One of the things I remember most clearly from my childhood at the family table is Pancake breakfasts. You could have anything with them; Eggs (any style), Bacon, Ham, Sausages, Stewed Tomatoes – and any sweet topping you might desire… And they would still be the stars of the show. And I know the secret of making light, fluffy ones from scratch!
Why buy Pancake mix when you have all the ingredients in the kitchen already? A lot of people rely on pancake mix and self-rising flour because they’ve never been successful at making nice, light, high-rise pancakes from scratch. There’s no need to play it safe! Just play it smart…
What you need…
2 1/2 cups / 725 ml of Flour (Bread or All-Purpose)
1 tbsp. / 15 ml Baking Soda
1 tsp. / 5 ml Baking Powder
1 tbsp. / 15 ml Sugar
1 tsp. / 5 ml Salt
2 large Eggs
1/2 cup / 125 ml Whole Milk or Light Cream
1 cup / 250 ml Hot Water (not boiling!)
1 tbsp. / 15 ml Lemon Juice or White Vinegar
What you do…
In a large mixing bowl, combine Flour and other dry ingredients and whisk until light and airy. Whisking is sometimes called ‘the poor-cooks sift’. It works fine in this application.
In a two-cup measuring cup, combine Milk and Eggs. I like to beat the Eggs first in a small bowl to add air which makes the Pancakes fluffier and lighter.
In a one-cup measuring cup, combine the Hot Water and Lemon Juice.
Pour the Milk and Egg mixture into the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the moisture is all soaked up by the Flour. Begin adding the Hot Water Mixture in small additions until you have the Batter at the consistency you want. I like a fairly thick Pancake Batter which is nevertheless thin enough to run off the spoon fairly easily. That will let it spread naturally on the pan/griddle and form a perfect round Cake.
Don’t over-mix the Batter. You’ll knock carbon dioxide bubbles out of the mixture that give it the rise!
Fray the Pancakes on a very hot griddle or pan brushed with a high-temperature oil such as Corn or Canola. I like to add a little Butter for flavour, and the Oil helps keep it from scorching at the temperatures you need for perfect Pancakes. Set your electric Breakfast Griddle, if you have one, at 375 F. Don’t use any Oil or Butter on non-stick surfaces.
I use a 4 oz. / 125 ml ladle to measure out the Batter onto the pan.
The Cakes should take no more than about 30 seconds to cook properly on each side. I love to watch the Cakes rise before my eyes just after I’ve flipped them…
Serve hot off the Griddle with Butter and whatever sweet toppings you crave. Beware: These are very rick Pancakes in spite of their light texture. You eyes may be bigger than your stomach!
Why the Lemon Juice?
Lemon Juice is an acid, and acid will help activate the Baking Powder and Baking Soda, maximizing the rise your Pancakes will get.
And there you have it!
You can mix up large quantities of the Dry Ingredients and store for up to three months in a closed container.
If you want to make Waffles, add a third Egg to the batter when you’re mixing it and add another tablespoon of sugar. The other ingredients and instructions remain the same.
Now, get out there and celebrate the universally beloved Pancake!
~ Maggie J.