Friday, January 14, 2011

Perfecting The Pancake

I understand why people buy frozen waffles, because if you don't have a waffle maker, you can't make waffles. But I'll never understand why people buy frozen pancakes or pancake mix. Making pancakes from scratch is so simple and you probably already have all the ingredients already in your pantry. But I want to share with you a recipe that makes perfect pancakes everytime as well as a couple tips on keeping them fluffy.

First off, I have made this recipe countless times. I like to mix up the full batch (6 cups) of pancake mix, then portion the dry ingredients into Ziploc bags, that way at a moments notice I can whip up a batch of fresh pancakes without having to measure anything or look up the recipe. The recipe has you mix 2 egg yolks with melted butter in one bowl and 2 egg whites with buttermilk in another, before adding them to the dry ingredients. I was being lazy one day and decided to just throw everything together in a bowl and what resulted was a thin tough pancake. Don't do that.

Another thing I've learned over the years is that you should not overmix pancakes. If there are a few lumps, and there will be, don't try and work them out. Overmixing the batter will over develop the gluten and you'll have tough, not tender, pancakes. You want tender pancakes, right? Another thing I've learned is that you shouldn't spread the batter on the griddle. I used to do this so I could have bigger pancakes, but later realized that doing that meant my pancakes were thin and not fluffy. For fluffy pancakes, make sure your baking soda is fresh (not expired) and ladle or scoop the batter onto the griddle. Allow it spread on it's own and rise into a golden pancake, untouched.

In summary:

  1. Read and follow the recipe directions.
  2. Use fresh baking soda.
  3. Don't overmix your batter.
  4. Ladle the batter and leave it alone.

I hope you'll give this recipe a try. I usually make the full batch then freeze what we don't eat in a Ziploc bag (2 at a time) to reheat later on. I've also had great success with adding fruit (blueberries and bananas) to the batter. I hope you'll make and like them!

Homemade Pancake Mix adapted from A. Brown

Printer Friendly Version

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a lidded container. Shake to mix.

Use the mix within 3 months.

NOTE: I like to mix all the ingredients in a large container, then divide into 3 equal portions. I divide the mix up into 3 Ziploc bags then make the pancakes as directed (see below).

"Homemade Pancake Mix" Pancakes

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups Homemade Pancake Mix, recipe above
  • 1 stick butter, for greasing the pan

Heat an electric griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the melted butter.

Combine the buttermilk mixture with the egg yolk mixture in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix. Using a whisk, mix the batter just enough to bring it together. Don't try to work all the lumps out.

Check to see that the griddle is hot by placing a few drops of water onto to the griddle. The griddle is ready if the water dances across the surface.

Lightly butter the griddle. Wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible.) (I skip this step since I use a non-stick griddle).

Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the griddle-side of the cake is golden, gently flip the pancakes. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set and golden.

Serve immediately.

Makes 12 pancakes

Hope you all have a great weekend!


E. said...

I love making pancakes and eating them. It's so fun making those perfect circles, or just making other shapes too. Thanks for sharing this. Whenever I have a craving for pancakes, I can't wake myself up early enough. I should be sleeping right now, but I'm doing a physics project. Your post woke me right up. :) Can't wait to try this out and thanks for the tips.

Debbie said...

I'm having breakfast right now and my bowl of oatmeal is looking awfully bland compared to your pancakes. What a great idea to premix the dry ingredients! The pancakes look irresistable! So good Monica!

Anonymous said...

I love your pancake tips! Thanks!! You will never guess what I saw in Walmart this weekend - pancakes IN A CAN!!! I almost barfed all over the floor. Who comes up with this stuff?

cookies and cups said...

alright, alright! I am guilty! I currently have frozen pancakes in my freezer (store-made) and bisquick in my pantry.
Every time I have tried to make pancakes from scratch they have been a DISASTER!
I will definitely try your recipe because I feel like a "cheater" not being able to make something as basic as pancakes!!!

Joy Tilton said...

I love and appreciate the difference between fluffy homemade and Bisquick pancakes. Now you have made it simple for me to have the speed of a mix right in the pantry, ready and waiting! Thanks so much for this great tip. Your pancakes look like they might float off that fork...

Treehouse Chef said...

I love pancakes! We have a waffle maker but it gets messy and takes a while to clean. I like throwing a few chopped pecans over the batter while they are till cooking on the griddle. If I have time I like to warm up the syrup by placing it in a pot of boiling water on top of the stove for a few minutes. Thanks for sharing!!

Keeley said...

I love buttermilk pancakes and Belgian waffles. I recently started making double batches of waffles and freezing them for a future meal... it works great!

I've never purchased frozen pancakes because there's something really special about getting one soft, fluffy, and hot off the griddle. I just started making pancakes from scratch this year and I can't believe that I ever used to buy a mix. I'm going to try your recipe next.

Janet said...

I love, love, love pancakes! Your suggestions for perfect pancakes is much appreciated!

oneordinaryday said...

I know I've mentioned that I'm the worst pancake flipper on the planet. The kids complain if I even mention that I might make some pancakes - they insist we have to wait for dad! They do have a point though. It's definitely Jim's gig, and if he didn't cook up batch after batch to freeze, neither of my kids would ever eat breakfast. :)

Unknown said...

Honestly, before I even read your title, I thought, "Those pancakes look perfect." I definitely will make them. Thanks for sharing the recipe and all the tips.

Lemondrops Simple Stuff said...

Thanks for the recipe and tips! I love making pancakes for my family! Now I can make them even better!!! Can't wait to try it.
I just made your mini pecan pie cupcakes this week for the 2nd time! Those are always a hit!!! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Yumm! I always make my own pancakes from scratch, the hubby begs for them every weekend:) I love your blog and can't wait to try some of your recipes!

All That's Left Are The Crumbs said...

I love pancakes because they are easy to keep warm which is important when all 6 of us want to eat at the same time. Waffles don't work because keeping them warm makes them soggy. Your pancakes look delicious.

Coleens Recipes said...

I'm making these in the morning!!

Unknown said...

I like this idea - the girls and I will make this mix today. Thanks!!!

Chele said...

Thanks for this post. I love American style pancakes but mine never seem to come out as fluffy. Will be giving this a try next weekend for sure ;0)

Foodiewife said...

What perfect pancakes! Who needs that boxed stuff, right? These are great tips... and why, suddenly, am I craving pancakes?

Unknown said...

Okay, we made these for lunch today - they were great. I might add a touch more sugar next time (I like just butter on mine). I didn't need any butter in my non-stick pan and they released perfectly.

I followed your advice and mixed the ingredients according to the instructions - a little strange, but it worked well. Might go against your advice next time and try dumping everything together just to see how they turn out.

Have a good weekend.

Kerstin said...

I love all these tips :) I've never separated the eggs before for pancakes, so I'm saving the recipe and will definitely be trying it!

Federkissen said...

I love pancakes. I add banana mush. So yummy :)

tamilyn said...

Hmmm, are they really fluffy? My scratch attempts have been F L A T and Bisquick turn out fluffy....I shall try dear Monica, I shall try

Susan at said...

I have to say... I am guilty of making the boxed mix on occasion. Yours look amazing - I will definitely give them a try!


Lisa said...

These are some great tips and from the look of your pancakes, you really know what you're talking about.

Sue said...

I don't buy frozen pancakes, although I have been known to buy a whole wheat mix on occasion. Your recipe looks great and a good way to use buttermilk when I have to buy it for other recipes. Thanks!

Mandy said...

What a great tip - making your own batter ahead of time! Why didn't I think of that? Such great suggestions here, thanks so much! I always make double the amount of pancakes and freeze them for later so we can enjoy "frozen" (homemade) pancakes for a later time. I try to add wheat germ and protein to them so my three year old gets added benefits to counteract with the syrup she pours on! LOL :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! Thank you for posting this! I tried making pancakes just the other morning and I realize that they were so tough because I over mixed them! Who would have thought? This is why I love food blogs. Its like having a ton of personal teachers!

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Monica, I could have done a testimonial for you on this recipe. You KNOW my guys especially pain in the butt Devon LOVES these. Thanks for the other tips. I'll keep them in mind.

FYI, not much pancake baking going on right now. The kiddos are all about the waffles. What's your go to recipe?

OvenDelights said...

I agree! What really irritates me, is the ready to mix pancake mix in the plastic yellow containers, and the aerosol cans!!! Really people? Just more garbage piled upped in our land fields! I do exactly what you do pre-measure my ingredients when we go camping,its easy and super fast to prepare! You should see everything I cook while camping, the kids have a blast, and I enjoy cooking outdoors!

Sylvia said...

Mmmm love pancakes!

Maria said...

I posted a pancake recipe today too! Great info here!

Mary at n00bcakes said...

I'm officially drooling; I love buttermilk pancakes. I also like the idea of making your own "mix" to keep around for later. What a cool idea! ^_^

Unknown said...

Oh drool! I would love a stack of these right now please!!

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

Monica, we have pancakes every Sunday morning before church. It's been a family tradition for 20 years, plus hubby always cooks. I'll give him your recipe to try to put his to the test! HA HA! Bet your recipe is the winner!

Judy Lee said...

I was wondering how much buttermilk,eggs,and etc do i have to put if I halved the recipe for the dry mix?

Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer said...

I have been working on the pancake too :)

Allison [Haute Box] said...

Yup. Frozen waffles are sh*tty!

(A) These pancakes looks amazing and (B) your mixing bowl is adorable!

Monica H said...

Judy Lee- The full recipe for the dry mix makes enough for 3 batches of pancakes. Each batch of pancakes makes 12-15 pancakes. So the recipe for the pancake mix will make approximately 36-45 pancakes.

If you're wanting to cut the recipe down, I'd break it down into thirds and only make one portion of the mix. For one batch of pancakes, I would mix:

2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon sugar

For the liquid, for the recipe for the pancakes-it's the same ratio of ingredients.

If you're wanting to cut the recipe in half then increase the liquid ingredients by half as well.

For half a batch of pancake mix you would need: 3 cups buttermilk, 6 Tablespoons melted butter, 3 eggs (separated).

Hope this helps a bit.


Kristen said...

I totally agree with you! I could never figure out the frozen pancakes either.

Unknown said...

made these on saturday...delish! I am guilty of using bisquick...from scratch is so much better :) Thanks!

Unknown said...

Dumb question how do you reheat the frozen pancakes? Do you microwave the pancakes that seems like it would make it tough??

Monica H said...

Hi Frances- I do microwave them to heat hem. But I heat them while they're still in the plastic baggie. They heat faster and they steam a little but they don't get tough at all.

Hope that answers your question.


Chung-Ah @ Damn Delicious said...

Photographing pancakes is so hard but you really do make them look perfect!

I'm really loving the premade dry mix. I'm sure it's such a time saver. I will definitely have to try that.

Thanks for the tips!

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

Warm Greetings!

Today, I visit your website and after reading your blog i realize that it is very informative. I'm highly impressed to see the comprehensive resources being offered by your site.

Thanks and Regards

Braiding Machine

Anonymous said...

Can I use powered buttermilk?

Monica H said...

Anon- I'm not really sure since I've never used powdered buttermilk before. But if you're familiar with it and can use it in place of regular buttermilk then give it a try. But let me know how it turns out!

-Monica h

Anonymous said...

I just saw this recipe on Alton Brown's good eats

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