Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Clinton St. Bakery Pancakes
It is my personal opinion that there is no definitive "best" pancake out there. I have tried many recipes which are all very, very good. So you will see a handful of pancake recipes on this blog over time.
I want to start off my pancake recipe collection with the Clinton St. Bakery pancake. I first heard of this famous NYC bakery on the Martha Stewart show when the owner was a guest, cooking his infamous pancakes- a recipe in his new cookbook (which I now own : D ) After trying the recipe, I can see why people travel to this restaurant in swarms. It is an excellent recipe. Truly. The batter ends up very light in texture and buttery and sweet in flavor. It almost melts in your mouth, it's so good. I love the separated egg technique that is employed here. I firmly believe that you get the best texture this way. You end up with a light as air batter and an ever so slight crispiness on the outside. Really, this is a wonderful pancake.
Feel free to dress up your pancakes with blueberries- I did : )
adapted from "Clinton St. Bakery Cookbook" by Dede Lahman & Neil Kleinberg
yields 18-20 3" pancakes
4 cups all purpose flour
1 Tb plus 1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the griddle
1 tsp vanilla extract
Measure and sift all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl: flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the yolks, milk, melted vanilla, and vanilla until combined. Whisk the wet mixture into the dry. The result should be slightly lumpy, yet combined to form a batter (do NOT overmix!)
Whip the egg whites in a medium mixing bowl until they reach medium peaks (soft in the middle). You can either whip them by hand with a whisk, or put them in a bowl of an electric mixer to whip. Be careful, you don't want to over whip the egg whites.
Gently mix half of the whipped whites into the batter with a large spatula. Then gently fold in the remaining half into the batter. Remember: this batter should be slightly lumpy and have large parts of egg whites not fully incorporated; it should look like white caps in the ocean with foam on top. The batter will last a few hours in the fridge without deflating too much.
Heat a griddle- either electric griddle, a stovetop griddle, or a big flat pan- to 350 to 375 degrees F. Grease the hot griddle with butter. Drop 1/4 cup of pancake batter on the griddle and cook to set. When you see bubbles start to form on top, lift the pancake halfway up to see if it's golden brown and crispy on the edges. If ready, flip the pancake.
For a smaller crowd use the following recipe- half the original (serves about 4):
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup plus 2 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 Tb butter, melted, plus more for greasing griddle
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Follow the same instructions.