When I was a child, my mom made mountains of pancakes for me and my best friend Jennifer. To this day, I love a stack swimming in syrup.

In 2008, the passion was rekindled when Mark and I enjoyed unbelievably fluffy, tender pancakes in Breckenridge, Colorado. After the first few bites I knew I had to rework my recipe.

This is the new, improved version. In addition to syrup, I recommend copious amounts of butter. What better way to start the day?

  • Makes: 11-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • 1 teaspoon butter (optional)
Preheat an empty 10-inch seasoned cast iron griddle over medium-low heat until water droplets flicked from fingertips dance across the base (5-7 minutes). Buttering the pan is not necessary, but a teaspoon may be rubbed over the cooking space to eliminate all possibility of sticking. Preheating the griddle discourages sticking. Butter is better than oil at discouraging sticking.
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar or firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a 2-quart tempered glass measuring/batter bowl, heat together on medium microwave power just until butter is almost melted; whisk to combine. Results here are almost identical when using either type of sugar.
  • 1 cup whole milk
Whisk into sugar mixture to cool it down.  
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
Whisk into sugar mixture until uniform in color. Adding after the milk avoids curdling the eggs.
  • 6 1/4 ounces (1 1/4 cups) bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons double acting baking powder, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
 In a 1-quart bowl, weigh the flour; whisk all together. Add to wet ingredients in thirds, whisking each time until there is no dry flour. Continue whisking until batter is almost smooth (the consistency should be that of thick cake batter). For the test pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter in the center of the pan (a rounded 2-inch ice cream scoop dispenses easily and uniformly). Alternatively, use as little as one tablespoon of batter for the test pancake. Weighing flour yields consistent results. Bleached flour has low gluten; cornstarch also promotes tenderness. Sifting leavening agents eliminates distasteful clumps. Adding dry ingredients in thirds nets less mixing time, reducing gluten development.
  By the time the edges are firm and the top has lost glossinessand is covered in bubbles, the bottom should be golden brown. If the timing is off, increase or decrease the heat as appropriate. Gently flip the pancake; brown second side.

For remaining batches, 3 pancakes should fit in the pan. Allow space to spread out up to 5 inches. 

  Serve hot with desired toppings. If holding for any length of time, transfer to a plate and cover with an inverted oversized bowl. Covering reduces heat loss and dehydration.

TO FREEZE: Freeze in bags marked with date/contents. Never refrigerate; it stales bread. Reheat in a microwave or in a toaster oven.
GREAT WITH: Butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, diced apples, sliced bananas, sliced strawberries, pecans or walnuts… Pancake Syrup, Blackberry Topping, Chocolate Sauce, Peanut Butter Sauce or Nutella Sauce.