Holidays are HERE, can you believe it? Pancakes are a quick and easy crowd pleaser, perfect for guests. We tend to save them for special occasions around our house, like holiday weekends with friends and family. Most people have their own batter recipe, so I have assembled a quick technique Q&A list with tips and tricks to help make yours extra delicious~
PREP SCHOOL – Pancake Q&A:
Is it a good idea to make the batter in advance?
Actually, no. Not the night before, not an hour before. Why? It’s all about the leavening ingredients, which get activated the minute the wet ingredients interact with the dry ingredients. So if you cook them right away, your pancakes will be fluffier and lighter.
Should I use a blender or a hand mixer to get the lumps out of the batter?
No- just use a whisk- and do not over mix the batter. A few lumps are OK. If you over mix, the gluten in the flour will develop… taking your pancakes from fluffy to chewy.
What if I want my pancakes to be airy and soufflé like?
Try borrowing a soufflé technique – beaten egg whites. You will use the same number of eggs. Just separate the yolks and mix them in with the wet ingredients, as instructed in the recipe. Beat the egg whites into stiff peaks and gently fold them into the batter just before cooking.
Any tips on making super light pancakes?
Experiment with replacing some or all of the liquid with carbonated liquid, such as seltzer water, ginger ale, beer. Again, add the carbonation just before cooking. You don’t want the batter to sit after adding it.
How about cooking pointers?
Heat your griddle or pan to medium, not too hot, and lightly coat the cooking surface with cooking oil, cooking spray or CLARIFIED butter. Regular butter has milk solids that will cause the butter to burn.
Do a Test Drive. Let your first pancake or batch be the sacrificial one… It will likely be less perfect than the rest. You will know if your skillet/griddle temperature is right and you can practice your flipping technique. Be aware of any hot or cold spots in your pan.
What about add-ins?
If you are adding berries or chocolate chips, add them to the batter AFTER you ladle it into the skillet. Bananas are another story- go ahead and mix them in, they will caramelize against the heat, and that’s a good thing.
What about Butter and Syrup…
Please… for goodness sake, unless you have dietary restrictions, use real butter and real syrup, not butter-flavored or syrup-flavored manufactured fakeness. To take it up a notch, in a sauce pan over low heat, warm the butter into the syrup for temperature controlled, taste bud bliss.