Are your pancakes something to be avoided? Do you find them hidden around the house after your family is finished eating? Have you thought about using your pancakes for coasters? Can your pancakes stand on edge? Could they be used for shelf markers at the local library?
You too can make pancakes like a chef in a fancy restaurant.
Great pancakes are easy to make, but if you stumble into just a few common mistakes, your pancakes will be used for shoe leather. Promise.
I have been making pancakes since I was nine years old. That, uh, was a very long time ago. But it seems like yesterday.
There are a couple of secrets. I use the word “secrets” because there are many people who, evidently, have not discovered the simple secrets to making fantastic pancakes.
The first secret, oh, so important, is:
You must have a very HOT griddle!
I turn an electric griddle to 400, as high as it will go. I use the highest flame on our gas stove.
Ok, let’s start at the beginning, now that you know your griddle or pan has to be very, very hot.
1. The recipe is not the most important part! You can make fantastic pancakes using a mix. I use a buttermilk mix to which I only have to add water. Delicious!
2. Secret #2 – Test the griddle! The griddle or pan is not hot enough until drops of water dance on it! Wet your hand, flick the water at the pan. If the drops don’t dance on the griddle, it’s not hot.
3. Secret #3 – DO NOT add the water (or liquid ingredients if using a scratch recipe) to the mix until the griddle is ready!
4. Secret #4 – LUMPS ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY! Lumps are not to be sought out and destroyed! DO NOT beat the crap out of the batter! Using a fork for stirring, add the liquid ingredients, mix it over a few times, make sure there isn’t a bunch of dry mix on the bottom of the bowl. Then leave it alone! Don’t give in to the temptation to stir it again!
5. Secret #5 – After preparing the griddle with cooking spray or butter, use a small ladle or a 1/4 cup measure to pour batter on the HOT griddle. You will want to spray the griddle again after two batches.
6. SECRET #6 – ATTENTION PLEASE!! ATTENTION!! ONLY FLIP THE PANCAKES ONCE!!! ONCE!!! AND DON’T EVER, EVER, EVEN THINK ABOUT TOUCHING THE TOP OF THE PANCAKE WITH YOUR FLIPPER!! Don’t wait until the bubbles pop, or crust forms on the edge, or until a buzzer goes off. With a very hot griddle, you only have to wait a few minutes and side one is done. If they are not dark enough, DON’T FLIP THEM BACK OVER, EVER! Just wait a little longer for the next batch.
Put the finished cakes on a cookie in the oven (already prepared) at 175 degrees.
Put a stack on your plate, add butter, syrup, fruit, yogurt, whipped cream, or anything else you want, and enjoy! Your family is going to think a French chef has come to live with them. They’ll say, “What have you done?! Who made these?!” Of course, the temptation to slap them should be resisted.
That is how you make delicious, non-frisbee, non-shoe leather, non-hockey puck, non-coaster pancakes.
Make sure you have plenty of coffee ready, too.