I’m really weird about pancakes. As far as I’m concerned, they’ve never been as good as the box mix version my mom always made on weekends when my brother and I were kids. Diner pancakes always seem too spongy and greasy, and my own attempts at pancake making in college resulted in super dense, burned-on-the-outside-raw-on-the-inside disappointments.
So I haven’t actually tried to make pancakes since college, and I graduated 10 years ago. I’ve learned a lot about cooking since then, but pancakes have remained on my Things to Fear in the Kitchen list anyway (along with things like rice and pies, both of which I’ve now conquered). Adam has been dropping hints about how much he’d love to see pancakes in the recipe rotation for years, but it wasn’t until Laura Ann gave me some real Vermont maple syrup a few weeks ago that I decided to give it a try.
I went with Alton Brown’s recipe for “instant” pancake mix, which makes a bulk quantity of the dry ingredients that you can then scoop out whenever you want to make pancakes. I love this idea. And I followed his directions as closely as I could, but I found that the actual pancake batter needed more buttermilk to get to the right consistency. So I’ve slightly tweaked the recipe to reflect the amount I used. First is the mix recipe, followed by the actual pancake recipe.
Alton Brown’s “Instant” Pancakes:
For the “instant” pancake mix:
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (check expiration date first)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Combine all of the ingredients in a lidded container. Shake to mix. Use the mix within 3 months.
**The mix will make 3 batches of pancakes if you follow his recipe below. I scooped out the amount of mix I needed for this batch of pancakes and stored the rest in one of my Weck jars.
2 eggs, separated
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups “Instant” Pancake Mix, recipe above
1 stick butter, for greasing the pan
2 cups fresh fruit such as blueberries (or chocolate chips in our case), if desired
Heat an electric griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees F. Heat oven to 200 degrees F.
Whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk in a small bowl.
In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the melted butter.
Combine the buttermilk mixture with the egg yolk mixture in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined.
Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix.
Using a whisk, mix the batter just enough to bring it together. Don’t try to work all the lumps out. **Note: This is what my batter looked like before I added more buttermilk. It was super thick and difficult to ladle onto the griddle.
Check to see that the griddle is hot by placing a few drops of water onto to the griddle. The griddle is ready if the water dances across the surface. Lightly butter the griddle. Wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible).
Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle and sprinkle on fruit or chocolate chips if desired. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the griddle-side of the cake is golden, gently flip the pancakes. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set.
Serve immediately or remove to a towel-lined baking sheet and cover with a towel. Hold in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.
Yield: 12 pancakes