Ahh, breakfast for dinner. Like curling up with a good book or giving a loved one a big, warm hug. It’s comforting, familiar, and even indulgent.
But most of all, it’s a lot of work. Unless, I suppose, you’re idea of brinner is a bowl of cereal, and trust me, those nights happen. On a side note, I kind of hate the word brinner. I dunno, it just sounds ugly.
These pancakes sure aren’t ugly. I can’t describe how difficult it was to snap pictures while inhaling the thin stream of warm, buttery steam coming off these bad boys. Tangy, lemony, buttery steam. Yes, yes, and yes. There’s something about short stacks that makes me insanely happy. The towering, perfectly misshapen rounds of fried dough, a pat of butter melting ever so gently and glossy maple syrup dripping down the sides, making an amber pool on the bottom of the plate.
It’s hard to believe that there was a time when I loathed pancakes. Oh yes, it’s true. I was the rare kid who didn’t like pancakes and couldn’t stand syrup. The former I found to be boringly bland; the latter, cloyingly sweet. It seemed as if pancakes served nothing more than a fluffy vessel for high fructose corn syrup. To be honest, most pancakes do.
And then, I discovered Banana pancakes. No, not the song. The real thing. With lots of butter and a ton of love. I made them as a morning surprise for my mom on Mother’s Day when I was thirteen. Those cinnamon and nutmeg flecked cakes were studded with fresh bananas. They were the star of the show. I learned that real pancakes don’t need a lot of syrup because they are good all on their own.
Tonight, I made tangy lemon Greek yogurt pancakes all for my sweet self. I’ve been sort of obsessed with Greek yogurt lately, and was intrigued by the idea of using it as the main fat in a pancake mix. Not only is this a healthier choice, but it also lends a slight sourness that pairs wonderfully with sweet syrup. Lemon is always refreshing and welcome in my book. The flavor was not too strong, but just enough that I couldn’t wait to take the next bite. The yogurt gave these pancakes an unbelievable texture. Very light, but almost creamy. I’d say they’re even better than buttermilk pancakes, and that’s saying a lot.
Though they’re both time consuming and mess inducing, these pancakes were a breeze to make. The batter is very forgiving, so don’t let fear get in the way of deliciousness!
Here’s the cast of characters for this recipe. A little refresher: this is called mis en place. Everything in its place. This step is vital if you don’t want to get flour all over the handles of your kitchen cupboards. If you bake, I’m sure you know what I mean.
The dry ingredients get mixed in one bowl and the wet in another.
Make sure that both are mixed well, but don’t over mix when you put the two together! The dry goes into the wet. A few turns of the whisk later, and it should look like this:
Lumpy. Yes, lumpy. This is vital in order for the pancakes to be light and fluffy. Little pockets of unmixed flour is ok, even desireable. They will dissolve as the pancakes cook, leaving airy holes in their wake. This also helps the cakes to rise better.
Since I currently don’t own a non-stick pan, I had to resort to my cast-iron skillet. I’ve been using that baby like crazy these days, and I love the charred edges it gives to both vegetables and meat. But pancakes? I was afraid that they’d burn immediately. This was not the case. The pancakes turned out lovely. Crispy-crunchy around the edges and pillowy soft in the centers. It has become my all-around favorite kitchen tool, and I really recommend trying it with pancakes. After the skillet got smoking hot, I turned the burner down to medium-low for the duration of the cooking process. The heat stayed surprisingly consistent and my well-seasoned skillet imparted beautiful color to the cakes.
A pile of pretty pancakes, all for me. Was it worth the mess? Yes. The calories? You betcha! Absolutely delightful with each bite, and I love treating myself. Please do this for yourself too. The upside is that you can eat as many as you want. The downside is that you can eat as many as you want. But, heck, life’s full of ups and downs. I suppose we have to choose one or the other. I’m sure glad I chose to enjoy every single bite of these pancakes. They’re made with love, lemons, and yogurt, after all.
Lemon Greek Yogurt Pancakes
Recipe by Baking Bites
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I actually used Greek Gods lemon honey Greek yogurt. It was wonderful.)
1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and whisk until just combined (remember, lumps are good!). The batter will be fairly thick.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water will skitter over the pan. Grease lightly with oil or butter and spoon batter into pan according to the size of your choice. When the cakes begin to bubble, flip them over and cook until golden on the other side. Transfer cakes to a plate and keep in an oven that has been warmed and turned off until the rest of the pancakes are done. Serve with syrup, fruit, yogurt, honey, or any other condiment of your choosing.