one of the most difficult things to make, i find, are perfect pancakes.
i always struggle on one end or another in trying to make sense of the perfect combination for the batter, heat of the pan, and length of cooking time. actually, i get so annoyed for the most part, that i rarely try pancakes unless i am desperate for something to eat and have very little in my house.
regardless, i decided to try once again today. and boy, am i glad that i did! here are the few lessons that i have learned so far in tackling the pancake-making process:
- It’s all about quality batter. I’ve never given this much thought until recently, but I am almost always using the low-grade, “just add water” pancake mix. Last time I was at the store, though, I was lucky enough to not see any of those “no-name-brand” mixes, so I went with the one that seems to have quality associated with its name. It crossed my mind, though, that perhaps having a higher quality pancake mix would actually improve the taste and cooking-ability of my pancakes. After today, of course, lesson has been learned: quality is key.
- Heat matters. I know that the key to making the perfect pancake mostly lies in the perfect heat to cook-time ratio, but regardless, I somehow seem to always over-cook or under-cook my pancakes. Today however, I have managed (for the most part) to conquer that ratio! Start your pan off at a med-high heat, to warm the pan, then downgrade to a low-med heat, to cook the pancakes. Watch the batter in the pan… once there are plenty of bubbles in the middle of the pancake, and the sides get dry and start to curl up away from the pan, it’s time to flip! Keeping the heat low allows an even cooking time… without burning the bottom of the pancake! (This somehow seems to be my downside – i almost always burn my poor pancakes.)
- Non-stick and ungreased. Don’t use Pam (non-stick spray) on a hot frying pan. It just turns black and smells burnt… and adds a burnt aroma to the first pancake. Unnecessary. I don’t know why I haven’t learned this lesson until today… I almost always make this mistake, thinking that I need to add non-stick spray so that I can get my pancakes to flip easily… but this is not needed.
- Extra goodies. Today I added chocolate chips and some brown sugar to the quality batter… which seriously made all the difference! A little extra sweetness, and a handful of richness! yum! They really were mouth-watering. (if only i would have had bananas for on top…)
So… lesson learned. Start with a quality batter, don’t use non-stick spray on a hot pan, and watch the heat careful… patience makes for perfect pancakes.
The recipe that I used today:
1 cup Bisquick pancake mix
1/2 cup water (only because I was out of milk…)
1 T. brown sugar
handful of chocolate chips (approx. 1/4 cup)
Made 4 large pancakes.
What tips/tricks can you share for conquering the perfect pancakes?