When I was a child, my mom made mountains of pancakes when my childhood best friend, Jennifer, spent the night. To this day, I love a stack swimming in syrup. In 2008, the passion for pancake perfection 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?
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
|Have a large, super thin, flexible stainless steel spatula on hand for turning the pancakes. Preheat an empty 10-inch seasoned cast iron griddle over medium-low heat until water droplets flicked from fingertips dance across the base (~5 minutes). Meanwhile…||A big, super thin, flexible spatula makes turning pancakes a snap. These types of spatulas are usually stainless steel, which is safe for cast iron but can ruin nonstick pans. Preheating the griddle discourages sticking.|
||Milk mixture: Add butter to a 2-quart microwave-safe glass bowl; melt on medium power. To cool the butter, whisk in sugar, milk and vanilla and then whisk in the egg.||Glass makes monitoring easy. Brown and white sugar produce almost identical results, and so it is safe to substitute one for the other. Cooling the butter prevents egg curdling.|
||Flour mixture: Place a 1-quart bowl on a scale and weigh in the flour. Add remaining ingredients, sifting in the corn starch and baking powder; whisk all together. Add to milk mixture in thirds, whisking each time just until there is no dry flour. Continue whisking until batter is almost smooth (the consistency should be that of thick cake batter).||Weighing flour produces consistent results. Bleached flour is low in gluten, which promotes a tender crumb. Sifting eliminates distasteful clumps. Adding dry ingredients in thirds decreases overall mixing time, minimizing gluten development.|
||Butter may be rubbed over the griddle to ensure the test pancake will not stick. Pour ¼ cup batter in the center of the pan (a 2-inch ice cream scoop works well). By the time the edges are firm, the sides have lost glossiness, with the top covered in bubbles, the bottom should be golden brown (~3 minutes). If the timing is off, adjust the heat as appropriate. Slide the spatula fully under the pancake, and flip quickly and confidently. Brown the second side.||Every stove is different, and it is always wise to start with a test pancake to avoid losing a whole batch.|
|A 10-inch pan accommodates 3 pancakes per batch; allowing for spreading space. Pictured clockwise is a freshly poured pancake, a ready-to-be-turned pancake, and a newly turned pancake.||As the batter heats, it loosens and spreads. If having the pancakes this close together is uncomfortable, cook one pancake at a time.|
|Serve hot with desired toppings. If holding for any length of time, transfer to a plate and cover with an oversized inverted bowl. Reheats well in a microwave or toaster oven.||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.