Whether you know them as johnnycakes, flapjacks, or pancakes, these tasty little quick breads are a quintessential staple of the American breakfast. For many, just the idea of hot, fresh pancakes brings back a sense of nostalgia – after all, young kids enjoy waking to a hot plate of them on those wonderful weekend mornings. Perhaps the best thing about pancakes, though, is the versatility with which they can be made. There are a virtually limitless number of extra ingredients and flavorful twists that can be added to pancakes with little effort. Some folks add a pinch of cinnamon, others throw in nuts and berries, and still others enjoy chocolate-chip infused pancakes. Undoubtedly, one of the best-loved and most popular specialty versions out there is the banana pancake. In this article, we’ll take a look at some background information behind these culinary delights, and how to make delicious banana pancakes for yourself.
Because it’s so simple to make them, pancakes have been made as a food item for literally thousands of years. In fact, archaeologists generally agree that an early version of pancakes were made over hot stones with a batter of flours, eggs, and milk in even prehistoric times. From the beginnings of civilization, the pancake spread to cultures across the globe. There’s the milk, flour, egg, and butter pancakes we’re familiar with, which originated in Western Europe. Others, made in certain parts of Asia, use rice flour as the key ingredient. In a few more remote parts of the world such as Indonesia, even coconut milk is used as a central pancake ingredient.
The banana pancake, specifically, is a much more recent – and ingenious – invention. As you probably already guessed, the basic idea behind banana pancakes is simply to add mashed bananas to the prototypical pancake batter. It’s mainly a Western practice, but banana pancakes are becoming more and more popular in the East, where Western-style restaurants often serve them to hungry customers.
The Classic Banana Pancake Recipe
Before firing up the griddle, you’ll need to gather all the necessary ingredients for banana pancakes. To make six servings, you’ll need a cup of white flour, a tablespoon of white sugar, two teaspoons of baking powder, a fourth teaspoon of salt, a whole egg, a cup of milk, two tablespoons of vegetable oil, and two ripe bananas.
Now that everything you need for your banana pancakes is gathered together, it’s time to start cooking! Start by getting two bowls. In the first, you’ll mix the dry ingredients – the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. In the second, mix all the wet ingredients – your beaten egg, cup of milk, vegetable oil, and mashed bananas. Next, turn on the stove or griddle to medium heat, so it will be nice and hot by the time you’re done doing prep work. The final pre-cooking step is to combine all your ingredients into a single bowl. Mix them well, but don’t worry if the batter is a little lumpy. The batter will still cook evenly when put on the griddle
At this point, you should have a fully prepared banana pancake batter and a hot, slightly oiled (or cooking-sprayed) surface ready to go. In the next step, pour out a small (roughly half-dollar sized) amount of batter on to the surface – fit as many as you can onto it. Give it a minute or two before flipping in order to ensure that the pancakes won’t fall apart. When both sides are golden-brown, they’re ready to eat!
Like anything else culinary, making banana pancakes is a developed skill – an art, really. So don’t get frustrated if your first few batches don’t turn out perfectly. With a little practice and perseverance, you’ll be making perfect, delicious banana pancakes with ease.