Evidently I’ve been making pancakes wrong for the past 20 years. After graduating from Bisquick, and becoming slightly crazy about eating more natural and less processed foods, I’ve been experimenting with several different recipes over the past year. Today, I hit the pancake gold mine… I have created the fluffiest, airiest, most magical pancakes that have ever come out of my kitchen. And I’ve discovered that the secret is all in the TECHNIQUE. With the help of bare-bones recipe located here and some tips to cooking amazing pancakes located here, I’ve have put breakfast nirvana on the table today! It’s pure Happyness on a plate!
You have to understand that for me this is like landing on the moon or discovering a new species. We are breakfast fanatics in this house. We sometimes have it for dinner- and by sometimes I mean at least once every couple of weeks, or more frequent in the winter months. We looove it all- eggs, bacon, waffles, sausage, quiche, cereal, oatmeal, grits. Breakfast is its own food group, and if it is categorized as breakfast, then we love it. And pancakes are, by far, our favorite. My sister (B) and I fantasize about opening a pancake house one day- with everything from bacon loaded pancakes to pancake flavored cupcakes. We’ve even thought about how to pair them with wine and beer. I hear these things work well in Vegas.
My adapted recipe- for a family of 4-6 who will eat the heck out of some pancakes- is as follows:
1 1/2 cups milk
4 tablespoons vinegar (white or apple cider depending on what you end goal is)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar (I used raw organic sugar today, because my sister brought a bunch home from school- not sure if this made a difference but heck why not?!)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons melted butter, or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of honey (warm if needed)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Optional: 1 half pint of blueberries (or fruit, nuts, add-ons of your choice)
cooking spray (yes, use spray and not butter because it burns)
Sacred Rule Number 1: Proper Heat. Preheat griddle or pan to medium heat. How do you get the right heat setting? According to the article you heat it until a drop of water skips and slides across the surface. I had a hard time wrapping my head around that, but basically it means if the water hits and sizzles off right away then the pan is too hot. This is something I’ve had issues with because for a long time my first pancake would be perfect, and the rest would be scorched on the outside but not done on the inside. If you have this problem it means the heat is too high. Eureka moment here: higher heat does not equal faster cook time- it just equals burned food. Since our stove has a center griddle that sits right on the gas, I had to set it to just below medium to get the right temperature.
Combine the milk and vinegar in medium bowl, swirl around and let sit for 10 minutes. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to remove clumps with a fork. Whisk together eggs and melted butter in a small bowl. Add the honey and vanilla and whisk egg mixture into soured milk.
Sacred Rule Number 2: DO NOT OVER MIX! Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mixing ONLY to get all the dry ingredients wet. DO NOT OVER MIX! I found that I’ve been over mixing for years. The batter should be very lumpy. And I wouldn’t mix it all until your griddle is ready to go, because the longer the batter sits, the less lumpy it gets.
Add any fruit last, and immediately begin to cook. Give the griddle a light coat with the cooking spray. I also do a very light spray between each set. I used a 1/3 cup to scoop out and pour on the griddle. I use a ladle if I want bigger pancakes, but the 1/3 cup makes good average size pancakes about 5 or 6 inches across.
Let the batter get nice and dry around the edges and bubbly all over on top. Then flip. The key to flipping is a proper pancake spatula, so invest in one!
Sacred Rule Number 3: DO NOT PRESS ON THE FLIPPED PANCAKE! This is something I’m very guilty of. In an effort to speed along the process, it’s almost impossible to control your pancake pressing instincts! I also think it is a gut reaction when you are worried that they won’t cook all the way through. The fact is, if the temperature is right, you just let them brown on the other side and serve up.
Sacred Rule Number 4: Do not stack them! I’m also notorious for this. I stack them all rough shod on a baking sheet and throw them in the oven at 200 to keep them hot. This is because I’m so adamant about sitting down for weekend breakfast as a family. I also think there are few things that are more gorgeous and tantalizing then an over-flowing mound of beautiful golden pancakes! Except apparently when you do this, their heat has a steaming effect and they lose their fluffiness. I had no idea this even happened. But I took the articles advice and laid them out flat a large baking sheet so they would stay as crisp on the outside as possible. They were right- they keep hot so much better this way.
Sacred Rule Number 5: Enjoy! Preferably with family or friends, or that person you are trying to win over!
I love to make all sorts of additions to my pancakes recipes. In the fall I love to add a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice and a cup of pecans. It just seems to fit the changing leaves and crisp air. In the spring I use various berries and serve with honey instead of maple syrup. Sometimes I use cornmeal and do a corncake version. And of course, you can never go wrong with the kiddos with chocolate chips!
How do you spice up your pancakes?
Love and Happyness to all!
I sometimes share at these amazing parties!