A while back (and I am sorry to the person who asked this because it’s been quite a while back), someone asked me for a good recipe for pancakes. The simple kinds. Easy to make, and great to taste.
Since V is not that crazy about pancakes, they are never made in our house. In fact, during the first month or so of our marriage I remember bringing one of the boxed mixes home. I made them once, but realized later that V is not a fan of pancakes, and that box sat in our kitchen pantry cupboard till it expired, never to be used again and finally thrown after a year of passing its expiry date.
I, on the other hand do like pancakes.
I have grown up on pancakes.
Almost every weekend, my brother and I would request my mom to make pancakes for us. She generally used box mix, but sometimes made them from scratch too. Along with the pancakes, on the table would be maple syrup that my grandmother would get from Canada every time she came to visit us in India, but I always preferred the lemon syrup that my mom made from scratch.
And that’s how I remember pancakes. My mom serving them hot with a good serving of butter and the lemon syrup drizzled on top. Oh sooooo good.
As we grew older, pancakes were replaced with healthier choices like milk and cereal, less of all purpose flour, more of whole wheat options, and fruits.
With time, the taste of those pancakes has faded away, but the memories remain. And I want to thank the person who asked me for a pancake recipe, because it brought back a lot of those happy memories. And how my mom effortlessly made things for my brother, me and my father- day in and day out, and the reason why each one of us is a big time foodie.
Thankfully, V has changed from the first few months of marriage. He has become a little more adventurous about food and is slowly realizing that there is such a thing as good non indian food. The process is slow but he is trying (well, he has no choice but to make his peace with other cuisines because I emotionally blackmail him a lot). So when I was asked for a recipe, I revisited pancakes again. It helps when V was on board with the experimenting, else I would have been eating all those pancakes. Which is not a bad thing, if weight was not a concern.
I bookmarked quite a few recipes. Went through the reviews and finally narrowed on two recipes that I found on allrecipes.com: one was the fluffy pancake recipe on it and the other the old fashioned pancakes. Each has 4000+ reviews, averaging 4.5 to 5 star ratings. So I knew that both the recipes should be good.
Both the pancakes were fluffy, and good- so many people can’t be wrong about them. But, personally I found the taste and overall texture of the fluffy pancake recipe better and that’s what I am sharing today.
I did ask my mom for the recipe for the lemon syrup she used to make so that I could relive the whole childhood experience, but when I tried making it, I did not get the taste that I remembered and loved so much. And that’s why I am not posting the recipe for that today. Maybe I will, once I get to see how my mom making it.
Or maybe, it will always be just her thing.
A few steps/tips that will help in a fluffier, light pancake:
- Sift the flour with the other dry ingredients twice. One, it will ensure that all the ingredients are mixed well. Two, it will aerate the flour, resulting in lighter pancakes. A tip useful when sifting is to make sure that you hold the sieve at least 18 inches above your bowl. It helps aerate the flour better.
- Eggs and buttermilk/milk should be at room temperature. Room temperature eggs, milk blend better.
- Do not overmix the dry and wet ingredients. Some lumps are fine in the batter. Flour balls will get cooked anyway.
- Let the mix sit for about 30 minutes before making the pancakes. Batter should be spongy and bubbly. Once foamed up resist to stir. I generally pour the mixture in a 4 cup pyrex measuring glass and then pour from the measuring glass itself. You can also use a 1/4 cup measuring spoon but resist to stir the batter when scooping out, else the gluten would get worked on and result in tougher pancakes.
- If you have time, you could separate the egg whites until stiff. Mix the yolk with the buttermilk and after mixing the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, gently fold in the egg white. Even if you do not separate the eggs you will still get a fluffy pancake. The ones in the pictures are without separating the egg. But yes, separating the eggs does make them fluffier.
- Make sure your skillet does not get too hot when making larger batches or they will start to go flat losing their fluffiness.
- Cook at medium low to medium temperature. Sugar in the batter browns them quicker, plus since they are fluffy, if you cook on higher heat the insides dont get set up properly.
- This recipe doubles/triples well. Plus, it freezes/reheats well too
- For reheating either microwave between two paper towels or pop it into the toaster for a few seconds
- This recipe serves as good base for other recipes. Also, feel free to add chocolate chips, blueberries and bananas. If adding blueberries, toss them in some of the flour that is called in the recipe (do not use extra flour) and then mix in with the batter.
- You can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to milk and letting it sit to sour for 5-10 minutes. The longer the better.
- Depending on how you weigh your flour, you might need to add a splash of milk, but do it in the beginning.
- 1 cup buttermilk (If you do not have buttermilk, add 1 tbsp vinegar-apple cider vinegar would be best, but white wine vinegar would also do- in 1 cup milk and let sit to sour for 5-10 minutes)
- 1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp butter, melted (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- optional: cinnamon, nutmeg
- Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Sift twice. (see notes)
- Whisk the egg and melted butter into buttermilk. Add in vanilla.
- Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, but do not overmix. Some lumps are fine.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Or heat your griddle.
- Pour about ¼ cupsful of batter onto the skiller and cook until bubbles appear on the surface.
- Flip and cook till browned on the other side.