Making the Perfect Pancake at Home

Does anything make a weekend morning feel like a treat as much as a warm stack of fluffy pancakes? Ordering them at a local diner is an option, but so is making them at home.

Pancakes are simple to make with easy-to-use mixes that taste great. Even making them from scratch requires only a few basic ingredients. Plus, we have tips for topping them Pacific Northwest-style!

Crafting the Perfect Pancake

First off, start with a basic pancake recipe. Something with baking powder and baking soda will make them fluffy, and buttermilk to give it a bit of a tang. Have all your ingredients at room temperature when you start mixing. When mixing the wet and dry ingredients, make sure you don’t over-mix, or your pancake will get chewy. Just mix it until the wet and dry ingredients are combined, and you don’t have to worry about lumps. Then let the batter set for five to thirty minutes for the best consistency. Don’t skip this step even though we know you want your pancakes now.

Next, make sure the pan you are using is hot enough, but not too hot. A griddle is best to maintain an evenly heated surface, but a cast iron or non-stick will work. You’ll want it to be hot enough so the pancake starts to cook quickly without having time to spread out too far or soak up too much oil from the pan. But, be careful not to make it so hot that it starts to burn. You might need to make a small test pancake before you find the right setting that works for your pan and stove.

Make sure that there is enough oil in the pan so the pancake doesn’t stick. You can use butter or a neutral vegetable oil. Butter will burn at lower temperatures than vegetable or canola oil, so be careful.

Once your pan is ready, use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop up your pancake batter and pour it into the pan. Get your spatula ready (a nice thin, wide one) and cook the pancake until bubbles have formed across the top. You can lift the pancake up a little on one side at this point to check how brown it is. Once it’s light-brown, flip the pancake and continue cooking until the second side matches.

Keep your pancakes warm as you finish them by heating your oven to 275 degrees and place a cooking rack on a baking sheet in the oven. As you finish each pancake, place it on the rack in the warm oven until you’re ready to serve them.

Alternative Pancakes

If you have gluten or dairy sensitivities, check out some alternative pancake recipes from Taylor’s Table:

Gluten-Free French Cider Griddle Cakes

Gluten-Free Dutch Babies

Topping Your Stack

Once you’ve mastered the art of creating the perfect pancake, there’s no limit to the ways you can customize it to fit your needs and tastes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Make it savory

Turn your pancakes into something more savory that you can have any time of day. Try these hearty Bacon and Corn Griddle Cakes for an extra-special breakfast or check out these Savoury Dinner Pancakes with Chilli Butter for a quick evening meal.

Go local

Top your pancakes with seasonal fruits and support your local farmers. In the summer, you can find a lot of local strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries to either add on top of your pancakes or mix in. Year-round, you can buy locally-made jams as an alternative topping to syrup. Check out:

Blue Cottage Jams

Fresh Picks

Maury Island Farm

Johnson Berry Farm

Image by GMVozd

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Grace Carlson

Grace Carlson is a writer living in the Pacific Northwest. When not writing she enjoys reading, traveling, and baking things with chocolate, which she believes is the best medicine for most ailments. Find her online at gracecarlsonwriting.com.