Pittsburgh’s Finest Diner Pancakes
Pamela's Diner, with six outposts in and around Pittsburgh, is justly famous
for its oversized pancakes. Light and buttery, thinner than regular pancakes but
thicker than crêpes, people rave about their crisp edges and wonderful texture.
Our version of these cakes, based on some "hints" Pamela's has dropped about their
secret recipe, produces pancakes we feel are close to the original; but since we've
never been to Pamela's Diner, we can't know for certain.
The "authentic" way to serve these pancakes is spread with sour cream, sprinkled
with brown sugar, topped with sliced strawberries, and rolled — think blintz. We
love them that way (and substituting yogurt for the sour cream won't noticeably
diminish their wonderful flavor); or simply as is (not rolled), topped with a drizzle
of maple syrup.
- 1 cup lukewarm milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 3/8 teaspoon salt (or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 large egg, beaten
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together everything except the egg,
stirring until fairly smooth; a few small lumps can remain.
- Tent the bowl lightly with plastic, and allow it to rest at room temperature
for 3 hours; it'll start to bubble just a bit.
- Refrigerate the batter overnight.
- Just before cooking the pancakes, stir in the beaten egg.
- Heat a 9- or 10-inch skillet over medium heat; or heat a 9 or 10 inch electric
skillet to 300 degrees F; or heat a griddle that's at least 9 to 10 inches wide,
and easy to pick up and handle.
- Place 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon butter into the skillet, swirling
them around until the butter melts. Yes, use 1 teaspoon each; this is what will
give the pancakes their signature crisp edges.
- Pour a scant 1/2 cup batter into the pan, tilting the pan until the batter
forms a circle about 9inches in diameter. It's important that you do this quickly,
before the pancake has a chance to set; the thin edges that result from tilting
the pan to distribute the batter become wonderfully crispy.
- Cook the pancake for about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until its underside is
golden brown. Flip it over, and cook about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more, until golden.
- Transfer to a plate (or lightly greased baking sheet, if you want to keep
the pancake warm in the oven while you cook the remainder). Repeat with the
- Serve the pancakes with butter and syrup. Or spread sour cream (or whipped
cream, or yogurt), layer strawberries down the center, and roll like a blintz.
Prep Time: 20 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Yield: 4 large pancakes
Want to double this recipe to make 8 pancakes? Not a problem. Double everything
except the yeast, which can remain at 1/2 teaspoon.
Recipe and photo used with permission from King Arthur Flour.
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