The Fine Art of Pancake Making, How to Make Perfect Pancakes.
Pancakes are delicious, versatile and easy... wait, no they're not easy. They can be surprisingly finicky. Even people who know their way around a kitchen find they want to pull their own hair out over a bad batch of pancakes. It seems every country has their own variety of pancake that all look equally delectable. In this hub I'll be covering the North American variety. The pancake you find in most chain restaurants such as Ihop and Denny's. Here are my tips for perfect pancakes every time...
- Make sure your baking powder is still good. Bad baking powder will result in flat, dense pancakes. You can do this by adding 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder to 1/2 cup very hot water. The mixture should bubble heavily. If not you need to buy new baking powder.
- Measure carefully. Following the recipe's measurements will ensure you don't end up with a batter that's too thin or thick.
- Don't over mix! Only stir the ingredients enough to combine, the batter should be slightly lumpy. Over-mixing will activate too much gluten and the baking powder and you'll end up with dense pancakes.
- Very lightly grease your pan or griddle. Use a vegetable oil spray or let a little butter melt in the pan and use a paper towel to rub out the excess.
- Make sure your pan is hot enough before starting. If you flick a tiny bit of water into the pan it should make noise and dance around... my favorite part ^_^
- Don't touch or do anything to the pancake until it's time to flip. You know to flip when the edges seem dry and little bubbles are coming up all through the uncooked part of the pancake. I've provided a picture of this below.
- Use a measuring cup to get uniform pancakes. Dump the batter all at once in the same place. It should spread into a perfect circle.
- Serve hot! Nothing beats a fresh from the pan pancake!
- Cracker Barrel-Style Pancake Recipe
Cracker Barrel's pancakes are light and fluffy with crispy edges. You can buy an expensive mix in their gift shop, but why not try making them at home? Learn about a secret ingredient and method that will produce similar pancakes at home.
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients. In a small to medium bowl combine wet ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
Batter is still a little lumpy = GOOD!
Heat a non-stick pan or skillet to medium. Very lightly grease with cooking spray or butter.
Wait until your pan is fully heated. Pour the batter using a 1/3 cup measuring cup (use a bigger or smaller measuring cup if you want bigger or smaller pancakes). Let cook until the edges are dry and the center is bubbly as shown in the picture below.
Ready to flip!
Carefully slip a spatula under the pancake and quickly flip over. Don't try to readjust after you flip. Let cook 1-2 minutes then serve.
Continue doing this until your batter is gone.
The many wonderful flavors of pancakes!
Make it Fruity,
Stir into the batter 1/2 cup chopped fresh fruit such as apple, peach, nectarine, apricot, mango, papaya, banana, pear or canned pineapple tidbits.
Stir into the batter 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries, such as blueberry, strawberry, raspberry...
Stir into the batter 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana and reduce milk by 1/4 cup.
Stir into the batter 1 tablespoon zest from a lemon or orange
Make it Wholegrain
Whole wheat pancakes- Substitute the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and use packed brown sugar instead of the granulated sugar.
Bran pancakes- Substitute 1/4 cup of the flour with oat bran, wheat bran or toasted wheat germ.
Cornmeal pancakes- Substitute 1/2 cup of the flour with cornmeal.
Make it Tasty. I'm not saying the above options aren't tasty...
Buttermilk pancakes- Substitute the milk with buttermilk. Reduce the baking powder to 2 teaspoons and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
Cinnamon pancakes- Add 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon to the flour mixture. This is especially good when chopped apples are stirred in as well.
Pumpkin pancakes- Increase the flour to 2 cups. Add 1 cup canned pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon each of nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves.
Chocolate chip pancakes- Stir into the batter 1/2 cup (or more) chocolate chips.
Let's top it off!
Enjoy your pancakes topped with fruit, butter, jam, powdered sugar or various syrups. Just to name a few. Let me know in the comments your favorite pancake toppings ^_^
Some fun syrup recipes to try...
Fruit syrup- In a saucepan cook together 1 cup of fruit, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water or juice. Mash fruit while cooking, Cook until the mixture becomes syrupy.
Coconut syrup- In a saucepan cook together 1 (14oz) can coconut milk with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve chunky or process in a blender before serving. This is especially good served with chocolate chip pancakes or any tropical fruit and banana.
Chocolate syrup- In a saucepan combine 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder and a pinch of salt. Cook over over low heat whisking constantly until it thickens and just starts to simmer. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.