How to Make Amazing Pancakes

pancake heartFor the longest time, pancakes were a tricky delight to fry up. They seemed simple. Their simplicity taunted me. I wanted to make pancakes from scratch, but would fail time and again. And I would return to the boxed mix for pancakes, because it was somehow superior. Well. Boxes, you have seen your day, for this Mama has figured out some of the secrets to pancake preparation, and I am here to share them with you.

The three main things that you need to consider with pancakes are preparation, quality of ingredients & toppings.

batter bowl pancakes red
PREPARATION

This is very simple. Mix your batter the night before or the morning before and let it soak. When you let the batter soak, the pancakes will cook more evenly and rise much better. Do you hate a pancake that is not cooked all the way through? Me too. I think it’s really gross. Soaking the batter helps the pancake cook evenly and alleviates a lot of this problem.

You can mix the batter & leave it in the fridge. Or, you can put a towel over the bowl and leave it on the counter. Sometimes, if I want the batter room temperature in the morning but am concerned about it being warm for too long, I’ll fill the bottom of a large bowl with ice and nestle my bowl of batter within it overnight. That way it stays cool most of the night and warms up to room temperature by the morning.

Why do I like the batter at room temperature? I think it cooks up better.

pancakes fruit breakfast bonanza

INGREDIENTS

It may seem obvious, but it bears stating: the better the ingredients you use, the better your pancakes will be. Also, the type of ingredients you use will influence the type of pancakes you have. So, if you prefer really fluffy pancakes, you’ll want white or all-purpose flour. If you prefer more substantial pancakes, use whole wheat flour. I like my pancakes made with thick, whole wheat flour, and because I soak the batter for 8-24 hours, there is no problem with the flour being too thick or chunky.

Here is a basic pancake recipe that I nabbed off of AllRecipes.com:

family pancake breakfast

Maple Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions: In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine egg, milk, oil and syrup; stir into dry ingredients just until blended. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown (pancakes will be thin).

(Source)

I like to play with the recipe a bit, though, and substitute ingredients. With pancakes, substituting ingredients is easy to do. You can even fudge on the measurements. Pancakes won’t really change too much if you add more flour or oil. For instance, if you have more eggs, the pancakes will end up more like crepes (you can see my crepe recipe here). The one measurement you should pay attention to is the baking powder, because that will influence how much the pancakes rise.

Anyways. Back to ingredient substitutes.

After playing around with a few different swaps, here is how I now change my basic Maple Pancake recipe:

1 cup all-purpose flour > Whole Wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk > Butter Milk (when available)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil > BACON GREASE!!!
1 tablespoon maple syrup (I love this ingredient and keep it in!)

Yes. You saw right. I use bacon grease. And it is delicious.

I like to prepare my pancake batter the morning before while making bacon, and I’ll pour the hot grease into the batter direct from the skillet. I’ll sort of measure it. Not really. As long as I have at least 2 tablespoons, I figure we’re good.

I also go a little over on the syrup. Because I like things sweet.

As far as the buttermilk goes, I don’t buy that in a store. I make it. From raw milk that I buy at a local farm. When I make my own raw milk butter, I save the buttermilk & it makes for deliciously rich pancakes. For that matter…

butter melthing on pancake

TOPPINGS

A lot of people don’t recognize how important a role butter plays in the flavor of your pancakes. Once the pancake is hot, slather it with butter. Good butter. I like to use my raw milk butter. And make sure the butter is salted. After that, the sweet stuff is incidental, in my opinion. Mr. Wetzel likes homemade jam on his pancakes. I prefer honey with whipped cream. Sometimes we’ll use syrup instead. You know. To be traditional and all.

Any leftover batter, I like to grill up in smaller pancakes which I set aside (unbutterred) for an afternoon snack. A bit of peanut butter and a tall glass of milk go superbly with this delicious homemade treat.

I hope my words have been wise…and that they’ve made you super hungry!

peanut butter pancake

By ekwetzel
2011-07-18

3 Responses to How to Make Amazing Pancakes

  1. Sherri Erickson July 18, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Yes, your words were wise and I am now hankering for pancakes!

  2. pancake recipe August 9, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    I love the scotch pancakes best how about you? Whats your Fav pancake recipes

  3. Person October 13, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    I love banana nut pancakes!