Updated: Jul 25, 2019
Kids of all ages love pancakes, and if you do it right you'll love preparing them!
Whether you call them flapjacks, pancakes, griddlecakes, or hotcakes, these fluffy breakfast skillet creations are part of our American culinary heritage. There is undoubtedly more craft than art to making the perfect pancake – one that is fluffy, yet tender and spongy enough to soak up all that sweet maple syrup. Follow these ILOC methods and you will be successful every time. Remember: it's all about technique, not torture!"
Equipment: mixing bowl, dry measuring cup, wet measuring cup, measuring spoons, whisk, nonstick 10-inch sauté pan, cast iron skillet, or griddle; spatula Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour ¼ cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder ¾ teaspoon salt 2 cups buttermilk ¼ cup butter, melted 3 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
1. Preheat a griddle or non-stick skillet.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a small well in the center of the bowl. Add the milk, melted butter, eggs, and optional vanilla. Gently whisk the wet and dry ingredients together, just until well combined, but not necessarily lump-free.
3. Using a dry measuring cup, pour 1/3-cup batter onto the hot pan (with or without sizzling fat, such as butter, oil or bacon drippings, if desired) for each pancake. Cook until the top of the pancake bubbles. Turn the pancake with a spatula and cook just until the underside is golden brown.
Makes about 16 4-inch pancakes.
“Follow these ILOC tips and you will be successful every time. Remember: it's all about technique, not torture! ”
Do not overbeat the batter. Believe it or not, small lumps in pancake batter are not only acceptable; they are desirable because it indicates that the ingredients have been gently combined. The lumps settle as the batter sits and as the pancakes cook. When the batter is beaten too vigorously, the results may yield a flatter, thinner, and certainly tougher, less tender pancake.
Make sure the pan is hot. There are many ways to test a dry pan to see if it is ready for batter. The easiest method is to drop a few bits of water on the dry pan. If those drops bounce and sizzle, then the pan is ready. If the water sits still and holds its shape, the pan is too cool. In the event that the water evaporates the second it hits the pan, then the pan is most likely too hot in which case you should remove it from the heat, allow it to cool down, and begin again.
Don’t count on the first pancake. So many people experience that the first few pancakes do not come out as well as the rest. This usually has to do with the heat of the pan. We turn on the heat and expect it to be ready in just moments, but the truth is it can take several minutes for a pan to come to temperature, depending on its material and construction.
Use fat on cast iron, but not with a nonstick surface. Once the pan is hot enough, small amounts of fat can be added before spooning the batter onto the pan. If you are using a nonstick skillet, you’ll find that adding fat makes for a patterned skin, whereas cooking pancakes in a dry nonstick pan will give an even hue. Fat is needed on a cast iron pan, which makes for an almost crunchy exterior to the pancake.
Use a measuring cup to pour the batter. To achieve the standard 5-inch size and an even circular shape, use a third-cup dry measure (silver dollars require a mere tablespoon of batter). Fill the measuring cup with batter and poor it onto the pan, just a few inches from the pan’s surface. Once you begin pouring the batter, keep your hand steady and do not move. This helps to make a fluffy pancake.
Turn a pancake just once. If you turn a pancake over and over, it can toughen. When the top of the pancake bubbles, it is ready to be turned with a spatula. Once turned, it will take only about half as long for the second side to cook.
Keep pancakes warm while you finish cooking. Preheat an oven to 200°F degrees before you begin cooking. As the pancakes come off the sauté pan or griddle, place them on a sheet pan in a single layer and hold them in the oven. They can be slightly overlapped if you are making too many to fit in a single layer.
Individually Quick Freeze (IQF). Make a big batch of pancakes, once completely cool place them on a flexible cutting board or sheet pan, and place them in the freezer. Once they are frozen after a couple of hours, you can place them in an airtight bag or container and grab one any time for easy reheating. If you were to place them in a bag or container without IQF first, they would stick to one another into one massive clump of pancakes and you could not remove one at a time as needed.