What better time to do a pancake recipe test than on a lazy Sunday morning. After the success of the deviled egg recipe test it was time for something sweet. Once again I went to Foodgawker.com, Tastespotting.com and Tasteologie.notcot.org for potential recipes. I was looking specifically for 'American' pancakes. Thick, small and stackable. I wanted something quite basic, so no complicated flavourings or fancy syrups. I ended up choosing three recipes that are different in the dairy that they use. One with milk, one with buttermilk and one with ricotta.
First up is a milk based pancake with blueberries from fatsointhekitchen.com. In the interest of fairness I made some of these with and some without the blueberries.
Last up is a recipe made with ricotta from mydelicousmeals.com. With and without blueberries.
The basis off all three are pretty much the same; flour, egg , a little sugar, a pinch of salt, and some baking powder. But the devil is in the details.
The ricotta pancake batter is not so much a batter as a dough. It includes a large amount of ricotta and a little bit of vanilla for flavour. To get anything close to a pancake you need to push the mixture down in the pan with a wet spatula or hand. It also uses the least raising agent.
The buttermilk batter is thick but still pourable. On top of the baking powder there is a little bit extra baking soda and it is enriched with some melted butter.
The milk based batter is the thinnest of the three and also the most basic. You could whip these up any time without doing extra shopping.
Now for some action in the pan. Using vegetable oil (butter burns to quickly) for all three pancakes. Easiest to bake correctly is without a doubt the milk pancake. Medium heat and flip when the top has dried. The only problem with the milk based pancakes is that the blueberries stick out so much that once you flip them it is difficult to get even colour on the bottom.
The buttermilk pancakes are a bit trickier. They are thick so if you wait for the top to dry the bottom will be burned. Temperature must go down and bottoms checked regularly. Blueberries go in like a dream.
Same goes for the ricotta pancake though those don't burn quite as quickly as the buttermilk ones. They get a slightly different tone of golden probably due to the ricotta cheese. No problem with the blueberries.
First up the milk based blueberry pancakes. They are a bit on the thin side but taste quite good. They browned nicely and the edges provide a nice crispness. They are much, much better than the rubbery disks you can buy in the shop that call themselves 'American Pancakes'.
The ricotta pancakes are thick and moist. But I fear I have been too careful with the vanilla, sugar and salt because they are also a little bit bland. They are also dense and very filling, 2 of these will get you through a big part of the day. The denseness might be due to the kind of ricotta I used because these are supposed to be fluffy.
Last up the Southern style buttermilk pancakes. They are thick but fluffy, light with a little bit of crunch on the end and the flavour is mindbogglingly delicious. This is exactly what I wanted from my American pancake and I will be making these again... and again.
Do I even need to say it? Spicysouthernkitchen.com's buttermilk pancake is the undisputed winner of the pancake recipe test. With or without blueberries these are the absolute bomb.