
And yes, I'm using rice flour for two reasons; one, it was one of the ingredients in the long-ago AJ mix, and the source recipe I'm adapting continued using it, citing the tenderness factor.
You may be onto something here. I took the leftover batter out about an hour ahead, then thinned it with a few tbsps of water, not dairy. It may be that it is the rice flour; now I had plans to tweak this a bit farther in the corn direction - I want a bit more crunch - so next batch I'll reduce the rice flour and up the corn in equal amounts and see where that takes them. I'll also double the oil, and sub out at least a half-cup of buttermilk in place of water.
Bottom line - this is yet another batter that benefits from a long rest - I think yesterday I cooked them too quickly.
If you're looking to replicate the Aunt Jemimah formula from 40-50 years ago, you definitely_ don't_ want rice flour in there. It really messes up the texture.
I always liked AJ pancake mix the best. After the manufacturer demonstrated beyond any doubt that "new and improved" was a consumer warning rather than an attribute, I started doing some research in an effort to replicate the AJ formula that was sold for many years until the product was reformulated in the early 1990s and it consisted of fairly equal amounts of white flour and corn flour (as opposed to corn meal), along with smaller amounts of oat and rye flours, and a bit of sugar and salt (and of course some baking powder). The ingredients themselves were not hard to determine since they were listed right on the package (I had saved the ingredient panel from an old box of AJ). The proportions took just a bit of experimentation but once they were dialed in, the results were 'spot on'.
Interestingly, the old _old_original AJ formula (from when the brand was introduced in the late 1800s) was simply equal amounts of regular flour and corn flour, along with some salt, bicarbonates, and phosphate.
re: The Professor
Thanks for this info; I had completely forgotten about the oat flour, as I had recalled or read about it early last year. When I found this "secret" recipe a few months ago, it omitted oats and drove them completely out of my mind.
I've never cared for any pancake recipe made with only white flour, and I found that real "multigrain" pancakes weren't "it", either. So mixing up the next-best to (or better than) the old pre-Quaker-takeover recipe is what I'm after.
So far, I know I'm on the right track, but spinning up some (ironic) Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats in my mini-prep might go a long way in the right direction.
Thanks! <..."new and improved" was a consumer warning...> So true, so very, very true.
Now, of course, if I find I don't need or want rice flour in my pancake mix, what *am* I going to *do* with it all? (That's really a question for a future thread.)
I tried these and liked them, which is more than I can say for most baked items with rice flour in them.
Raspberry Buns from Meryl White's "Grandma Abson's Traditional Baking"
6 oz flour
4 oz butter
6 oz ground rice
4 oz sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg + 1 yolk (save white for later)
Pinch of salt
Milk to mix
Rub butter into flour, then add other ingredients. (I made the mix into a biscuit-type consistency, in other words, fairly stiff.) Form buns on greased baking sheet, brush with saved egg white, put jam in center of each, and bake 20 min in 400F /200C oven.
Rice Flour Muffin-Cakes
from Alford & Duguid's "Home Baking"
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 tsp salt
11 T softened unsalted butter
3/4 c sugar
1-1/2 c rice flour
1/4 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350, grease 12 muffin cups.
Whip egg whites with salt until stiff, set aside.
Cream butter and sugar, add egg yolks and beat until smooth. Stir in rice flour and vanilla, then fold in egg whites.
Spoon batter into muffin cups (half to three-quarters full). Bake ~20 min until puffed in center and browned around edges. Let stand 5 min before turning out of pans.