Right after stuffing the turkey and tucking it in the oven to roast succulently, I begin our age-old Thanksgiving family tradition. The stretching and frying of the bread dough for Italian pancakes.
When I was a child, Mom would go to the local bakery and order a pound of sweet bread dough. Excitement welled up just at the thought of going to the bakery. I knew it meant a delectable breakfast treat the next morning. It was a tradition for our small family to have these cultural treats while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Because my parents grew up and married on the East Coast, watching the parade was a sentimental tradition for them long before it became popular on the West Coast. (The Rose Parade being the Queen of all parades in the west.)
Early on Thanksgiving morning, I’d crawl out of bed and watch my mother carefully and gently pull balls of dough until they were almost paper thin. Then she would lay them across hot oil in the cast iron fry pan. In moments, the crisp, light treat would be draining on a paper towel. I would be drooling next to it.
When ready, I’d grab the treat, shake powdered sugar on top and plop in front of the TV. Mom still in the kitchen, I would urge her to come out and see the “Rockets” or a gigantic balloon floating down the parade route tethered with thick rope to experts walking the route.
Since Hubby and I married, I’ve carried on the tradition on Thanksgiving and New Year’s because I’m a West Coast gal whooping it up as the Rose Parade floats pass by. Only now, I’m the one in the kitchen pulling the dough while the family, half awake, takes in the glories of the two parades.
Sharing with you our special family tradition~may your family enjoy it as much as ours.
1 lb of either frozen bread dough (such as Rhodes) or if you would like to try it from scratch, you can make a sweet bread dough the night before and let it rise til morning. I have used a food processor recipe
to make the dough a few times but most often, I opt for the frozen dough.
Powdered sugar in a shaker can preferably. That way you get just a sprinkling instead of a pile!
8″ cast iron frying pan
Extra Light Olive oil to fill the bottom of the frying pan about 1/2″ deep
A smidgen of vegetable oil in the frying pan to cut the olive oil taste
1) The night before, lightly grease a loaf pan with butter, sides and bottom
2) Place the frozen loaf of bread in the pan and lightly brush with melted butter to keep it from sticking
3) Loosely place a piece of waxed paper across the top of the pan.
4) Let it sit out overnight on the counter.
5) In the morning, take your fist and punch the dough down in the middle, let it rest for about 5 minutes.
6) In the meantime, heat the oil in the frying pan on medium heat.
7) Divide the loaf into 8 evenly sized balls of dough and place back in the loaf pan.
8) Begin gently pulling the dough working from the middle to the outside, moving your fingers to the
edges and pulling the thicker dough around the edges until the pancake is about 6″ wide
9) Place the dough carefully into the hot oil and let it fry until brown on the bottom. Use a fork to lift the
pancake to determine color.
10) When browned on one side, use the fork to spear an end of the pancake and flip it over to brown
on the other side
11) When browned, spear it with the fork and let excess oil drain into the frying pan. Then place on a
paper towel to complete draining. I wind up using a new paper towel for every pancake.
If you are going to make all 8 pancakes before serving, keep them warm in the lowest setting on your
Serve warm, dusted with powdered sugar.
From My Heart to Yours,
Linking with Food on Fridays