In mixing bowl, beat egg slightly and mix in milk. In another bowl, sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Using whisk, blend dry ingredients into wet. Stir in shortening until well blended. (The mixture can stand for several hours. Keep refrigerated until 30 minutes before baking, then return to room temperature.)
Lightly grease griddle or large skillet over medium heat. (The griddle only needs to be greased for the first batch.) Take care not to overheat pan. A drop of water should sizzle on surface but not dance across it. Try out one pancake before proceeding with all the batter.
Pour batter into measuring cup. (You should have 3 cups.) Use scant cup batter for each pancake. If griddle is too hot, pancakes will develop ray-like marks on their first side; if too hot, turn down heat. The perfect cakes are high, fluffy and dry.
Flip pancakes over as soon as their tops are covered with bubbles that are bursting. Bake until second side is lightly browned. Serve immediately. While eating, keep remaining baked cakes hot in a 200° oven. Makes 12
4 1/2-inch pancakes.
?Childs? Wheat Cakes? are courtesy of Arthur Schwartz?s New York City Food, (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), by Arthur Schwartz.