Tuesday, April 10, 2012

zeppelin pancakes

The sun streamed in last weekend and I was surprised to think that one day soon I too would be walking around in short sleeves.

My Easter weekend could be summed up like this: three glorious days when life could lift up, up and away from the workaday world.

These light-as-air pancakes for breakfast certainly helped.

They are called "zeppelin pancakes."

Do you know what a zeppelin is? I mean, do you really know what a zeppelin is?

I had vague notions of something kind of round and floaty. After a little help from a friend, I can now tell you with authority that a zeppelin is a "rigid airship." So it seems I was on the right track.

In any case, these pancakes are definitely on the right track.

As long as you have buttermilk and sour cream around, you can whip them up almost before you can say, "Did we take out the bacon to defrost last night?"

The recipe comes from a bewitching little book called "The Breakfast Book" by Marion Cunningham. There are no photos, but there are lots of recipes and little drawings: of spoons, of bananas, of breakfast trays. It was published in 1987 and I send all my gratitude to the lovely Molly for bringing it to my attention last year.

Marion Cunningham says this recipe comes from Don Chappellet, who perfected it while making Sunday morning pancakes for his six kids. Which just shows that you can make this recipe pretty quickly and without a lot of fuss.

But, oh, the pancakes themselves are something to fuss about. So light they almost lift off the plate, held together with a crispy golden filigree of butter, and full of the tang of buttermilk – just asking for a pat of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup . . .

Don't wait until the next long weekend to try them. Because, you never know, they might turn a regular weekend into something that feels like a long weekend. Zeppelins will do that.

One year ago: gumdrop cookies and chocolate tomato juice cake: bad idea
Two years ago: butterscotch pudding and chocolate cheesecake

don chappellet's zeppelin pancakes
from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham
gluten-free adaption from me

fries about 25 30 pancakes

2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 c. wheat flour
     Or gluten-free:
     46 g. brown rice flour
     46 g. tapioca starch
     46 g. potato starch
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Heat your griddle to medium-high – this recipe will come together in no time.

Mix the egg yolks, buttermilk and sour cream together. Stir in the melted butter. Set aside.

Stir the flour(s), baking soda and salt together. Stir into the buttermilk mixture and beat until smooth. Try not to worry that it's still quite runny. Set aside.

Beat the reserved egg whites until stiff but still moist. Carefully fold them into the batter.

Butter your griddle and make your pancakes. Turn when you see bubbles opening. Fry briefly on the other side.

If you don't think you can eat all the pancakes at once, you have two options.

Option 1: Fry them all up. Save the extras in the fridge. Reheat by placing on a cookie sheet and in the oven set to 350 degree Fahrenheit for about 6 minutes.

Option 2: Save the batter in the fridge. It will lose a bit of its oompf but still make delicious pancakes; you can always stir in another beaten egg white before cooking, if you like.

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