Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Things that are easier to get in New York. Things that aren't.

Alright. Full-disclosure. When we're in New York, I use a combination of Betty Crocker's Bisquick Pancake Mix and Bob's Redmill 10-Grain Pancake Mix to make Jules pancakes once or twice a week. Actually, if I was going to be completely honest, I'm a major fan of Bisquick pancakes myself and would probably eat an entire bowl of uncooked mix if it wasn't terrible for me (and completely gross of me...) 

Well. Believe it or not, it isn't easy to track down Betty's Bisquick or Bob here in Paris. There are a couple of funny American "epicerie" where they carry a peculiar mixture of American brands that I wouldn't qualify as obvious or useful, but none of them have my guilty/lazy pleasure, Bisquick mix. (I was just in one where they had five different flavors of "Nerds" the candy, but only generic ketchup. Someone needs to have a sit-down with the guy in charge of ordering...)

So I caved and looked up how to make pancakes from scratch. Don't get me wrong, I like making things from scratch. I never buy a ready-made pie dough, I don't think I've eaten a frozen meal or fast-food in about 10 years! But at pancake mix, I usually draw the line. And not because I don't think Jules is a discriminating audience, but because let's be serious, why try to make something that has already been perfected by the people at Betty Crocker??? Well. Surprise, surprise, Martha Stewart has found a way to make a homemade pancake that is almost as good as pre-fab.

Here's her recipe, though I made (of course) a couple of alterations... Mainly, I halved the quantity of sugar in the recipe, because I really don't like sweet pancakes. Obviously, that's dealers-choice, if you are cool with a sweet pancake, you can make her recipe exactly as you find it.

Sorry this photo is a little grizzly. Jules takes his pancakes "straight-up", so I couldn't jazz this photo up with gloriously drizzled syrup and a whopping pile of butter and fruit... 


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar *I only used 1 T. and was happy with the degree of sweetness. To each, their own... 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or vegetable oil 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Assorted toppings, such as butter, maple syrup, confectioners' sugar, honey, jams, preserves, sweetened whipped cream, or chocolate syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees; have a baking sheet or heatproof platter ready to keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven. **I didn't do this-- we just ate them as they came off the griddle and they never even saw the  chance to cool down. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, butter (or oil), and egg. Add dry ingredients to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened (do not overmix; a few small lumps are fine). *I used butter in lieu of oil throughout this recipe. Because it's delicious. And I'm in France where butter is on a completely different level. 
  3. Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, and moisten with oil; carefully rub skillet with oiled paper towel. Again, butter in lieu of oil. 
  4. For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into a round (you should be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large skillet).
  5. Cook until surface of pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm in oven. Continue with more oil and remaining batter. (You'll have 12 to 15 pancakes.) Serve warm, with desired toppings.


  1. Being an ex-pat in South America, I know what you mean :) I've had to learn to make many of our favorites from scratch. Some days I'd give a lot for some of the convenience foods we enjoyed in the states (although I do admit that most homemade stuff is better).
    Anywho... from one pancake aficionado to another... wanted to share my favorite recipe because (1) it's super easy (only 4 ingredients!), (2) it's super delicious (light and fluffy) and (3) it's a much healthier version than most (NO sugar at all, and only the oil you use in the fry pan).
    I'm actually doubling the recipe for you, since the original is great for me and the hubby, but not for a family of three.
    Mix 1-1/2 cups plain yogurt with two eggs, add scant 1 cup flour, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda and mix until blended. Let rise a bit while skillet heats up, fry and eat.
    Since there's no sugar, we've been known on occasion to use these pancakes as the base for other breakfast style fare (topped with some fresh farmer's cheese, a slice of tomato and an egg over easy).
    Topping options truly are endless.
    Now excuse me while I go whip up a batch :)

  2. Love this! I'm going to try these next time... Thanks for the tip!