Pizza Lab #16: Pizza Pancakes
Pizza Lab is a fun theoretical column in which Meg A. and Erik S. explore their innermost passion for baking and eating pizzas. It exists purely for the sake of experimenting in the kitchen. It may not necessarily be cost-effective every time, so don’t try this at home kids.
Though the month of March contains a few important holidays (St. Patrick’s Day, the first day of spring, my birthday…), perhaps most important is National Pancake Day on March 4th. National Pancake Day was started by IHOP in 2006 as a way to raise money for charity by giving free short stacks of buttermilk pancakes. Now I know what you’re thinking: this is a pizza lab post, why am I talking about pancakes? It’s because in honor of National Pancake Day we decided to have March’s pizza lab be pancake pizza! We’d tossed the idea around before, and this seemed like the perfect occasion. It’s also a good tie-in to the Pancake Lab we have on our Facebook page.
The concept for pancake pizza was simple enough. Essentially it’s a pizza bagel/muffin, but with a pancake as the base instead of a bagel or English muffin. The procedure was uncomplicated, if you know how to make pizza muffins. Earlier in the day Erik made a basic tomato sauce for us to use.
Then when it was Pizza Lab time we made a batch of buttermilk pancakes.
After they were all done we laid them out on a baking sheet and topped them with the sauce, and shredded mozzarella, as well as finishing off our ricotta salata.
We baked them in a 400°F oven until the cheese got nice and melty and started to brown a bit.
The result was something that looked like adorable mini pizzas. Seriously…these things were so cute.
Especially after we cut them into little pizza slices. Eating them made us feel like giants.
Flavor-wise it tasted pretty good. The pancakes were kind of sweet, since you know, they’re pancakes. But the flavors all worked together well. The trouble with this pizza came down to texture. The pancakes were too fluffy, which is generally a desirable quality when they’re being eaten for breakfast, but just didn’t work as a substitute mini pizza. Bagels and English muffins are all chewy and gluten-y, so they work as substitute pizza crusts. Even the gluten-free pizza dough, while not technically gluten-y had the appropriate amount of chew, so it worked. The pancakes were just too mushy. It was hard to get over the totally wrong texture.
A few things that may have made the pancakes work better:
- If we had cooked the pancakes further in advance and let them dry out a bit.
- If we had pre-baked the pancakes in the oven a bit before adding the toppings, again as a way to dry them out/make them a bit crisper.
- If we had made the pancakes thinner.
Overall, this was not our most successful pizza lab. But that’s what pizza lab is all about – experimentation! Sometimes it works, and others, not so much.