So, when I went to bed last Saturday night, I had a real deep craving to eat pancakes for breakfast the following morning. So much so that I was hiding my phone under the duvet so that I could Google ‘how to make pancakes without milk’ because I knew there was no milk in the flat. It seems pancakes without milk is pretty easy. I was however disturbed by all the recipes that called for baking soda. I’ll let you into a secret, I have a baking soda/powder phobia. I once made some unfortunate cakes with an excess of baking soda/powder (I don’t remember which one) which has always put me off this baking ingredient and I have always since that incident used much less than recipes call for. Silly really. Last night while I was Googling away under the covers I thought I should just educate myself how I should be using baking soda and baking powder and on the difference between the two powders.

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate nothing else added. It acts as a leavening agent by reacting with added acids like that in citrus fruits, vinegar, yoghurt, cream of tartar and buttermilk to make carbon dioxide therefore causing baking products to rise. Baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate and an acidic agent such as cream of tartar or calcium acid phosphate which are activated by the addition of water and some starch based item such as potato or corn starch. A double-acting baking powder has two opportunities to allow baked goods to rise, once when added to the liquid mixture and another when the mixture is heated up due to thermal decomposition of the sodium bicarbonate to produce carbon dioxide

I found a recipe on the internet and just modified it slightly to what I had in my kitchen cupboards. I added baking soda instead of powder and the juice of one lemon.

1/2 cup wholemeal organic plain flour

1/2 cup organic plain flour

Juice of one lemon

1 cup of water

4 teaspoons of golden caster sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 egg

2 tablespoons of sunflower oil

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Mix all the dry ingredients together (salt, flour, sugar, cinnamon). Beat the egg and add the oil, water and lemon. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir to bind the ingredients together but do not over mix. Put a small amount of oil in a frying pan and add one ladle of mixture at a time. When I cooked pancakes with my best friend a few months she told me to cook one side until the bubbles came up.

That’s exactly what I did today and they came out perfect, light and spongy. I guess the only think I might change is adding more sugar to the recipe. However, because I don’t usually eat pancakes without first drenching them in maple syrup, it was not a particular problem for me.

And so my Sunday begins with me a little fuller and a little wiser perhaps…


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