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Yes, There's a Secret to Making Great Pancakes
I finally figured out that great pancakes require a surprising and unusual technique. Want to learn how to make the fluffiest, lightest and most fantastic pancakes ever? Then read on for all the details.
The recipe is easy to make, though the length of the directions might indicate otherwise. Don't worry—you'll see how easy these are.
I promise that this is the last pancake recipe you'll ever use.
Please note the ingredients are divided into dry and wet ingredients:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups buttermilk
Step 1: Prepare the Dry and Wet Ingredients
- Preheat your griddle to 350°F. (I use my electric skillet.)
- Into a large bowl, put all of your dry ingredients. Stir them together thoroughly. Make sure that the sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt have been fully incorporated into the flour.
- If you plan to add blueberries, sliced bananas, or chopped pecans, do so now. Add the fruit and/or nuts to the dry ingredients.
- Into a smaller bowl, add the wet ingredients. I usually put my butter into a small bowl and microwave it to melt it, then I add in the buttermilk and milk and stir. Lastly, I add in the two eggs and mix them into the liquid ingredients thoroughly.
Step 2: Mix the Batter
Now here's the "trick" for these incredible pancakes—pour the wet ingredients all at once into the dry ingredients.
- Using a large spoon, carefully stir the wet into the dry, using only the minimum number of turns to incorporate the two. There will be lumps of dry flour here and there, and the batter will appear as though you're "not finished mixing." However, stop mixing.
- (Quick note: You're going to be tempted to keep stirring... but don't do it. The very light mixing is one of the most important parts of this recipe. See the photo below.)
- Let the batter sit on the counter for about 5 to 7 minutes. You'll know it's ready when small bubbles are beginning to form on the top.
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Step 3: Cook the Pancakes
- Once your griddle is hot, put a pat of butter (approximately 1 tablespoon) on the griddle and smooth it with a paper towel to fully cover the bottom of your griddle.
- Pour approximately 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake. You can make them smaller or larger, depending on your preference. Whether large or small, the following guidelines will guarantee that you'll have perfectly cooked pancakes.
- After a while, you'll notice that the edges of the pancakes appear dry, while the center still shines from wetness. When small bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, it is ready to be turned over, using a spatula. (Don't "pat" your pancakes with a spatula. I've seen people do this at this stage.)
- Once the pancake is turned, wait approximately one minute or so. I usually turn the pancake over once more, to check that the underside is done.
- Put the pancakes onto a heated plate, cover with a paper towels (or put into an oven at 150°F to keep warm) while you make the rest of the pancakes.
How Many Pancakes Does This Recipe Make?
This recipe makes 20 pancakes, roughly 4 inches each. It serves 4 to 6 people.
Want to make them for just two or three people? The unused batter can be saved and used to make pancakes a second day.
If you're only cooking for one or two, you can make a few pancakes, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put the bowl into the refrigerator so you'll be ready to make pancakes again the next day. I like to do this sometimes on Saturday morning; on Sunday morning, my pancake batter is already made. (Make sure you use your batter within 3 days of making it.)
Reheating in the Microwave
Alternatively, you can make all of the pancakes at once. They microwave beautifully.
- To microwave, wrap pancakes in paper towels, then microwave on high for 30 seconds.
- Depending on the type of microwave you have, you may need to zap them for another 15 seconds or so to get them piping hot.
Enjoy These Incredible Pancakes
These pancakes are so light and fluffy, you simply won't believe it. They have the "lift" that comes from two eggs (rather than the usual one egg) and from the baking powder (which causes them to rise from the heat of the griddle), plus the rising of the chemical reaction that occurs when you combine baking soda with acidic buttermilk.
Every time I serve these, our guests go crazy!
I am indebted to the recipe from Bette's Oceanview Diner in Berkeley. Though I have made a few minor revisions and elaborated on the techniques, I feel like I need to give credit where it is due. Her recipe is what launched me from making so-so pancakes to the incredible ones made by this recipe.