One of the cookbooks I got for my birthday was Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman. Since baking is absolutely a ratio science, I was excited to try some of the recipes inside. Michael Ruhlman seems to set up each ratio/recipe with a basic ratio and then talks the reader through how to vary it or add to it. Variations might be for sake of the weather, personal preference, or other variables. For pancakes, which fall under "quick cakes" in the book, it is about personal preference - how dense or thick of a pancake do you like? I like mine a bit thinner than Ruhlman, so I added more milk. And blueberries since they are the peak of season right now.
And since I am trying to make all the pancakes from every region, I suppose I can count this as one of the many American pancakes. The perfect pancake? Well they are pretty good. Creamy and light. I can't think of a better normal pancake.
8 ounces milk
2 large eggs
2 ounces butter (1/2 stick), melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 ounces flour (1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk until they are thoroughly combined. Combine the dry ingredients (press the baking powder through a strainer if it's pebbly.) Combine the wet and dry ingredients and whisk or stir until the batter is smooth. This ratio results in a fairly thick batter, and thick, cakey pancakes. If you like them thinner, add 1-2 ounces of milk. Cook on a lightly oiled surface, griddle or pan, over medium heat until done.*
Yield: about 8 4-inch pancakes (although I made half the recipe and had a solid six)
*Before the recipe, Ruhlman says he likes to cook his pancakes on a film of bacon fat for a crisp crust. I used oil since we are vegetarian!