Pancakes in America are the national breakfast dish and there are lots of ways of making them. I really put up this recipe because I am so sick and tired of crappy European TV chefs coming up with ridiculous and down right stupid recipes. It's no wonder you can't find decent pancakes for breakfast here. The object is to cook a light golden colored pancake about 3/4 of a cm thick.
Buttermilk pancakes are preferred by my many people in the States. Here is recipe for them.
About the batter: The batter should be on the thick side (not runny) in order for the pancakes to puff up and be light and you should try and rest it for 20 minutes but not longer than 2 hours. The measurements for the milk; flour absorbs liquids differently depending on the humidity in the air and how it is stored. Remember these are not crepes or Swedish style pancakes the batter is much thicker. By the time you have tried this recipe 2 or three times you will see exactly how the batter should look. If the batter is too thick it can be thinned with a little more buttermilk or plain milk or thickened with a little more flour.
Fruit pancakes: You can do this with pancakes the same as with buttermilk pancakes. Soft fruit like raspberries or blueberries can be added to the batter whole. To this recipe you can add a big handful of blueberries even sliced or halved fresh strawberries. Why not whole wild strawberries? We don't really have them in the Northeast where I come from but I think they make a great addition. Bananas or larger firm fruits can be sliced thin and pushed into each pancake as you make them. They will not become completely submerged in the batter no matter how much you try so don't bother. You want to get it down so the top of the sliced fruit is a millimeter below the height of the batter. I have seen a lot of things put into pancakes but I prefer the more traditional additions.
Tip: You should not pour the batter into the pan, try and hold it as close to the pan as possible and let it slide off the spoon into the hot pan. I have got a large spoon which gives me exactly the right amount of batter to pour in the pan to make the pancake the right size. Look around your kitchen and see if you can find one that gives you the right amount
Frying the pancakes: Pancakes are best cooked in a heavy cast iron skillet (frying pan). To save time use a large frying pan where you can get 2 or 3 pancakes in at a time. Heat the pan hot - not smoking - but very hot. You can test the pan by making a little mini pancake to see how it cooks and colors. You will need a little bit of butter in the pan for frying the pancakes. You can wipe the inside of a pan with a paper towel with some softened butter on it. If you do after each pancake or batch of pancakes wipe the pan out with some paper towel, the butter will burn and you want to remove it after the each pancake or batch are cooked. Continue this process until all the pancakes are cooked.
Storing cooked pancakes: Pancakes are best just out of the pan but this is a bit difficult when you are making for the family. Heat your oven to 50°C or (100°F) and lay cooked pancakes on a kitchen towel placed on a baking tray or cookie sheet, not overlapping to stay warm. Because they are hot and will produce steam and wrapping them or stacking them will make them soft and spongy. I have frozen unused pancakes but I have to say that they were in honesty pretty terrible.
Maple syrup is Maple syrup and nothing is quite the same. It is readily available here in Sweden for a price! I remember being young and my aunt cooking liters and liters of maple sap they collected in the woods of Pennsylvania where they lived. It takes approximately 40 liters of sap to make one lit re of Maple syrup, and a mature sugar maple tree produces about 40 liters (10 gallons) of sap during the 4-6 week sugaring season. 75% of the worlds Maple syrup comes from Canada with some of the balance coming from the northeastern states of America (Vermont & Maine).
It's here that the purists die! There are only 2 Maple syrup substitutes which are worth bothering with "Log Cabin" and "Mississippi Bell" neither of these have more than 2% Maple syrup (if any at all) in them but they come the closest to tasting like Maple syrup. They are technically called "maple flavored syrups". I have found both of them at Grey's American Food in Stockholm but I have also seen them at the really big ICA Maxi stores.
About Pancakes in general: "Pancakes", "Flapjacks", and "Griddle Cakes" are all the same thing in America. Johnny Cakes are made with stone ground corn meal, and Buckweat Cakes are of course made with a combination of plain flour and buckweat flour (bovete).The size of pancakes is really up to you but they average from 5cm to 8cm at most. "Silver Dollar" pancakes are the same except they are the size of a silver dollar about 3 cm across. Kids love these and they were a treat when my mom used to make them for us. In Sweden we have Plätter which are eaten with much relish for dessert but they are made from a different recipe and are a bit thinner and lighter than American pancakes.
Making small pancakes 2 to 3 cm across can also be a good vehicle for snacks and canapes, cover them with a little Philadelphia cream cheese and some jam, salmon or anything you would like.