One pancake, a multitude of names. I’m going with pannukakku here because 1) it’s what the boy calls it, 2) it’s kinda fun to say, 3) it’s origin non-specific unlike the other two common names used in the US, and 4) it sounds better than “oven pancake”. Basically, what all of these names are referring to is a batter-based sweet baked breakfast dish with a consistency somewhere between Yorkshire pudding and quiche. The other main defining characteristic is its soufflé-like tendency to rise very high while baking, only to collapse upon being left out to cool. (I’m not saying that my soufflés collapse regularly or anything, just that this dish rises. Anyways.)
Yeah, asking for “pancakes” is always confusing around our household. “The really flat ones? The fluffy flat ones? The fluffy American ones? The baked one? The savory ones with the green onions? What about waffles instead?”
Finnish oven pancake. Also made in a variety of other countries, as noted above. Particularly appealing because it doesn’t involve having to stand over a hot stove pouring and flipping for prolonged periods of time. You just mix and pour, then come back later to serve. About half an hour’s time and minimal effort. This will be especially appealing for those who like bread pudding, since it comes close to it in both flavor and texture. Texture can range from eggy-fluffy to gooey-custardy, depending on the size of your pan, length of time baked, and amount of liquid you’re working with. I made a very fluffy one last week, but today’s was more custardy because that was what I was in the mood for. The custardy version also reheats in the toaster oven nicer, without getting really dried out. Recipe is very basic and pretty much the same across several internet sites, so I’m just going with the AR one because it happens to have my picture attached to it 😉
Start out by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place 1/2 cup (or 1 stick) of unsalted butter in a pan ranging from 9×13 to 11×15. The smaller pan will make for a thick and gooey pancake, while the larger one will give more puffing and baking room to make an airier, lighter version. Stick the butter-containing pan into the oven and let it melt while the oven heats up.
Also, notice how beat up my poor old baking pan is. This was its last run and it is now going to the big baking cupboard in the sky. Or to be recycled by the neighborhood trash scrounger for purposes that I’d rather not look too far into.
The ingredient lineup. We have white sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, eggs and milk. Just about as basic as basic gets.
Into the blender go 4 eggs, 2 cups of milk, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Mix until well blended and the top’s looking a bit frothy.
Slowly pour in 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of sugar. Blend well.
Take out the butter pan from the oven. It should be sizzling by now, so be careful when you handle it. Tilt the pan so that the butter coats the sides as far as you can go without spilling.
Then pour the excess butter into the batter and give it another good mixing session.
Pour the resulting batter into your buttered pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. You will see your pancake start to rise by the latter half of the baking process. Don’t worry, it’s not going to stay that big — it’ll start deflating as soon as you take it out of the oven.
Let your pancake cool off and deflate for a bit. Serve hot with powdered sugar, lemon wedges, and jams of your liking. My personal preference is for vanilla-infused maple syrup.
If you have any leftovers, remember that pancakes of any sort freeze very well! Just toss those extras (or make extra on purpose) into a freezer bag and you’ll have some nice pancakes ready to go in minutes on busier mornings. You can pop them straight into the toaster oven from the freezer and they’ll come out tasting MUCH better than those stale mass-produced grocery store ones.