Tips On How to Make Easy Homemade Breakfast

today on America's Test Kitchen Julie

and Bridget make the easiest pancakes

from scratch Lisa reviews syrup

dispensers Jack challenges Bridget to a

tasting of turkey bacon dan explores the

science of browning and Becky cooks

Julia creamy french style scrambled eggs

it's all coming up right here on

America's Test Kitchen

a little bit of a Test Kitchen

Confidential Here I am a lazy cook

especially in the mornings I can't bring

myself to make pancakes I prefer french

toast you dip it you flip it and you eat

it pancakes you got to find a scratch

recipe that's really tasty but also easy

before the cup of coffee right and we've

had a lot of really fussy pancake

recipes over the years whipping egg

whites they're delicious but I'm not

dragging a mixer out before oh yeah so

as you know most Saturdays I make

pancakes with my daughter Marta you

never invite me over yep because they're

having a coffee up yeah and you know for

years I used the same box mix that I

like it was low on preservatives sure

but it didn't taste that great but it

kind of didn't matter then this recipe

came along changed everything now we

make this because it is incredibly easy

and it tastes so much better

converted you from a box described it

and hopefully for me from French toast

right I don't know that's a little bit

of her we'll try we'll try so we have

two bowls a drivable and a wet bowl okay

I'll go where to start with a dry bowl

here I have two cups of flour to this

I'm gonna add three tablespoons of sugar

and that's just all-purpose flour right

AP flour not a specialty flour okay good

so next we're gonna add one of the

leaveners this is baking powder we're

gonna add four teaspoons that's quite a

bit that's a lot its most double than

what you find in other recipes but we

wanted really tall fluffy pancakes and

that's one of the ways you get that do

this I'm gonna add a teaspoon of salt

last but definitely not least some

baking soda so we already have the

leavener in there from the baking powder

this is half a teaspoon of baking soda

adds a little bit of a tang which is

really important for a pancake also

helps with browning mmm just 1/2

teaspoon is all you need now a lot of

times when I make this recipe I make it

two batches and I put one in a ziploc

bag and then I write the rest of the

ingredients on it so next weekend even

easier creating your own box mmmm


alright onto the wet ingredients we have

two eggs to this we're gonna add a

quarter cup of vegetable oil I like

adding this before I add the milk that

just helps break up the yolks without

our getting to splattering now we're

gonna add some milk this is one and a

half cups of milk

so last but not least a little bit of

vanilla this is half a teaspoon of

vanilla again pretty crucial to making a

good tasting pancake all right now the

really hard part we're gonna put one to

gorgeous no folding no whipping the

hardest part of that this recipe is not

over whisking this because again we want

tall pancakes and one thing we found is

that when you make this too smooth you

actually get a batter that's more runny

and you want a thick batter and that

looks like a mistake I does especially

before coffee yeah but actually this is

good because the lumps make a thicker

batter of course you could make a

thicker batter with less liquid but that

makes them dry so those lumps of flour

they need to hydrate so they're sitting

and hydrating but keeping the batter

nice and thick which makes taller

pancakes alright how long we have to let

this rest for 10 minutes all right it's

been 10 minutes we're coffee'd up and

ready to start okay now I want to show

you the texture of this batter see how

clumpy and thick it is that's good

because that means nice tall fluffy

pancakes all right if you could put that

in the sink for me please I can do that

alright now we're ready to start cooking

and I'm gonna use a griddle because it's

perfect for pancakes you can do 6

pancakes at once you could use a

nonstick pan but you'd have to do about

three at a time yeah well we've got a

whole bus full of truckers coming over

and they're expecting searing Bank angry

they're hungry so I'm gonna pour 1/2 a

teaspoon of vegetable oil all over this

griddle and then I'm gonna take a piece

of paper towel and smooth it out so it's

a nice even film of oil across the whole

surface because you know how sometimes

you get spotty pancakes that's because

you have puddles of oil wherever there's

a puddle of oil it's preventing the heat

from transferring from the pan up and

that's a light spot interesting hey now

right and I have this griddle set to 350

degrees but we're gonna test it with a

test pancake so a tablespoon of the

batter right into the center of the

griddle and we're gonna cook it for one

minute to see how hot the griddle is all

right so it's been about a minute let's

take a look at our test pancake

it's a beautiful golden now that's only

been a minute the big pancakes will take

a bit longer all right I'm gonna set

this guy aside and now I'm gonna make 6

pancakes this is a spring-loaded portion

scoop and it makes it really easy to

make pancakes of the same size if you

didn't have this you just use 1/4 cup

measure and just want to make sure to

smooth it out to a nice

four inch round that batter really is

nice and thick because it's not

spreading too much it was you'd end up

with a CREP that's it

thick batters make tall pancakes now

these are gonna cook for about two to

three minutes on this first side then

we're gonna flip them over and cook them

for about a minute or two on the second

side usually by the time I get the last

one down we're pretty close to the first

one being ready to flick up all right so

it's been about two minutes on this

first side let's take a peek you can see

cuz they're a little bit really oh

that's a pretty color all right that's

what we're looking for a nice golden

brown oh yeah now the key to flipping

got to keep this spatula low to the

griddle and then if it hits another

pancake don't worry let it set and then

push it away these look good mm-hmm now

the second side doesn't take as long as

the first side only one to two minutes

on this side all right now my house feed

them right off the griddle they barely

hit a plate but if you wanted to have a

polite breakfast where everyone sits

down together the easy thing to do is

keep these pancakes warm in an oven 200

degree oven put them on a wire rack and

then everyone can eat together hmm all

right so these will go in the warm oven

and I'll come back and I'll cook the

remaining pancakes sounds good all right

so a proper breakfast or we eat at the

same time this recipe in theory serves

four to six people

so for pancakes for you I'm gonna give

you a nice stack of three is that what

you call a short stack or a tall stack

as a short step I have a surprise for

you not only do I have syrup a little

bit of a compound butter now this is

like a Saturday Sunday sort of breakfast

so compound butter is just a stick of

softened butter with some flavorings and

here I have almond and orange and it's

delicious on pancakes you're just gonna

you're gonna have to trust me on this

I'm just gonna put a little this orange

almond butter you can find that recipe

on our website at America's Test Kitchen

calm a little bit of syrup beautiful

gorgeous mmm all right I love the first

bite right down between the three

pancakes no time like the present might

a darlin are all right mm-hmm

very tender so fluffy which is so

surprising and fluffy you're right which

is so surprising because you did not

whisk egg whites until they were

fluffier than have to pull them in right

now a little bit of butter on there is

pretty nice it just adds a little bit of

flavor with the main loser and I have to

confess I'm looking for a lump mm-hmm

you know I keep expecting I'm gonna bite

into this pocket of dry flour I'm

considering changing my mind about

paying hmm yeah just based on this and

there's so much better tasting than any

box maker out there none of those all

flavors no preservative it's which I

personally like Julia you and your

pancakes have rocked my world awesome

glad to hear it I mean who knew being a

lazy cook can pay off welcome to team

pancake there you go if you want to be

on team pancake well just have to

whisper sugar in leaveners and eggs and

oil with milk and keep that batter lumpy

now let it rest while you have a cup of

coffee or two then cook the pancakes on

a lightly oiled griddle until browned on

both sides serve with some maple syrup

or even an easy orange almond butter so

from our Test Kitchen to your kitchen

the perfect pancakes you can eat any

time it's easy pancakes and they're even

better with butter and syrup mmm you

look I mean I did a little more syrup

hook you up here

oh yeah


maple syrup dispensers have one job to

pour sticky stuff neatly they should be

easy to fill and clean and they should

pour just the amount you want without

too much dripping we bought these five

priced from eight to forty two dollars

and we tried them with hot cold and

room-temperature syrup on both real

pancakes and circles drawn on parchment

to test precision the bottom line some

of these made a drippy mess if it's

dripping down the front it's coming back

down the handle it's sticky under here

Jackson Pollock would feel right at home

and you'd never want the kids using them

but our winner was great it has a

comfortable handle it lets you pour

precisely without hand strain and it

closes right up it's glass and it cleans

in the dishwasher this is the American

metal craft beehive syrup dispenser for

eight dollars and your syrup problems

are solved


I love a good oxymoron here's a few of

them for you about pretty ugly or found

missing or the always questionable Great


speaking of depression I've got another

one for you it's turkey bacon

those two words should never belong

together but luckily Jack's here it's

gonna educate me on turkey bacon and let

us know which brand is worth buying I

love the way you think this is an


there are actually two paths to turkey

bacon and I'm not gonna say turkey bacon

greatness okay cuz that would be another

oxymoron I will temper my expectations

how about that you should definitely

temper your expectations I mean I will

say that of all of the people who work

here at America's Test Kitchen no one

loves bacon more than you it's kind of

true so before you start tasting or if

you want to start tasting is that you

let me explain they're two different

ways to make turkey bacon and I have raw

strips here one is they use ground meat

they grind up the dark meat they grind

up the white meat that the seasonings

the bride

it's like cake batter that they layer

into a pan and then slice that would be

this style here with ground meat okay

the other starts with chunks of turkey

thigh one or two inch pieces that they

put in a tumbler and they add all the

spices they had the brine and then they

press it all together in a mold that

would be more like maybe Canadian bacon

sure okay so this didn't actually impact

our overall ratings so we liked some of

each if you can use the word light of

each style the bigger thing was about

flavor are how close they came now as

you're tasting think about what does

baking give you it gives you meatiness

it gives you salt gives you smoke gives

you sweetness and more thing to that one

more thing drippings drippings yeah

you're not getting any texture which I

want to talk about the biggest thing

that we probably wanted from these

samples and what separated the winners

and I would also put that in quotation

marks from the losers is a lack of

defects some of these had some weird

weird flavors do not hit with salt smoke

sugar or meat

and so if you are tasting these and

picking up something odd your taste buds

are working there are some odd flavors

in here that don't belong in any bacon

made with any kind of meat interesting

think about cooking and the drippings we

were cooking these per the

manufacturer's instructions in a dry

skillet we strongly recommend that you

actually put a little bit of vegetable

oil in that skillet you'll get better

contact between the meat and the pan

better browning so you're enjoying

yourself I can tell

well it's meat right I'm gonna give it

that salt to compare it to bacon I'm not

even gonna say pork bacon bacon by

default comes from the belly last time I

looked at a Turkey's belly it was

nothing that looked like this that came

from that area oh they're all quite

hammy not as bacony that's definitely

for sure yeah I think if you grew up

eating Canadian bacon these get closer

to that definition so anything that you

are not sure I should use the word

liking but anything that is more

appealing okay well this is not

appealing but this is almost like

plasticine you know it's just rubbery

it's almost stretchable as I was chewing

it like food should not stretch as I'm

eating it not not fan of that one this

one is quite Canadian bacon II as its

user word I long for Christmas along for

crunch I long for a little bit of fat in

my bacon it feels very lean so one time

I ordered eggs out and it came out I

said what does that what was the taste

on it somebody had left a cigarette on

my dish that's what that tastes like

okay so I don't like that one okay just

be clear I'm gonna say you can never

ever have bacon again and you're only

eating turkey bacon the rest of your

life which one are you choosing I would

eat the plate underneath it but if I had

to choose probably this one you want to

see what you chose yeah well you agree

with the expert panel this is the winner

in quotation marks from Welsh our farms

it is a chunk style the kind that's

tumbled you see the me

in there I think that's what appealed to

me so this one I was only made with

turkey thigh there's no white meat in it

and there are no horrible defects yeah

it's not close to real bacon but there's

no defects now what is this one that has

the little curled serrations here that

was at the bottom of the rankings it's

from butterball so they know from Turkey

yep I'm not sure they know from bacon

right right um like turkey smoked turkey

ribbons would have actually been a great

name then they would have had to compare

it to bacon and then this one so this is

from Jenny oh this was actually the

runner up smokey like too ashy too smoky

not my favorite at all yes your yeah

yeah okay you didn't hate all three of

them it's so true but if these were the

only things left in the world my BLT

would quickly become an LT on that happy

note well if you love turkey bacon and I

know so many of you do well why don't

you try out our winner it's Welsh our

all-natural uncured turkey bacon $6.99

for a 12 ounce package

what do pancakes and burgers have in

common they are both a lot more

delicious when they're nice and brown

it's pretty obvious that this burger and

this pancake feature better browning

than the others and browning equals big

flavor these are definitely the ones

that I would like to eat now you can see

that they're all cooking on the exact

same griddle and they're actually

identical except for one ingredient

baking soda that's right I added a small

amount of baking soda to this pancake

and this burger now it's not that the

baking soda itself is browning it's that

it's making the food brown better

the Browning on burgers and pancakes is

a result of the my yard reaction that's

when sugars and the amino acids that

make up protein come together in the

presence of heat to form hundreds of new

flavor compounds and that reaction

occurs best in an alkaline environment

or when the pH is high and baking soda

raises the pH so if your baked goods

turn out paler than you want

next time try adding a quarter to a half

teaspoon of baking soda

not for lift but for better browning and

same goes for your next beef roast when

you season with salt and pepper try

adding one teaspoon of baking soda for

every three pounds of meat you'll have

better browning and a much more

flavorful crust


I love a good cup of coffee in the

morning but I don't like coffee stains

in my mug here's a great solution to

remove those stains take one tablespoon

of baking powder and combine it with one

and a half teaspoons of water and stir

to make a paste use the rough side of a

sponge and that paste to scrub out the

inside of your mug this alkaline

solution removes acidic stains more

effectively than soap and water and just

like that with a quick rinse you're

ready for your next cup of coffee

american-style scrambled eggs are a fast

and furious breakfast and they take just

a minute or two to cook now the French

on the other hand have a very different

approach to scrambled eggs they take

their time so that the texture winds up

very silky and creamy a wee maybe so

you're right the French take it nice and

slow they usually add a whole lot of

butter and the result are these really

delicate curds bound in a velvety sauce

yeah it's a very different consistency

yeah you really just have to take your

time and they're delicious I'm gonna

show you how to make them alright I

found a way to do it without all the

butter I'm gonna start by preheating a

skillet here that's a 10-inch nonstick

skillet I'm gonna give us some low heat

now a 10-inch skillet crucial here can

you use a 12-inch skillet no you want to

use a tendon to skill it we have

prepared the recipe to match a certain

number of eggs and the timing is all

worked out so make sure you use your

small skillet okay okay and that has two

tablespoons of water in it water when

the water starts to steam that's gonna

be our indication that the pan is hot

enough to end eggs

all right so different right from the

get-go no butter water yeah so I have

eight large eggs and my bowl here and

I'm adding half teaspoon salt I'm just

gonna whip these up while our pan keeps

up and now usually you'd add a little

water or milk or something to the eggs

to having the consistency but I don't

see any other bowls around nothing else

is going in the French might add a

little cream mm-hmm but not us are you

looking for something specific you just

go in then I'm enjoying myself so I

don't want to see any streaks of white

left and won't be uniform so you can see

the water is steaming

that's our indication so we'll put all

the eggs in the pan so the water is also

going to dilute the egg proteins a

little bit so they don't coagulate too

fast so be nice and creamy that's right

that's the key to nice creamy eggs no

butter but just taking it nice and low

and slow well this is really low I mean

the eggs aren't even coagulating on the

outside that's right these are some

mellow eggs so we're gonna go for four

minutes we're super mellow by the end

it's gonna take 12 to 14 minutes Wow

so we should have gotten some coffee out

here we yeah settle in and take our time

and we can chitchat while we make our

eggs I'm actually gonna start the timer

so I know when four minutes are up I

think this is what I'm gonna call

weekend eggs yes definitely perfect for

a weekend

so I just want to start constantly now

for four minutes scraping the edges of

the pan getting the bottom so it's been

about three and a half minute barely

looks any different it is thickening up

a tiny bit and you can see steam is

coming up off the pan if we didn't see

steam at this point we would turn up the

heat just a tiny little bit okay okay so

this is right we're doing it exactly

right trust me does look a little darker

and there are few curds cooked in there

yep but not much different than four

minutes ago yeah you'll see it start to

thicken up in a little bit here so

that's been our first four minutes so

let's do four more

they still look raw 14 minutes and we'll

keep on stirring nice and gentle here if

any large curds do start to form I'm

gonna smash them right away okay spatula

no large curds allowed that's right this

is about small and delicate we could

have these for dinner as well no they do

in France oh so that makes sense if you

want onto wine

some vegetables totally eyelid so think

of it as a 12-minute dinner I'm with you

just hang in there with me they're gonna

be worth it it'll be worth it all right

we got six to eight more minutes with

you hang tight I'm with you okay all

right so it's been eight minutes let's

do four more I don't have any real curds

starting to form here so I'm just gonna

turn up the heat a tiny little bit all

right just to get a little more action

going not too much we still have to be

patient and there's still steam coming

up yeah off the surface and there's a

few curds in there yep actually that did

the trick you can see it's starting to

happen now there oh yeah there's a large

curd squash it I'm smashing it no large

curds allowed you want to make sure you

scrape the sides of the pan here so now

you can see they're starting to thicken

up here the texture is is changing

they're not as watery the time is up I

can tell they're done because the eggs

are basically holding their position

when I put them on one side of the

skillet but you can see they're still

super loose so creamy creamy so I'm

betting you want to get those out of the

skillet right away yes but first I'm

gonna add one more tablespoon of water

all right and that's gonna prevent the

eggs from tasting bluey and also a

tablespoon of minced parsley you could

use chives or tarragon whatever you like

I'm just gonna stir them vigorously now

just to keep them nice and creamy break

up any large

curds that have formed it's amazing

there's no butter in there I know is

that crazy look buttery they look creamy

and they're gonna taste super creamy too

and those are done they're gorgeous

thank you service up here

they look so rich they are so creamy so

different from what we're used to right

yeah but I kind of like that they're

different yeah you want to have buttered

toast with this to give a little

textural contrast mmm get some butter in

there too right I'm gonna taste the eggs

just on their own yes start me too

mm-hmm I can't believe there's no butter

in here so creamy you're so rich well

you know what's so interesting is that

it looks like a sauce I know they look

almost underdone but because of that

nice slow cooking they've come up all

the way up to 160 so they're totally

safe now I'm gonna eat it like a wood at

home toast

mmm yeah you know I was making fun of

them just a little bit at the beginning

because it was so low and slow but I

have to say it is totally worth it these

eggs are out of this world

yeah well done Becky you something new

something new so if you want to make

super creamy french style eggs beat the

eggs with salt to completely blend it

and heat the skillet over low heat with

water once you add the eggs to the

skillet stir constantly for 12 minutes

over low heat to ensure that the small

delicate curds form and finish with a

bit more water and parsley and there you

have it from America's Test Kitchen to

your kitchen creamy french style

scrambled eggs I'm in love with these oh


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