Welcome to The Pancake Project!
It was the year of the coronavirus, April 2020, the COVID-spring. My husband and I were in the kitchen–like everyone else, we were cooking way more than usual, even though we both love to cook. We also love to travel, and were mourning the scratched trip to Texas we had planned, wondered when we would be able to visit Paris again and see the spot where we got engaged, or get the chance to go where we haven’t been. Germany. Bali. New Zealand. Wherever. It’s a big beautiful world out there, and we both want to see it all.
One bit of conversation led to another, as conversations do, and we started talking about common food themes. Pretty much every culture around the globe has some kind of flat bready-cakey thing that they put other things on, from fruit to cheese to bacon, and love and call their own. They’re like conveyor belts of deliciousness, and can be fused and amended and adapted, depending on the trends of the time. Traditionalists may argue about the authenticity of recipes that may change from neighborhood to neighborhood, but the point is, we can all claim allegiance to some variety of flat food. And you’ll see that it’s been this way for thousands of years.
Since we cannot travel we decided to bring these foods to us. We can read, right? We know how to use the interwebs. Let’s open some cookbooks, we said, do some research, and start traveling the world of pancakes and flatbreads from the COVID-free safety of our own kitchen. The rules we set for ourselves are simple: Primary recipes must involve a flat cake or bread. They can be thin and flat (pancakes, natch) or thick and flat (ciabatta bread), but they can’t form something round, like a dinner roll, during cooking. They can be manipulated into roundness (i.e. stuffed, like a papusa) but the roundness must come from external influence. And…that’s about it.
One note for the reader: My husband is a vegetarian, so most of the food we talk about will be largely vegetarian because who wants to cook two meals? Not this woman. But I will talk about meat options or accompaniments. If I’m in the right mood I might even make some. 🙂
So welcome, once again, to The Pancake Project. I hope you enjoy! Let’s get going.