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Nothing says "weekend" like pancakes for breakfast. When you see how simple it is to whip them up from scratch, you'll wonder why you never did it before.

Everyday Food, September 2006


They're little more than spoonfuls of batter cooked quickly in a skillet or on a griddle -- but they always seem like a big treat. The urge for pancakes can strike at any time, so I've developed a basic recipe with ingredients you're likely to have on hand. Not surprisingly, everyone has a preference: thick or thin, big or small, white or whole-wheat, fruity or chocolatey. I'll show you how to vary the ingredients and toppings to suit everyone at your table.

Try Allie's Basic Pancake recipe

Pancake Variations

Buttermilk: In step 1, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to dry mixture. In step 2, replace the milk with low-fat buttermilk.

Yogurt: In step 1, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to dry mixture. In step 2, replace the milk with 2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt and 1/3 cup milk.

Whole-Grain with Yogurt: In step 1, replace the all-purpose flour with 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, 1/4 cup each cornmeal and wheat germ, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. In step 2, replace the milk with 2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt and 1/3 cup milk.

Make and Store Extra Mix
Whisk together 3 cups flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place (this makes enough for 12 servings of 3 to 4 pancakes per person). For four servings: Place 1 1/4 cups mix in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or oil, and 1 large egg; add to dry mix, and whisk just to combine. Proceed to step 3 of basic recipe.

Pancake Tips

  • To keep pancakes tender, take care not to overmix batter; small lumps are fine.
  • The skillet is at the right temperature when drops of water "dance" on the surface.
  • Use as little oil as possible in the skillet; a quick wipe with an oiled paper towel is enough.
  • For thinner or thicker pancakes, add more or less liquid, respectively.
  • For silver dollar pancakes, use 1 to 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake.
  • To add extras, such as blueberries, sliced bananas or peaches, chocolate chips or nuts, sprinkle on pancakes before flipping.

Tools: Thin Spatula
The right tool is key when flipping and removing pancakes. Look for a very thin spatula; it should slip under the pancake without tearing it. Keep an eye out for new thin spatulas made especially for nonstick cookware.

How to Freeze Pancakes
Stack cooled pancakes between squares of waxed paper; place in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container. Freeze up to 3 months. Reheat on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven or toaster oven. (Avoid reheating pancakes in a microwave as they tend to get rubbery.)

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