The salty pancake
Pancakes are a fundamental part of childhood brunch, often topped with whipped butter, syrup and chocolate chips. In the restaurant world, this breakfast staple has begun to transition from a sweet morning bite to a savory dinner staple. If students of baking courses online take a look around, they might see the appetizing changes. Already named one of the Next Big Ingredients in 2014 by Bon Appetit, pancakes have had their curfew lifted.
One man who truly knows his savory pancakes is State Bird Provisions head chef Stuart Brioza. The piquant versions now featured on his San Francisco menu have become so popular that one section of his kitchen has been deemed the pancake station.
Brioza has been in the restaurant business for years, with restaurants both in Michigan and California. While sitting as head chef of Tapawingo in Ellsworth, Michigan, Brioza earned the James Beard award for Best New Chef. Aside from his accolades, Brioza’s creative recipes are another reason to trust his pancake knowledge.
It all began for Brioza with kimchee pancakes, a Korean version of the savory baked batter. At State Bird Provisions, he adapted this traditional recipe to have a crispy outside and a savory filling. Brioza has branched off from traditional pancakes not only with kimchee, but by adding everything from pecorino, ricotta and ginger to sauerkraut.
Another relative of the savory pancake is the Dutch oven pancake. This requires no mix-ins, only savory toppings.
Flip the pancake
Before attempting to make your own version of these pancakes, heed these State Bird tips: Cook atop a heavy skillet; before adding your batter, oil the pan with clarified butter – Brioza claims it adds better flavor to the pancakes and won’t brown as quickly as regular butter; let the pancakes settle on their own; once the pancakes are close to fully cooked, flip them atop a nice patch of sizzling butter.
Thanks to the San Francisco Gate, here is the base batter that Brioza uses at his restaurant:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup water
— Filling variations
— Clarified butter, as needed
For the Dutch pancake version, you will want to combine three tablespoons of unsalted butter, four large eggs, one cup of whole milk, one cup of flour and a bit of sugar in a food processor. Try and go for fluff because the more blending that happens, the higher your dutch walls will rise.