5 Tips For Making Perfect Pancakes
These days, chefs and food lovers alike use every chance they can to celebrate food-related holidays. One such culinary celebration is based around pancakes, a treat so beloved it gets its own week-long observance at the end of every February.
It’s easy to see why pancakes are so massively popular: They’re not just a staple of breakfast, but of brunch and even brinner (that is breakfast for dinner). Pancakes are a simple and hearty meal that can be tweaked to bring out new flavors and inspirations, which makes them an ideal challenge for culinary graduates to master.
Here are five tips to making perfect pancakes every time:
“Always whisk dry and wet ingredients individually.”
1. Mix carefully
Truly pristine pancakes begin with the right batter. It’s a good idea to always whisk dry and wet ingredients separately; that way, you ensure that everything’s mashed up properly, and the mixture will have the perfect level of moistness. Just try to avoid over-mixing when you combine the two, or the excess gluten will leave you with extra tough pancakes. And don’t be afraid of any final lumps – those will eventually cook out completely.
2. Pick the right pan
The pan you use to make pancakes can make a huge difference. Anything too thin will toast your pancakes in a few minute’s time. A griddle or another wide, heavy bottomed pan is your best bet; these don’t have sloped sides that can increase the risk of burning. To further avoid issues with heat, always use clarified butter or vegetable oil with pancakes. Anything with milk solids – like standard butter – will cause things to burn.
3. Don’t over flip
Some people approach making pancakes with the intent to flip their stacks as much as possible. As it turns out, though, excessive flipping is bad for the pancakes – and not just because you run the risk of dropping everything. Rather, if you flip your pancakes more than once, you might prevent them from cooking thoroughly. At the same time, don’t flip as soon as the batter starts to bubble. If you wait a minute, you’re more likely to have perfectly done pancakes.
4. Take your time
Timing is a huge part of cooking and serving pancakes. One mistake that many inexperienced chefs make is not letting the batter rest after mixing. Without this 30-minute break, the starch cells can’t swell up, and if they’re not the right size when they hit the griddle, you won’t get fluffy pancakes. Since pancakes are time-consuming, you should also consider pre-making them, especially for a large party. Just keep them over a low heat while you wait to serve.
5. Get creative
As mentioned above, many people love pancakes because you can add in new ingredients to make them fun and exciting. For instance, tossing in chocolate chips is a great way to add a bit of extra sweetness. You can also swap cake mix for traditional batter, which gives the pancakes different texture and sweetness. Some chefs instead opt for toppings, like stewed fruit, ice cream or even some rosewater. The point is, get creative and experiment with your pancake recipes.