Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fluffier than Bisquick Bake-Off - Pancakes from Scratch

Last week I made Bisquick pancakes - Loved them and raved about them to my friends. One friend challenged me, that he has always wanted to learn to make pancakes from scratch. I laughed. Get real, fluffy pancakes from scratch? Every time I've tried them they've been rubbery or tasted like baking powder.

So, together, we decided to host a bake-off with all of the best fluffy pancake recipes that we could find.
We gathered together for a Saturday brunch and started multiple recipes simultaneously so that they could carefully be compared side by side in steaming hot stacks!

Here is the winning creation, hand crafted from my baking experience and boasting a total of five different leavening techniques...

Pancakes from Scratch

You'll need four mixing bowls!!!
1 1/3 C (30cl) milk
2 tbsp (càs) white vinegar


1 1/3 C (200g) flour, fine (fluide)
2 tsp (càc) baking powder
1 tsp (càc) salt
1 tbsp (càs) sugar


1 egg, separated
1/2 tsp (càc) vanilla
3 tbsp (càs) shortening melted (astra)

First you mix the milk and vinegar to make your own homemade buttermilk. The chemical reaction between the vinegar and the milk makes the milk thicker and creates bubbles which add to the lift of these scrumptious cakes. Let this sit aside in one mixing bowl while you prepare the rest...

If you sift the dry ingredients together twice, you will get lighter fluffier pancakes. So sift (tamiser) the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into the second mixing bowl.

In a metal or glass bowl beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. This is by far the single most important element to the fluffiest fluffiness. So if you're tempted to cheat, don't skip this step.

In the largest bowl whisk the egg yolk, vanilla and melted shortening together. The chemical compound of the shortening has a lighter density than butter, adding to the fluffy composition to your final product. As you whisk the melted shortening it will quickly solidify creating a fluffy paste with the other ingredients.

Now stir your buttermilk well, and pour it in with the fluffy shortening paste, and continue whisking.

Then add the flour mixture and stir well. Then delicately fold the egg whites into the rest.

The batter will be thick and lumpy. Mix the batter as little as possible for the best fluffiest pancakes.

You'll want to cook these pancakes on a medium temperature (not high or low). If the skillet isn't hot enough your first pancake won't set right, so use this classic tip to determine if your skillet is hot enough - just dip your fingers in cold water and flick it on the dry skillet, if the water droplets dance and evaporate before they have time to puddle then you're ready.

Scoop generous portions onto a sizzling hot dry skillet (ungreased). I like mine large. Don't worry about spreading the batter around, just pile it on. Watch carefully as the creamy pool of batter begins to bubble. It is time to flip your pancake when they are puffed and full of bubbles, but before the bubbles break. Flip carefully.

After you pour a pool of batter you can place fruit on top and it will bake into the pancake. Some of our favorites are fresh blueberries, bananas, chocolate chips, or bananas and chocolate chips. mmm...

The second side really only needs a couple seconds on the griddle before it will be golden and ready to eat! You can keep your growing stack of pancakes on a hot plate in the oven at a low temperature will keep them steaming until you're ready to serve.

Serve with a luscious gourmet topping like fresh sweet juicy cantaloupe or try my family recipe for Mom's Homemade Maple Syrup!

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