Baking - Breads, Festivals/Events, Recipe

Pancake Day!

Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday; also known as Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), or as I know it, Pancake Tuesday. In Christian tradition it is the last day before Lent, which is the season of reflection leading up to Easter. Not growing up in a Catholic tradition, I don’t remember as much significance being placed on giving something up for Lent, but I do remember Pancake Tuesday. I eventually learned that Shrove Tuesday was the day to use up all the rich foods in your house – such as milk, eggs and sugar – in preparation for living more simply throughout Lent. And one of the easiest ways to use up milk, eggs, and sugar is to make pancakes!

In honour of this occasion, I decided to find a pancake recipe that would truly reflect the richness of the day. I have a great bread cookbook that has many pancake recipes, and I found one with this description: “These cakes share the luxury of a full cup of sour cream and four eggs. They are outstanding!” So really, I felt an obligation to try this rich recipe, to make sure it was worthy of sharing with you here for your own Pancake Day. And it is most definitely worthy. I hope you will enjoy them!

Sour-Cream Pancakes

Sift together and set aside:

  • 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 c all-pupose and 1/2 c whole wheat)
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt

In a large bowl, beat:

  • 4 eggs

Blend into beaten eggs:

  • 1 c sour cream
  • ¼ c milk

Add dry ingredients to the sour-cream mixture, stirring only until dry ingredients are moistened. Batter will be lumpy; it is all right. Bake on a lightly greased preheated griddle at 375F, turning only once. Serve warm with butter and cinnamon sugar. Makes 12 4-inch pancakes.

We had ours with bananas, homemade strawberry sauce, and ginger syrup. Yum!

Baking - General, Ingredient Insights

DIY Brown Sugar

We were baking at my work a couple weeks ago, and discovered we were out of brown sugar. I remembered learning in one of my baking classes that brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses mixed in – and it’s true, if you look at the ingredients listed on a package of brown sugar, that’s what you’ll find.

So I thought, maybe we could make some brown sugar; we had white sugar and molasses, why not give it a try? We only needed a quarter cup of brown sugar, so I measured out just under a quarter cup, and added about a teaspoon of molasses. I mixed it all together, and lo and behold it looked like we had a fresh bowl of brown sugar.

I tried mixing it with a fork at first, but it stayed a bit clumpy; so I switched to my hands (the best mixing tools ever) and it blended together very quickly. We were able to avert a baking disaster, and felt pretty proud of ourselves for our resourcefulness.