February 17, 2016

How to Make Light and Fluffy Pancakes from Scratch

On weekend mornings I used to grab a box of prepackaged biscuit mix to make pancakes. I even photocopied the back of the box and added it to my recipe binder because I was afraid that someday I'd buy a box that didn't include the directions for pancakes.

a stack of light and fluffy pancakes

Yes, that's how I used to cook. Have you read my post on making macaroni and cheese from scratch, and my embarrassing secret?

At least I was past the "just add water" pancake mixes. I never thought those tasted very good. I could add milk and an egg to biscuit mix and make better pancakes.

When I decided we were going to eat a healthier diet and I'd cook more things from scratch, I gave up buying that yellow box. I tried several pancake recipes, finally finding a gem in one of my mother's cookbooks. However now that there are just two of us at home, this recipe made too large a batch. I tried halving the recipe, but eventually I found this one at allrecipes.com. This recipe is very similar and is roughly half of the "vintage" recipe, making approximately 8-10 pancakes.

I'm starting my new series Skills 101 with this very basic tutorial. If you are just beginning the journey to scratch cooking, being self-sufficient and more frugal, this post might just strike a chord with you. If you are already an accomplished from-scratch cook, you might enjoy a new pancake recipe anyway. (Plus you probably enjoyed my story about the macaroni and cheese, right?)

Pancakes - from allrecipes.com

3/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder - I use aluminum-free baking powder (affiliate link)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt - I use Himalayan Pink Salt (affiliate link)
1 large egg
2 Tbsp melted butter

add vinegar to make milk sour

Start by measuring the milk into a bowl, then add the vinegar; set this bowl aside for five minutes. This will sour the milk; you can do this if you want to make a recipe that calls for buttermilk when you don't have any.

Using a large glass measuring cup makes it easy to pour the liquids into the dry ingredients when it's time.

Measure dry ingredients into bowl.

Measure the dry ingredients into another bowl.

Add melted butter to milk and egg.

Then add the egg and melted butter. I mix the egg into the milk and vinegar, then slowly pour the hot, melted butter into the bowl while whisking. I'm always worried that I'll cook the egg if I add really hot ingredients all at once.

The secret to making light and fluffy pancakes is to add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, not the other way around. Add the combined sour milk, egg and butter to the dry ingredients next. Be careful not to overmix them. Stir just long enough to combine the ingredients.

At this point I like to let the batter rest for about five minutes while the skillet is warming up. It's hard to describe what happens to the batter: it becomes sort of dry but fluffy, almost like "marshmallow fluff" but not sticky. If you let yours set for a bit, you'll see what I mean. It has changed completely. You can't pour it onto the skillet, you have to spoon it out of the bowl.

Warm up the skillet and grease it lightly with butter or coconut oil. (You might need to add more between batches.) The pan is hot enough when you sprinkle a few drops of water on the skillet and they sputter and dance.

Fry pancake until top is bubble and edges are dry.

Spoon or scoop about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of batter on to the skillet for each pancake. When bubbles form on top of the pancake and the edges look dry, flip the pancake over and cook without turning until the second side is ready.

Fry the pancake until golden brown.

The top is golden brown and the edges are just dry enough. This one is perfectly done!

Light, fluffy pancakes with butter

Stack them on a plate, add real butter and maple syrup, jelly, or berries and whipped cream. Perfection on a plate!

Hubby says that these pancakes are much more filling than the flatter, heavier ones I used to make - and absolutely delicious. I know you'll love them too.

Related Posts:
Skills 101

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  1. I have to admit, while I definitely grew up eating things like spaghettios and blue box Mac and cheese, I have never had biscuit mix box pancakes! Actually, pancakes was one of the very few things my husband taught ME how to make after we married. I've been looking for a better recipe than my current one, this might do the trick! Visiting from the homestead blog hop!

  2. I hope you like these, but *any* pancake from scratch is better than a boxed mix, right? Thank you for visiting, Danielle. I hope you'll be back again!

  3. I've been cooking from scratch pretty much my whole life, but never found a pancake recipe I actually like. So, I will definitely try this one!

    1. Let me know how you like it, Rebekah!

  4. I always double a recipe for pancakes.....my hubby likes them cold or heated up in the microwave for a quick snack in hand the new day. They freeze well, too. I will try your recipe this weekend.

    1. I've never tried freezing them, but I imagine that freezing and then heating them in the toaster would work just fine. Please let us know how you and your husband like them, Tewshooz.

  5. That's exactly how I make mine! Well, I use oil instead of butter. But otherwise, that's my method. It took me years to learn how to make them so fluffy, but I can't eat the box kind now. :)

    1. Me either, Jamie. These are just so good, aren't they? (I'll remember that I can sub oil for butter if needed, thanks.)

  6. I have a couple of pancake recipes that my family enjoys. This one looks great though and I'm looking forward to trying it!

    1. I hope your family enjoys them, Angela.

  7. These sound awesome! I will have to try to make them this weekend!

    1. Let us know how you like them!

  8. Kathi that is really fluffy pancakes, I love to taste them with maple syrup. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop. Pinning and tweeting.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Swathi.

  9. These are a lot like my grandmothers recipe! Yum! Thanks for sharing (and the memories!) with us over at Country Fair Blog Party! I always love seeing what you bring to our party! Jan @ Tip garden

    1. Thank you, Jan. I enjoy your monthly blog party. :-)

  10. Totally going to try this!

    1. They are SO GOOD, Heather. They will become your favorite pancake!


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