Make the Best Pancakes

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Pancakes are a symbol of leisure to me. When I was growing up we usually had pancakes on the weekends, when there was time to savor the light and fluffy results with maple syrup. (Actually, I always put butter and powdered sugar on my pancakes; they melt together to form a kind of frosting that keeps the pancakes fluffy.) There's nothing like the satisfaction of sinking a fork into a stack of tender pancakes while the steam rises off them.

But pancakes can be tricky. So learn how to make the best pancakes to serve family and friends.

Make the Best Pancakes

  • Measure ingredients carefully. My husband makes the best pancakes, because he doesn't cook or bake, so when he does he really takes his time and follows instructions to the letter. Measure flour by lightly spooning it into the measuring cup, then leveling off with the back of a knife.
  • Don't overbeat the batter. Follow the recipe instructions carefully. If you have time, refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes before you start cooking the pancakes to let the gluten develop and then relax. The pancakes will have a wonderful soft and tender texture.
  • Heat the griddle until drops of water dance and evaporate immediately. If your griddle has a temperature control, heat it to 375 degrees F.
  • Lightly grease the griddle with butter. You only need to use about a tablespoon for each batch of pancakes.
  • Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour the batter onto the hot griddle. Pour quickly, keeping at least a 2" space between each pancake.
  • Let the pancakes cook until the edges start to look dry and bubbles form on the uncooked surface. Don't move the pancakes before this, because they will just break apart.
  • Use a long handled spatula and carefully slide it under each pancake. Using your wrist, quickly flip the pancakes. Don't worry if your first attempts aren't perfect; you'll get better with practice.
  • Let the pancakes cook for another minute or two. The second side will not brown as evenly or completely as the first.
  • Then serve the pancakes immediately! It's better if you can stand by the stove and make the pancakes as your family eats them. They can be kept warm in a 200 degrees F oven, but they're best eaten right out of the pan.
  • Warm the maple syrup, have the butter softened or melted, and offer a nice selection of syrups, jams, jellies, and sugars.
  • Enjoy!

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