Want fluffy, delicious pancakes every time? Follow these five key steps:
1. Stop stirring
Stir pancake batter as few times as possible, preferably using a folding technique and a rubber spatula. No whisks please! Leave a few lumps or streaks of flour in the batter. You’re trying to avoid activating the leaveners (baking soda and powder) in the mixing bowl so they can do their fluffy work in the pan instead.
2. Forget about chocolate chips
Kids and adults love them, but chocolate chips in the batter are just going to burn in the pan. For a better, way more gourmet option, use a vegetable peeler to shave shreds of dark chocolate (from a high-quality bar) over the pancakes after they are cooked. Or go totally wild and make ganache to drizzle overtop (Warning: Your family will go bonkers and demand it with everything).
3. Don’t pan-ic
Non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron pans are both good options. Get the pan hot (a drop of water should sizzle and evaporate in a few seconds), then barely coat the bottom with canola oil (you thought I was going to say butter, didn’t you? Well, butter burns. Save it for smearing over cooked pancakes).
4. Don’t flip twice
Unless you want flat, dense, batter-pucks, flip pancakes just once. Pour in the batter, wait until the surface is covered with bubbles, then flip. Cook until the tops of the pancakes aren’t shiny anymore, then they’re ready. Serve and eat immediately for best results!
5. The Pancake Principle
It’s a universal truth: The first batch is always a dud. The pan is either too hot, too cool or just not “into it” yet. I save this batch for later in the day when I’m jonesing for a snack and prepared to eat anything (cold pancake with peanut butter = yum!).