What to make your pancakes from scratch? Dear Mom was a master pancake maker and taught me how to make these basic and simple pancakes from scratch.
I save pancakes or flapjacks for those special lazy Sunday mornings. A bottle of real maple syrup is always in the pantry for my perfect pancake indulgence
Ingredients for a basic pancake mix
Below is a standard pancake recipe that makes about 8, 4-5 inch pancakes. This batter is on the thicker side and you can add more liquid to thin out the batter o fit your personal taste preference.
- 8 ounces (a little less than 1½ cups) of flour: using all-purpose flour will give you just the right amount of airiness in your pancakes.
- 2 teaspoons baking powder: the baking powder reacting with the milk to give rise for nice fluffy pancake.
- 2 tablespoons sugar: this is a basic granulated sugar.1 teaspoon salt: I like kosher salt for the delicate flavor.
- 8 ounces (1 cup) milk: you can use whole milk, low fat, or buttermilk. The difference is not really noticeable to me. I don't usually keep buttermilk around but I do have powdered buttermilk in my pantry. If I'm planning on weekend pancakes I'll mix up a small bottle of buttermilk the night before and refrigerate overnight.
- 2 large eggs
- 2 ounces ( 4 tablespoons) butter: melt the butter for a few seconds in the microwave, let it cools a bit before adding to the dry mixture, if it's too hot it might start to cook the egg!
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract: McCormick is the standard and easy to find in the grocery store. Make sure to use a pure vanilla extract, it cost more than the imitation vanilla but taste better.
- cinnamon (optional): I'm fond of the Morton & Basset herbs and spices.
Is there a difference between a Flapjack and a Pancake?
While living in England I found that there is a difference. A flapjack is a sweet baked bar made with oats, brown sugar, and syrup, and a pancake is a thin pan-fried batter made with flour. In the US and Canada, the two words seem to sometimes be used interchangeably. A google search for "flapjacks" will bring up both pancakes and traditional UK recipes.
My Dad however preferred the more down-home term flapjacks, I had assumed it was from his army days.
Don’t over mix the batter.
Keep telling yourself that “lumps in the batter is good”. An overworked batter results in a stack of tough and chewy pancakes.
Let the batter rest.
No matter how hungry you might be, just have a little patience and let the pancake batter rest for a few minutes, I usually let it sit for 10 minutes or so. Why? It works to give the gluten time to settle down and results in soft and tender pancakes.
The pan or griddle needs to be hot enough.
Don’t add the batter to the pan until the skillet or griddle is hot enough. How to determine if it’s hot enough you say? Mom would always sacrifice the first pancake to check if the pan was ready. You want a golden-brown exterior with delicate crispy edges and a soft fluffy interior. If the pan isn’t hot, enough the pancake batter will soak up the oil, and you end up with a greasy pancake.
Don’t let the pan overheat.
Too high heat will cook the batter unevenly and result in a doughy inside with burnt outsides. The best temperature for a beautiful golden-brown outside and fluffy inside is a medium heat setting.
Flip at the right time.
Only flip once and wait about a minute after the bubbles start to appear. If you flip more than once you may lose that nice fluffy texture.
Can I freeze cooked pancakes?
Yes, I love to freeze a couple of pancakes for a workday breakfast. By the time I get to work they are defrosted and a quick zap in the microwave is all that’s needed.
Separate the pancakes with layers of parchment paper so they don’t stick together. An alternate method is to put a single layer of pancakes on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer. When the pancakes are frozen just pop them into a Ziploc freezer bag.
How to reheat pancakes.
Reheat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Perfect for a quick workday morning breakfast.
Those are my five tips for making better pancakes, please comment and let me know if you have any tips to share.
How to make pancake mix even better?
Some easy ways are to add flavor, like a vanilla extract, or sprinkle a little cinnamon in the batter.