So I was sitting at my desk and fantasizing about pancakes (specifically those Door County cherry pancakes I had in Wisconsin) when it suddenly occured to me that oh, a year or two ago, I had bookmarked a handful of various pancake recipes proclaiming “[insert restaurant name here]’s Official Pancake Recipe!!”
…um, I guess the answer is for fun. But seriously, restaurant recipes are next up on my list. I was watching Diners Drive Ins and Dives (UGH TOTAL guilty-but-not-at-all-pleasure) at the gym and some lady was showing Guy Fieri how to make her famous secret-recipe pancakes. She was making it in a giant mixing machine and literally dumped BUCKETS of butter in! And I think some club soda in to make them extra fluffy. She did it all mostly by feel (“eh, this needs more milk”) and by the time she got to slapping that batter down on the sizzling griddle, the batter was a rich caramel color and so thick it was almost holding stiff peaks.
Anyway. These pancakes are the perfect last “normal” recipe to end on before I move on to hounding restaurants for their recipes. They are. Really. Good.
They may not look exceptionally fluffy or thick, but you just have to trust me–they are. Fluffy, I mean. When you bite into one, there isn’t even the slightest hint of mushiness or sogginess. Just the crisp, milisecond of a crunch from the lightly browned exterior before you reach the melting fluff of a center that comes away in a clean break.
The author of Bake. Eat. Repeat. hypothesizes that there’s a secret behind the fluffiness of these pancakes.
The secret is, apparently, a separated egg. That’s it. You mix the yolk in with the rest of the wet ingredients, combine with the dry, and then add the egg white (just as is, not whisked until foamy or ridiculous stiff peaks or anything) at the end, stirring gently for a chunky batter that may or may not still have bits of egg white peeking out of stiff golden batter.
(Of course, hers looked a lot more golden than mine, which was a lot more brown from the white whole wheat flour, but still delicious!)
Make sure that all liquid ingredients are ROOM TEMPERATURE before using. I cannot stress this enough. If your milk/buttermilk/eggs are still cold and you dump the sorta-cooled-but-really-still-warm-butter into the milk and egg mixture, you might end up with chunky, solidified butter. That’s no good. You can stick the mixture back in the microwave for a minute to re-melt the butter, but you will end up with a super foamy concoction and the pancakes just won’t be the same. Stick to room temperature.
(Thank you to Sam, who reminded me to tell you all!)
Perfect Fluffy Pancakes
Tweaked from Bake. Eat. Repeat.
Makes 12-14 pancakes.
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1 teaspoon baking powder (use aluminum-free if possible)
1 egg, separated and at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup almond breeze + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or buttermilk), at room temperature
1/4 cup almond breeze (or milk), at room temperature
1. Preheat a griddle over medium-low heat and cover with a thin layer of neutral oil*. Combine almond breeze with vinegar and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, soda, and baking powder.
3. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg yolk, butter, buttermilk, and milk.
4. Add yolk mixture to dry mixture and stir gently until barely combined.
5. Add egg white to the mixture and stir until a thick, lumpy bumpy batter forms. Stop before the batter smooths out–the egg white may not even be all the way incorporated. This is good. Uneven batter = fluffy pancake heaven.
6. Use a quarter cup to measure the mixture onto the preheated pan. Sprinkle blueberries, chocolate chips, or other mix ins onto the surface of pancakes. Cook until bubbles start to appear on the exposed surface of the pancake. When bubbles appear, flip pancake and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until browned.
I loved these fresh out of the pan plain, but I’m sure they’d be good with syrup too (though I don’t think they really require it). They’re also fantastic re-toasted with various toppings…I may or may not have taken pancake PB&Js to work several days in a row…
*Tip: I like to dump a little oil on a paper towel and smear that all over the pan. The paper towel will absorb a lot of the oil, giving you a very minimalist sheen of oil on your pan!