It may be Monday, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp out on breakfast! Breakfast has always been my favorite meal – if I had to choose to cut out lunch and dinner for the rest of my life, I would be perfectly content facing a life full of soft omelets, risen buns and puffy pancakes.
If these dreamy pancakes can’t be part of your right-this-moment plans, I truly hope you file this page away for this weekend. I mean how could you not – a week from today is Fourth of July, and therefore a day off work, so that means you have 3 lazy weekend morning opportunities to start your day off with these!
In my mind, I usually categorize diner pancakes as totally separate from the ones you make at home. You know what I’m talking about – they are just a little thicker and softer than your standard homemade recipe. They soak up all the syrup on your plate, but they don’t get dense and heavy – they still keep that melt-in-your-mouth quality. Basically they are perfect, and until now seemed totally out of my reach. That was until I discovered that adding malted milk powder to the batter would give me those super soft, pillowy pancakes of my dreams! Malted milk powder was originally developed as an infant nutritional supplement, it also happens to give baked goods a rich toasty flavor. (And it never hurts to have some around the kitchen in case you have a craving for an old fashioned malted milkshake!)
Edward Hopper’s iconic 1942 work, Nighthawks, is one of the most recognizable paintings in American art. The picture depicts four non-interacting figures at a downtown diner late at night, and is ultimately interpreted as portraying the loneliness of a large city. The three customers are quiet and deliberate and sit perched around the diner’s wooden counter while the server tends to something behind the bar.
So where is this lonely, empty, late night hangout? According to the artist, the diner was inspired by a specific restaurant in New York City, “located on Greenwich Ave. where two streets meet.” Intersections are pretty common throughout this city, so this vague description doesn’t exactly help. Plenty of guesses have been made throughout the years, and a West Village restaurateur was so convinced that his place was the diner in question that he changed the name of his place on Greenwich St., called Classic Café to Nighthawks a couple of years ago. It’s unclear whether or not that was really the site of Hopper’s inspiration, or if he took inspiration from various elements of architecture throughout the city.
Regardless of whether or not this diner really exists, these diner-style pancakes definitely do, and should be added to your next breakfast menu, ASAP!
Recipe from King Arthur Flour
Featured art: Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942, oil on canvas