Just had another ho-hum Shrove Tuesday Pancake breakfast? Plan now to be the star of next year’s pre-Lent Pancake celebration by employing these key tips and techniques for better batter, guaranteed to turn your signature short stack into a towering success!
Okay… It’s more than just the batter. It’s the pan, the temperature, the cooking time, the twist of the wrist that makes the perfect flip…
Start with the Batter
First, get your ingredients right. For every cup of Flour:
Use two teaspoons of Baking Powder, one teaspoon Salt and two teaspoons Sugar. Add ground Cinnamon or Allspice, or even a pinch of cloves if you wish. Blend all dry ingredients with the flour thoroughly using a whisk.
You can use regular All-Purpose Flour or use 3 parts APF to one part Buckwheat or Whole Wheat Flour, if you wish. I generally use a little more Baking Powder than the basic recipe calls for when mixing in other flours.
Your wet ingredients should include 1/2 cup Milk or Buttermilk (yum!), 1/4 cup Corn Oil or Melted Butter, and one Egg (beaten) and enough warm Water to thin the batter to the desired consistency. Also add a teaspoon of Lemon Juice, which will help activate the Baking Powder.
Mix the batter properly
Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix quickly with a fork or a whisk. Don’t over-mix!
Add enough Warm water so that the batter will flow readily.
Let the batter sit for 10 minutes or so while the baking powder works, producing many small bubbles on the surface.
Cook ’em up
Preheat a large, wide pan with a flat bottom – or, better yet, a no-stick ‘breakfast nook’ griddle – to 375 F. If you are not using a non-stick cooking surface, brush on a tablespoon of cooking oil and let it heat to a full 375 F before pouring your first cake.
Use a 4 ounce ladle to pour batter onto the griddle. Make one cake at a time if using a round pan, or two at a time if you’re using a rectangular griddle, leaving lots of room to facilitate flipping.
Wait for about two minutes until the edges of the cake start to loose their shine and bubbles begin to appear all over the top of the cake. Flip now and leave alone for another two minutes, or however long it took for the first side to be ‘done’.
Have an over-proof dish in the oven and have the oven set on 200 F or so. Stack the finished cakes on that plate to keep warm while you cook the rest.
Eat ’em with Butter and Maple Syrup!
That’s the only way for me. I’m Canadian and proud of it. But others say you should broaden your Pancake horizons, trying things such as Peanut Butter and Jam, Marmalade, Honey or Fruit Syrups. Or sprinkle on Chocolate or Caramel Chips, or Candy Sprinkles, or whatever…
And there are those who swear by embedding Fresh Berries or Bacon Bits, or even Chocolate/Caramel Chips or Candies in your cakes. Add them when the first side is almost done and then flip at the usual moment.
However you like ’em, make ‘me the best Pancakes you can. They’re a wonderful treat and nobody should have to settle for second best when it comes to treats!
~ Maggie J.