09 July 2010

Pancakes - Perfect Pancakes, Hotcakes, Whatever You Call Them

Pancakes - Perfect Pancakes / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pancakes are my favorite comfort food breakfast. I can't eat pancakes without thinking of my Southern grandmother. Grandma made The Best pancakes--actually, she called them hotcakes (Is that a Southern thing?). 

She made them really thick and fluffy, about 4 inches in diameter. I've never had much success making thick ones, though it's probably just a matter of more baking powder along with less milk. She served them with lots of butter and hot homemade syrup.

This is my basic pancake recipe, arrived at through trial and error over the years. Sometimes I use different whole grain flours, but I always use this formula. And, if I have some buttermilk, sour cream or plain yogurt languishing around, ready to go off, I might use 1/2 cup of that in place of 1/2 cup of the milk. 

The pancakes aren't the super thin ones my mother liked (Is that an English thing?), but they're not as thick as Grandma's. What is your ideal pancake? Do you make them yourself or go out for them?

Update 06/29/17: Just posted my Homemade Blueberry Syrup or Sauce.


(Makes twelve 5-inch round pancakes)

1 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (7.5 ounces/213 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355 ml) milk,* room temperature

3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces/43 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

* I usually do the "buttermilk substitute" thing: Put 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar in a 2-cup glass measure and add enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups. But they're good with just plain milk, too.

1 Since I don't currently have one of those large, rectangular electric griddles, in order to serve everyone at the same time I must preheat oven to 200 degrees (actually, I now have a warming drawer) and, as each batch is cooked, place the pancakes slightly overlapping on an ovenproof platter, cover loosely with foil and keep in the oven.

2 Lightly oil the griddle (I currently have a round one but plan to get a square one again, the All-Clad LTD 11-Inch Square Nonstick Griddle) and heat over medium heat. Preheating the griddle properly is the key to good pancakes; it takes about 5 minutes.

3 In medium bowl (I use a 2-quart Pyrex glass measure), whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

4 In small bowl (I use a 4-cup Pyrex glass measure), whisk together eggs, milk and melted butter. Pour into dry mixture and whisk gently until just combined.

OR just make a well in the center of your thoroughly whisked dry ingredients and pour your individual wet ingredients into it; whisk them together in the well and work out from there, combining wet and dry; do not overmix.

5 Using a 1/4-cup ladle or measuring cup, ladle batter onto hot griddle (preheated for 5 minutes over medium heat, drops of water should dance and disappear quickly). Cook about 1½ to 2 minutes on each side. Don't rush it (like I often do!); wait for the bubbles to appear and break. 

6 Serve with butter and real maple syrup that has been warmed. Or with fruit and/or fruit syrup.



Melinda said...

I make the worst flat pancakes. I'm going to try this recipe and see if it is the recipe or chef error. :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Let me know how it turns out for you, Melinda. I know you can do it!

Sasha @ The Happiness Project London said...

Oh this is making me hungry!! I love pancakes with maple syprup and BACON as the added ingredient - absolutely lovely.

Other favourite posh breakfast has to be a eggs benedict with lovely ham and muffins, nom nom nom.

Sasha @ The Happiness Project London

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes, bacon, especially the wonderful bacon you have in England! I don't mind what I have for breakfast, really, as long as I have a proper pot of tea!

Cranberry Morning said...

These look delicious! Twelve of them would just about satisfy our 21 year old son. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but not much! He's a pancake fiend!

Several pics of Lionel are sitting over at Cranberry Morning today. :-)

I bought a box of Irish Breakfast tea on the recommendation of a 'relative of a relative' who lives outside Cambridge, UK. She says it's the BEST.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes, I remember being a sleek and svelte 21-year-old who could eat huge amounts and not gain an ounce!

Irish Breakfast tea makes a good strong brew that can stand up to a lot of milk.

Actually, the Irish Breakfast will go very well with the pancakes.

Chef Dennis Littley said...

who doesn't like pancakes!! yours look so light and fluffy.....sigh....throw some blueberries in and I will be your friend for life!

AskKim said...

Your pancake pictures make me hungry! I think I just gained 2 pounds entering your site! LOL

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Dennis. I love them with blueberries too. Instead of mixing them in the batter (and getting ugly-colored batter), I just sprinkle them on as soon as I pour the batter onto the griddle.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kimberly, I know! I swear I'm going to blog about something low-cal/low-carb one of these days!

Anonymous said...

How in the world did they come out so perfectly?


Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Charlotte. That's what I asked myself! But, really, all I did was exactly how I wrote the recipe. Usually, I try to rush things and I don't get the pan hot enough. That's when you get the pale, flat ones that have to be thrown out. But these were the first batch. I was really proud of myself!

tiffany said...

i tried your recipe but somehow it came out gooey. i dont know what i did wrong :[

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Hmmm ... Did you measure the flour just as I said, "packed"? Did you heat the pan over medium heat for 5 full minutes? Did you wait till bubbles had formed and popped before turning the pancakes over? Let's figure this out so you can have some pancakes!

Work Pays At Home said...

OK, this was a bad idea to read this post at 4:30 in the morning! I love pancakes - I am from the South and we always used King Syrup or my mom made her own flavored syrup. I love the thick ones but my kids could care less. Thanks so much for sharing!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you! If I've brought back a memory, I've done my job!

TheArtistOnTheRoad said...

Thanks for getting me off my computer this morning and into the kitchen for some delicious pancakes! I used your recipe and substituted some milk for buttermilk as you suggested and they were fab. Oh, and I also separated the eggs (to whisk the whites) and then folded them into the batter. They were delicious and my wife loved them. Thanks! Now on to that pecan pie of yours . . .

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I'm so glad you and Marilyn enjoyed my pancakes! AND that you're going to make the pecan pie! Do let me know how it turns out for you.

The Reader's Tales said...

Oh my gosh! I have to try the thick "American-style" pancakes. But first I really want to do, your recipe for meat pie. It looks SO delicious... I will let you know how it turned out for me.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, TRT. I hope you like them. As I mentioned, my Southern (US) grandmother made even thicker ones. Do let me know how they, and the meat pie, turn out for you!