Perfect pancakes

I had no idea I was making pancakes differently than maybe most people, until my fiancée brought it up while I was making breakfast.

“How do you get them to be the perfect size every time?” she asked.  This is a tough question for me to answer, because there’s no such thing as the perfect size — there’s just the size you want them to be.  Decide what size that is, and then make a test pancake or two, to decide how much batter you should be dolling out.

The trouble is (my fiancée pointed out) you don’t get the pan hot enough and that results in two things:

1. Wide and flat pancakes: comes from the pan being too cold.  Not being hot enough to cook the batter from molten, into solid form causes the batter to continue moving, increasing the pancake’s diameter.

2. Not enough height/ fluffiness: this is also the result of your pan being too cold (see above).

Going forward, here’s a few tips:

Spoon size: use a size between “serving” and “table”. Don’t pour the batter into the pan from a pitcher or bowl, as you wont have as much control.

Proper lubricant: As in life, you want to have enough lubrication… in the pan, obviously. Butter is probably the most commonly-used, but this morning, I was using bacon fat. Yeah.  You can do that.  You’re welcome.

Know the signs:


In the picture above, the pancake on the bottom left is nearing the point of burning (as evident by the air bubbles developing throughout), but the two on the top of the picture are just about ready to be turned.  In the picture below, you can see the slightly darker one (I won’t say “burned” because that denotes a taste of bitterness: it tasted great!) has noticeable bubbles from the underside.  This also indicates the part of the pan on which it was cooking was too hot.

It does seem that pancakes are a simple, yet fickle seductress, not nearly as easy to tame as it may seem at the onset.  But look on the bright side: pancake mixture (and/or the ingredients to make them, are/) is dirt-cheap.  Most pre-made dry mixes are very viable (I’ve always been a fan of Krusteaz). Experiment all you want until you get it right, and you won’t have spent more than twelve dollars:  Don’t get discouraged — make friends with your non-stick skillet and you’ll be the pancake champion of your apartment in no time!

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