My son and I have been reading the book “Farmer Boy” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The book is based on her husband, Almonzo’s life growing up on his family farm in upstate New York. Her description of farm, family and community life during the mid 1800s is a wonderful history teaching tool! After reading about a different method for making pancakes, we decided we had to try it. This method is a recipe for the easiest pancakes ever!
Forget baking powder, forget large amounts of flour, forget worrying that your pancakes will not be light and fluffy. Flour and sugar were expensive ingredients in the 19th century, and quality was not as consistent as it is now. It makes sense that this method is egg-centric as eggs were something readily available on the farm.
It is as easy as eggs, butter, sugar and flour! Ok, maybe a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired. Pull out the maple syrup and you’re ready for the breakfast table.
The method is this:
Beat 2 eggs with one or two tablespoons of granulated sugar (the book calls for maple sugar, made right there on the farm-if you have some, certainly use it instead).
Beat those eggs until they are light yellow, doubled in volume and fall in ribbons from your wisk. I like to do this by hand because it’s good exercise, but use a hand mixer if you want to speed things up. Or, get the kids or other family members to take turns while you heat up the skillet. It’s good for them to see for themselves how they did things in the old days!
When the eggs are ready, stir in 1/3 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour, or a mix of flours (whole wheat, oat or buckwheat flour).
If going for gluten free, use certified gluten free oat flour, coconut flour or sorghum flour for best flavor and texture.
Now stir in 2 tablespoons salted butter (melted but not hot) and your batter is ready to go.
Pour batter onto a skillet preheated to medium high and lightly coated with melted butter right before loading your batter. Make the pancakes any size you want. I like silver dollar size because they’re cute, cook quickly and are easy to flip. They are also easy to carry by hand when I need car-friendly fast food on a busy morning!
After 1 to 2 minutes (when bubbles appear on the surface and they begin to look dry), flip pancakes over. Cook for 2 minutes on the other side. Don’t worry about the degree of “brownness” as long as they are done in the middle and are not burned.
Stack pancakes on a clean plate, placing a small pat of butter and a sprinkle of sugar or dollop of maple syrup between them as you stack. Serve!
I like to make fruit sugar out of the leftover fruit pulp from making jam. After straining jam, spread the pulp out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a “slow” oven (180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes to an hour. Turn off heat, then leave fruit in the oven until cool. Place the dried pulp in a food processor or coffee grinder and grind until powdered.
You can use this “fruit sugar” in place of the sugar in this pancake method, and also sprinkle it between the layers in your pancake stack! Store any leftover fruit sugar in a jar in the fridge (for up to one week) or the freezer (for up to one month).
Little silver dollar pancakes make great little pancake breakfast sandwiches! Here I’ve sandwiched some fresh strawberry and homemade breakfast sausage patties between the pancakes. A “hand-some” healthy alternative to the fast food drive-thru!
You can make and freeze these ahead of time, then thaw in the refrigerator overnight and heat on low temp in the microwave or oven in the morning.