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My kids love having pancakes for breakfast at weekends.
The pancakes I learned to make growing up were the thin crepe style,
so it took a while to get used to the thicker American style.
I use a cup of plain flour, a cup of milk, an egg, pinch of salt and 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder.
The kids love them.

At Christmas we got a gift pack from a friend that included a pack of "pancake mix"
I've always considered pancake mix to be another word for flour, but I was surprised.
The pancakes turn out lighter and fluffier than the ones I make.

So what's the secret to making lighter, fluffier pancakes from scratch?
Am I using the wrong flour? Is it this mythical "buttermilk"?
Original Post
Two ways I know.

#1) seperate the egg yolks adn the egg whites.

make the mix as you normally would with the egg whites on the side.

Beat the sht out of the egg whites until foamy peaks start forming. Do some light stirring. This forces the air into the pancakes manually.

Cook immediately while there are still air bubbles.

#2) Check the expiration of your baking powder. that's what gives the fluffy rising action but you can't let the mix sit outside for too long. So mix and onto the pan immediately.
it might not be an ingredient as much as technique.

2 items will kill a good pancake.
A) overstirring the batter
B) flipping it more than once

over-stirring the batter releases microscopic the air bubbles in the powder (flower mixture). These tiny air bubbles expand in the heat from the pan leaving a lighter pancake. Most people think you need to stir the batter until all the lumps are gone. this isnt the case. get everything incorportated then a few more go arounds to break up any large lumps. anything the size of a pea would be ok.

flipping more than once toughens the pancake so dont do that either.
quote:
Originally posted by futronic:
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
I thought this was going to be a request for what Shiraz to pour on pancakes. My bad.


Anything from Marquis-Philips? I'm sure there's enough blueberry pancake syrup, I mean Shiraz, S9, and Integrity around in cellars to put it to good use.


BINGO!
You asked about buttermilk. Buttermilk has chemicals that help fluff the pancake by reacting with baking powder or soda. Letting the batter sit for at least ten minutes will enhance this effect and give you great pancakes. Pancake mixes can be good, although making them from scratch isn't much more trouble. The biggest problem with mixes is the amount of salt. They use an unnecessarily large amount of salt. Some salt is needed for its' contribution to chemical reactions, but mixes often contain 1/3 of your daily requirements. A pinch will do.
We've been making them, here, too, and my wife is English, so getting used to American style took a little time. I can't stand the mixes, either, when the recipe is so easy. Actually, we use the recipe off of the Curious George book (the one where he helps make pancakes). Anyway, you can also try cake flour to lighten them up. I keep cake flour on hand, so not a big deal to substitute this.

And if anyone can help on this...hands down the best pancakes ever are from a place in Kailua, Oahu called Boot's and Kimo's. Instead of syrup, they pour on what I've been told is a sauce made from melted vanilla ice cream. Incredible! Anyone tried it? Know the recipe for the sauce???

keytohwy
quote:
Originally posted by keytohwy:
We've been making them, here, too, and my wife is English, so getting used to American style took a little time. I can't stand the mixes, either, when the recipe is so easy. Actually, we use the recipe off of the Curious George book (the one where he helps make pancakes). Anyway, you can also try cake flour to lighten them up. I keep cake flour on hand, so not a big deal to substitute this.

And if anyone can help on this...hands down the best pancakes ever are from a place in Kailua, Oahu called Boot's and Kimo's. Instead of syrup, they pour on what I've been told is a sauce made from melted vanilla ice cream. Incredible! Anyone tried it? Know the recipe for the sauce???

keytohwy


I miss Boot's and Kimo's. The best place for breakfast after a night out on the island. Many a time we would wake up on Kailua Beach and head to Boot's...
Great thread.

Dave - I've been cooking pancakes since I was about 8.

That was a long time ago.

I don't know exactly how much of what I use but your measures seem about right. .

The leavening makes the big difference in the texture. If you use baking soda and an acidic liquid, the texture is softer, more moist, and more delicate. For an acidic liquid, you use milk with a little vinegar, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, or whatever. Doesn't really matter. What does matter is the foaming you get from the acid/base.

If you use baking powder, your pancakes will typically be much more cake-like. They won't be as loose. More like the stuff you get at diners.

Melted butter gives them a richness, but doesn't affect the crumb so much.

And whipping the egg whites is something I do as a matter of course. It helps make them fluffy.

If you're using a sourdough starter, the pancakes are usually a lot softer and wetter than baking powder.

Bisquick and those other mixes are basically flour, salt, baking powder, hydrogenated fat, and preservatives, so I don't see the point of using them.

But I think what's happening in your mix is that you've got flour that has been "shortened", i.e. it's got shortening mixed in and that keeps the grains from attaching to each other. I don't know what you're using, but you might be using all-purpose flour. The softer flour and baking powder will make a different pancake than a harder flour and a baking-soda / acid pancake.
Last edited by gregt
This is my favorite pancake recipe:

BUTTERMILK PANCAKES
The Fannie Farmer Cookbook


1 egg
¾ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter (cooled)
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup flour
½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries (optional)

1. Beat egg in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended.

2. Add buttermilk and mix well

3. Add melted butter and mix well.

4. Add sugar and salt and mix well.

5. Add baking soda and mix until just blended in.

6. Add flour and mix until just blended in; batter will be lumpy.

7. If batter seems rather thick, add a little buttermilk to thin it.

8. Add blueberries, if using.

9. Heat griddle or large frying pan over moderate heat, and grease lightly. Use about ¼ cup of batter for each pancake, turning once only.

Serve with warm maple syrup.

Makes about 8 pancakes.

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