I have been on a quest for years to find the lightest, fluffiest, slightly sweet, most flavorful pancake recipe out there. This is the culmination of many failed batches, much trial and error, lots of research, and tons of taste testing. I have found what I believe to be the perfect pancake recipe. I know it is quite brave to label anything in the baking world "perfect," but for me, these are perfect. They come out evenly browned, 1/4 to 1/2 inch tall, slightly sweet, and have a great flavor, as well as being so light and fluffy. I hope you all appreciate how much it pains me to give this recipe away :) Make use of it, make my angst worth it :)
This recipe has a special ingredient that makes the difference between "good" tasting pancakes, and "great" tasting pancakes: malted milk powder! (I use carnation, which can be found with the hot chocolate mixes and the like.) If you don't have any, or want to do these dairy free, then by all means, substitute the 1/4 cup of malted milk powder with 3 tablespoons total of granulated sugar (instead of 1 tablespoon). You can also substitute soy milk, almond milk, or regular milk for the buttermilk. The ones pictured above are made with plain soymilk (we don't really drink milk here, so I never have any), and I think they are great, so it shouldn't affect the integrity of the pancakes, just give a slightly different flavor.
The last thing that sets this recipe apart, is actually whipping the egg whites into stiff peaks separately from the other ingredients, then folding them in at the very end. This is crucial to get that light and fluffy texture, and believe me, it is worth the one extra dish, and the little bit of elbow grease (yes, I am lazy, I whip them by hand so I don't have to pull out my hand mixer).
Here is the recipe, the base of which was taken from King Arthur Flour's Simply Perfect Pancake Recipe, but to which I have changed many things.
I always at least double the recipe when I make it. I always try to make enough batter so that I will have a bunch of pancakes left over to stick in the freezer. They freeze beautifully in a ziploc baggy, just pull the desired amount out, throw them on a plate and microwave for 45 seconds to a minute. So quick, and tastes like you made them right then and there.
Perfect Pancake Recipe
Makes 12-14 medium sized pancakes (approx. 4 inch diameter)
- Place egg whites in medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- Mix the remaining ingredients, including the egg yolks, in a large bowl until well incorporated.
- Mix the egg whites that were set aside with either a hand mixer or by hand until they form stiff peaks when the whisk or beaters are pulled out and inverted.
- Add in 1/4 of the egg white mixture to the batter and carefully fold in. Pour in remaining egg whites and gently fold in until incorporated.
- Let the batter rest for 15 minutes while preheating a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Once water drops sprinkled onto the skillet dance around in the pan, it is ready for the batter. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup for medium size pancakes, and carefully pour onto skillet.
- Let these bake undisturbed until they are dry around the edges, and bubbles are starting to break on the surface. Flip them over and bake another 30 seconds-1 minute or until browned on the bottom.
|These are what they look like right before flipping: dry on the edges, puffed, and the bubbles are starting to break on the surface.|
Tips for Success
- If the pancakes are coming out too thin, add a bit more flour into the batter to thicken it up.
- If they are too thick and dry, add some more milk.
- If your non stick skillet is pretty good, no extra butter, cooking spray, or oil is needed. I never use any, and they never stick.
- Pancakes only need to be flipped once, so be patient, they don't take that long to cook.
- Adjust the temperature as necessary, if they are getting to dark or too light.
- Letting the batter rest 15 minutes is very important, it lets the baking powder do its job, don't skip if you don't have to.
- If you want to add blueberries (which make for very yummy pancakes), drop them onto the pancake right after you pour it on the griddle, that way it won't streak the batter and make it purple.