Tips for Perfect Candlemas Pancakes
February 2nd is Candlemas – a holiday not everyone celebrates these days, but which is a great excuse for great food. During the 19th century, Candlemas was the to take a household inventory of how many candles needed to be purchased to get the family through winter.
And for centuries before, Candlemas was also the day of lights; Christians celebrate it as the day Mary and Joseph visited the temple with baby Jesus, to present him to God and proclaimed him “the light of the world.” Today, in addition to lighting lots of candles (at dinner, if not throughout the rest of the day), foodies can celebrate Candlemas with pancakes.
How did pancakes become associated with the holiday?
Presumably because they are round, like our main source of light; the sun.
Traditionally, Candlemas pancakes are made with whole wheat flour from fall’s harvest, but any type of pancake is perfect for a modern day Candlemas. You could even try your hand at what might be called French pancakes: crepes.
Try These Tips for Perfect Candlemas Pancakes
- Don’t use cake or bread flour for pancakes. Instead, choose all-purpose white flour, or half all-purpose white flour and half buckwheat, cornmeal, or whole wheat flour.
- Instead of stirring or whisking out all the bumps of the pancake batter, leave a few in. They make the pancakes fluffier.
- For especially light pancakes, separate the eggs. Beat in the egg yolk when you’d normally add a whole egg. When all other ingredients have been beaten in, add the egg white.
- Allow your batter to rest for about 10 minutes.
- For easier pancakes, use a griddle with a temperature control. Set it for 375 F and preheat. Then turn it down to 360 before actually cooking the pancakes. If you don’t have a griddle, try using a cast iron pan.
- To make even the first pancake perfectly browned, wipe off any excess butter from the griddle before adding batter to it.
- If you want to add berries or nuts to pancakes, first whip up a batter, pour it on the griddle, then sprinkle the berries or nuts over the batter right away.
- You’ll know it’s time to flip the pancakes when the bubbles on an un-cooked side begin bursting.
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