While it’s true that I am a sourdough snob and prefer my dad’s pancakes, there is room for one more variety in my heart (quite literally only one more): my grandmother’s super thin crepe-like banana pancakes. I have spent years trying to get them “quite right”, and the trial and error has paid off.
Truth time: I buy bananas and secretly hope I get to use them solely for banana pancakes…shhh…
Plop a nice ripe banana in a bowl and add 1 cup flour, 1 1/2 TB (or so – I don’t measure these things) sugar, 1 egg, a splash of vanilla and a dash of salt. Slowly add milk as you mix together with a hand mixer, until the batter is a melted milkshake consistency. That’s it.
Drop onto the griddle or pan of your choice. Always a low to medium heat. You know it’s ready for batter when the pan does a little sizzle when you flick water on it. An aggressive pop and sizzle will result in burnt cakes with raw middles and no one but the family dog likes that nonsense. Oh. And be sure to give it a quick squirt of non-stick cook spray, (or some lard if you are OG like me) so your pancakes will easily lift when ready.
For me, the thinner the pancakes the better and while these aren’t exactly my gram’s, they are pretty close.
Now, drizzle with loads of real maple syrup and some butter and you are reliving my childhood weekend’s at grandma and grandpa’s. And special weekends in my own home now. These are so good my sorta-anti-pancake-husband is into them.
We have a bumper crop of green and red bunching onions this season. Also known as scallions, spring onions, green onions, etc. So of course a batch of scallion pancakes was needed. Duh.
Mix 2 1/2 cups flour with 1 cup warm water and knead until elastic. Cover with a towel and let sit for half an hour.
Chop a large bunch of green onions while the dough is resting – 10-15 stems.
Divide your dough into 4 sections. On a lightly oiled surface, roll one of the dough portions into a rectangle – as thin as possible without breaking.
Liberally sprinkle the lightly oiled dough with salt, spread a generous amount of onions on the dough and roll into a long rope. Cut in half, coil and set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
Roll each cool as thin as possible while a pan heats with a combination of sesame and olive oil and some of that bacon grease you have stashed in the freezer.
Fry each cake approximately 2 minutes on each side, cut into 4 sections and serve with soy sauce, gyoza sauce or just on their own.
They were amazing and super easy – what is that, 5 ingredients?? If you want to kick it up a notch, add some pepper jack cheese and you’ve got a handheld funky pizza. Hooray! (The husband thought that was pretty amazing)
My dad has kept the same batch of sourdough starter going for over 36 years (even he can’t tell you exactly how old it is) and I grew up eating sourdough pancakes. I became such a pancake snob that all other pancakes are considered vastly inferior, if not just gross (except my grandmas banana pancakes….yum). On my parents most recent trip up north they brought yet another jar for me to nurture (in the many moves from apartments to different states etc I have lost or abandoned more than a few jars…) and I immediately threw it into action.
The first thing I did was make pancakes – duh. I can actually portion from memory but I’ve had the official instructions for years and with a little practice you can do the same thing.
The sourdough base can be used for anything from bread to pizza dough, to any other sourdoughy thing you can think of. It’s cheap and easy and each “strain” takes on it’s own specific characteristics. If you aren’t lucky enough to be able to pull from my dad’s stash, you can start your own starter. Many specialty stores carry the yeasty bits, or someone in a cold sourdough heavy place (like Alaska) could even mail you a postcard with the “just add water” components.
My grandparents always made banana pancakes for breakfast when I was a kid staying over at their house and they were amazing. Crepe thin and covered in maple syrup made right down the street in the neighbors sugar shack. Since then I have always considered banana pancakes to be an awesome treat. Lately I’ve been trying to cut down on some of the ‘bad food’ intake and stumbled across a recipe for these tasty treats without all the flour and sugar.
Pulse 1/2 cup dry oats in a food processor
Add 1 banana, 1 egg white, a TB milk or water and a dab of honey and blend until smooth
Cook on lightly greased pan (I love our Misto for lightly spraying yummy olive oil) until golden brown and serve
I find they are sweet enough that I don’t need to add syrup and feel so much better about eating the entire batch (makes 3-6 pancakes depending on size).