Time for a German Breakfast

I was staying in Berlin for a few days attending a conference. The last time I had been to Germany was in 1985 staying for a couple of days in Munich on the way back from a camp in Yugoslavia. This was my first visit to Berlin and the first visit to a unified Germany. I was staying at the NH Collection Mitte ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ in the heart of what was East Berlin.

I had breakfast in the hotel and I did find it interesting what was on offer and what I could have. I had never had breakfast before at a German hotel.

So once I got my coffee and a (disappointing) orange juice, I headed to the service area to choose something for breakfast.

There was a kitchen that cooked omelettes and fried eggs to order. On the hot plates were Nuremberg sausage or Nürnberger Rostbratwurst. These were small grilled sausages with a distinctive flavour. There was also scrambled egg, which was nothing to shout about. I quite liked the cheese covered grilled tomato, the cheese certainly enhanced that tomato. The streaky bacon was overcooked for my liking. I guess if you like crispy bacon then you would enjoy this streaky bacon, personally I prefer my bacon cooked, but still soft. Though initially a little apprehensive, I did quite enjoy the mushrooms in a cream sauce. 

There was a wide range of breakfast items available. I did expect to see cheeses and cold meats, but was a little surprised to see fresh salad alongside. That felt a lot more like lunch than breakfast. Next to the salad was a lovely selection of fresh fruit. Elsewhere there was yoghurts and cereal.

I really loved the bread selection, as well as a range of bread rolls, there was a great range of loaves which you could cut slices from. There was white bread, seeded bread and wholemeal bread. Along with the bread was pastries and croissant.

There was also a pancake machine, which you could use to make your own pancakes, to which you could add maple syrup.

This was a splendid selection of breakfast items and I really enjoyed eating breakfast at the hotel. 

Gluten Free Pancakes

pancake

I often make pancakes for breakfast on a  regular basis.

Cup of gluten free plain flour

Cup of semi-skimmed milk

One egg.

Spoonful of sugar.

Vanilla essence.

Whisk the ingredients together. I do find that with gluten free flour there isn’t any benefit to which order you add the ingredients, but I generally do the flour first, then add the milk, then the sugar vanilla essence and the egg.

The key is to have a batter that will coat the back of the spoon.

Gluten free batter doesn’t need to be left to stand (as some recipes for normal pancakes call for). When I started cooked gluten free pancakes, I use to make normal pancakes as well using wheat flour. However after tasting both, I realised that there was very little if any difference. So now, and it avoids the risk of cross-contamination, I only cook gluten free pancakes.

I have often heard that the first pancake cooked will not work and therefore should be thrown away. My experience is that the reason the first pancake doesn’t work, is mainly down to the fact that the pan isn’t hot enough. I put my pancake pan on the heat and then make the batter, that way it is hot enough when I am ready to start cooking the pancakes.

I brush the pan with some sunflower oil. Add a spoonful of batter and then swirl the pan so that the batter coats the entire base of the pan. I say spoonful of batter as I usually use a bowl with a lip so I can put the batter direct onto the pancake pan. You can see the batter cooking and once it is cooked, flip the pancake over. Yes you can toss it, but I usually use a fish slice to flip the pancake over.

I use the same recipe for smaller pancakes as well.

Serve with your favourite whatever, be that sugar, maple syrup or whatever.

Gluten Free Breakfast Waffles

One of my regular breakfast dishes is gluten free breakfast waffles. I use a quick and simple method to make these puffy waffles.

Gluten Free Breakfast Waffles

I bought a special waffle frying pan from Aldi a few months back and it works really well for cooking these breakfast waffles.

Waffle Pancake Pan

These ingredients should make three batches, so twenty one waffles in one cooking session.

I take a cup of self-raising gluten free flour, a cup of milk, one egg, a large spoon of sugar and some vanilla essence.

Whisk the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter. You may want to add extra milk if the batter is too thick.

Heat the pan on a moderate to low heat, you need these to cook through and not be overdone on the outside and sticky in the middle, You’re aiming for a puffy waffle with crisp outside.

I brushed the pan with some sunflower oil and pour Not too much) of the batter into the pan. I always put less in than it looks to fill the waffle area, as the batter will expand as it cooks.

You have to take care to ensure that the pancakes cook all the way through, but isn’t overdone on the surface. I find turning them can be quite messy, so I use two spoons to turn them. One to scoop underneath and the the other to keep it from slipping and messing up the pan.

I served these with sugar or golden syrup. I think I might need to get some maple syrup if I am going to make these again.

Gluten Free Breakfast Waffles

Breakfast Waffles

This is a quick and simple method to make puffy breakfast waffles.

I bought a special waffle frying pan from Aldi a few weeks back and it works really well for cooking breakfast waffles.

Waffle Pancake Pan

These ingredients should make three batches, so twenty one waffles in one cooking session.

I take a cup of self-raising gluten free flour, a cup of milk, one egg, a large spoon of sugar and some vanilla essence.

Whisk the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter. You may want to add extra milk if the batter is too thick.

Heat the pan on a moderate to low heat, you need these to cook through and not be overdone on the outside and sticky in the middle, You’re aiming for a puffy waffle with crisp(ish) outside.

I brushed the pan with some sunflower oil and pour Not too much) of the batter into the pan.

You have to take care to ensure that the pancakes cook all the way through, but isn’t overdone (or even burnt) on the surface. I do find turning them can be quite messy, so be careful. I use two breakfast spoons to turn them.

Serve with fresh fruit or maple syrup.

Gluten Free Puffy Pancakes

pancakes

This is a quick and simple method to make puffy pancakes. There are various names for these kinds of pancake.

I take a cup of self-raising gluten free flour, a cup of milk, one egg, a large spoon of sugar and some vanilla essence. For flat pancakes, I would normally use plain flour.

Whisk the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter.

I have a specialist small pancake pan which I can use for cooking these. I brush the pan with some sunflower oil and pour Not too much) of the batter into the pan.

You have to take care to ensure that the pancakes cook all the way through, but isn’t overdone (or even burnt) on the surface. I do find turning them can be quite messy, so be careful.

Serve with maple syrup.

Blueberry Pancakes

We often have blueberries in the house, but eating them raw I have never been that impressed, much prefer blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.

I make pancakes for breakfast on a regular basis, both the traditional flat ones and the American style small ones. This time I decided that I would have a go at making some blueberry pancakes and see if this would change my mind about blueberries.

I took my usual pancake mix, in a bowl add:

A cup of self-raising flour
½ tsp of baking powder
½ tsp of vanilla extract
1 egg
A cup of milk
1 tbsp of caster sugar

This I whisked into a batter. I then added a handful of blueberries (50g).

Using my non-stick pancake frying pan, which as is getting older, I brushed it with some sunflower oil, after heating it up on the hob. I then poured in a spoonful of pancake mixture. You don’t want it too hot, otherwise the inside of the slightly thicker pancakes won’t be cooked.

I left the pancakes to cook until air bubbles started to appear on the top, then turn them over.

I obviously didn’t use enough blueberries as not all the pancakes by the time I cooked the batter had blueberries in them, this in the end wasn’t so bad as the little people in the house didn’t want blueberries in their pancakes.

I served mine with some maple syrup and if you wanted to you could have added some uncooked blueberries too.

I was really pleased with the results, really tasty and I will certainly be cooking them again. I may even now have a go at cooking blueberry muffins.

Fluffy Pancakes

After posting on Twitter yesterday that I had pancakes for breakfast (well that is what the Twitter was created for) a reply from a friend asked if I had had the flat English ones, or the fluffy American style?

I had cooked the flat English kind, but inspired this morning I looked in the cupboard for the Bicarbonate of Soda… A yes I remembered that we had done some science experiments with it a while back… Hmmm, there was some Baking Powder though, not quite the same, but should have the same effect.

I added a teaspoon to my usual mix of plain flour, egg, spoonful of sugar, vanilla and milk. With the pancake pan, I did lower the heat, as these would be thicker than the flat English kind.

The result was pretty good, light, thick and fluffy. Slightly different taste, which meant though I enjoyed them, the little people were less impressed… It was a good thing I had cooked some of the flat English kind too.

Making Pancakes

For breakfast this morning I had pancakes.

Well it was pancake time again for breakfast on Sunday, one advantage I guess of getting woken up early.

I make a simple batter of flour, eggs and milk, with a spoonful of caster sugar and some vanilla extract; and then cook using a hot pan. I really should measure the batter, but I find that experience allows me to “guess: the flour and milk. The key is the ensure that the mixture is smooth and coats the back of a spoon.

I have one just for pancakes, well I sometimes use it for omelettes or when I need an extra frying pan… shouldn’t really, but like any good cook, I need more pans. As it is getting old, though non-stick I do use some sunflower oil. I use a pastry style brush, it was a free gift from Jack Daniels and was designed to baste barbecue food with a Jack Daniels sauce. It therefore works really well in brushing oil onto the pancake pan.

If I am making large pancakes then I have the pan hotter than if I am making small ones, partly as the smaller ones are thicker, whilst the larger ones are made by swirling the mixture across the pan (and therefore are thinner).

I serve them with proper maple syrup. Personally I can’t stand the maple flavoured syrups you can buy, and will only buy the proper stuff. Yes it is expensive, but I would rather have the good stuff now and again rather than the horrible stuff all the time.

Pancakes for Breakfast

Well it was pancake time again for breakfast, one advantage I guess of getting woken up early.

I make a simple batter of flour, eggs and milk, with a spoonful of caster sugar and some vanilla extract; and then cook using a hot pan. I have one just for pancakes, well I sometimes use it for omelettes or when I need an extra frying pan… shouldn’t really, but like any good cook, I need more pans.

I serve them with proper maple syrup. Personally I can’t stand the maple flavoured syrups you can buy, and will only buy the proper stuff. Yes it is expensive, but I would rather have the good stuff now and again rather than the horrible stuff all the time.