In doing my research for all my Pancake Week posts, I stumbled across a book by one of my favorite children’s book authors, Tomie dePaola, that I hadn’t previously known about called Pancakes For Breakfast.
I listed it in a recent post as one my favorite children’s books about pancakes. I ordered a copy, and it is already a favorite with my own girls. I was delighted this week to read a post on Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef that mentioned this very book and how much her own little girl loves it. The post goes on to announce a new project, The Gluten-Free Ratio Rally—a challenge to liberate yourself from using measuring cups and spoons by turning to the kitchen scale, and learning how to cook by weight using ratios. This may sound intimidating, but as Shauna mentions in her post, Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking makes this process so simple that you’ll be shocked! Although this project is specifically targeted for gluten-free cooking, I think it’s an invaluable exercise for any cook. So what does this have to do with pancakes? The first challenge of the Rally was pancakes!
In her post, Shauna explained, “The classic ratio for pancakes is 4 parts flours/4 parts liquid/2 parts egg/1 part butter. Since a large egg weighs 2 ounces, it’s best to start with 2 ounces as the base . . . Once you wrap your mind around that, you won’t ever need to look at a pancake recipe again. You just pull out the ingredients and go.”
I’d like to pass the challenge on. Whether or not you are gluten-free, there is still huge benefits to learning to cook this way, as you will literally never need a recipe again once you have memorized the simple ratios. All you will need is your imagination! So in the spirit of Pancake Week, go check out Pancakes For Breakfast from your local library and sit down with your kids for a few minutes of good picture book fun. Then, when they are begging you for pancakes (which they will be after reading this book), bring them with you into the kitchen, pull up some step stools so they can participate, and break out your own favorite pancake ingredients. But do not touch a cookbook! You know the ratio, you don’t need a crutch! All you need other than that, is the basic pancake method of mixing liquid ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another, and then mixing them together until just combined. If you need some inspiration, go check out Shauna’s beautiful post, and the pancake recipes from the 11 other participants that she links to. I’d love to hear about your Pancakes For Breakfast experience. Let’s inspire and encourage each other—let’s get pancaking!