Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Best Pancakes....EVER!

Have you seen the movie "The Bucket List" starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson? That movie made me laugh and cry all the way through. After I saw that movie about writing one's personal "bucket list" before one passes from this life, I realized I had one concerning food. Yes, I am that weird. 

You see it all goes back to my early cooking days...back when I was like 9 or 10 years old. Yes I did start cooking that early. My mother had me frying chicken and mashing 'taters and preparing a salad for dinner at the age of 9 years. Anyway--I discovered there are certain meals and dishes, that for some reason,  elude my abilities. I would try and try to make something from scratch and it would fail each and every time. I also discovered that using box mixes didn't fare any better and definitely not any tastier. Things like flakey pie crusts or... 
buttermilk biscuits...
beans and rice or 
lemon meringue pie...



My mother made everything from that famous mix that convinced housewives nation wide that  life wasn't meant to spent in front of a hot oven/stove to cook for your family. That was back when television advertising were convincing housewives across America that cooking for your family was a dreaded chore, instead of something to enjoy. It was in the days when Hamburger Help-You-NOT came out along with other "convenient foods." *Takes a deep breath* But that was also before we learned of the dangers of food preservatives, additives, extra salt, and empty calories.

Nontheless, even with using that famous mix, my pancakes either tasted like thin, rubbery disks or fat rubbery pucks. Either way, my pancakes made everyone run and hide because they were simply awful. I mean AWWWWWWWWW ful. So I tried other brands of mixes without any luck. Same results. It didn't matter if they were thick or thin, they were rubbery. And AWWWWWWWWWWWful. And rubbery. I kid you not when I tell you that they would bounce when accidently (or purposely) dropped on the floor.

Anyway, I gave up cooking pancakes, deciding that a good recipe simply didn't exist. Then I ran across this recipe from Martha Stewart. And I gave it a go...and suddenly (and over breakfast), I could actually make pancakes from scratch that didn't turn out rubbery. Or bounce when they hit the floor by accident. Or on purpose. I had to modify this recipe for my basic kidney needs, but it's very, very good. My husband is no longer afraid when I announce we are having pancakes for breakfast! 

Here the steps to making the perfect pancakes...complete with pictures. 

Ingredient List: 

1 1/4 cups unbleached, unenriched flour + 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 tablespoons sugar, organic or raw

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

5 TBSP of apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups of whole milk 
1 stick butter, melted
2-3 cups freshly washed blueberries
* Optional: 1 tsp vanilla 
Preheat an electric griddle to 375°F, or place a griddle pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Place the apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and add milk. Stir gently. Set aside. Melt the butter--so it's still creamy. 
I use my large 2 cup Pyrex mixing glass...It's a perfect fit. That brown you see is the apple cider vinegar. 
 In a separate bowl, add flours, sugar, and baking soda. Whisk. 
That brown you see is the organic sugar. It's got a strong flavor. But it means you can use less!
Add eggs,  milk mixture, and vanilla. Whisk gently, so that it's all mixed. 
Don't forget your buttermilk! 
DO NOT OVER MIX. Batter should be lumpy. 
It should look similar to this--if you beat it until it's smooth, it will turn out to be rubbery.
A close up of the batter...You should see air bubbles popping!
Test the griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If the water bounces and spatters, the griddle is hot enough. I love this tip because I always seem to rush this part. This reminds me to slow down a mite.

Using a pastry brush, brush melted butter onto the griddle. If it foams, you know your griddle is hot enough for batter. Another neat trick I learned.
Melted butter will get foamy if your griddle is hot enough.
 Using a ladle or a quarter cup measuring cup, pour batter onto the griddle. At this point, you can add blueberries or cinnamon. Drop the blueberries gently onto the pancake. Or sprinkle some cinnamon on the top. 

Drop blueberries on the topside or sprinkle cinnamon for an added bonus.
 When the pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. If any batter oozes or blueberries roll out, push them back under with your spatula. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.

Bubbly and slightly dry on the edges...this lets you know it's about ready to flip over!
I flipped these about 30 seconds to early...
 Repeat, starting at the step of brushing the griddle with melted butter and then ladling the batter. A word of caution--I live at 6500 feet above sea level. I'm not sure how this will work at lower elevations. 
Top with melted butter if you need and pure maple syrup or dust with powdered sugar. Eat and enjoy!
Blueberry pancakes on the left, cinnamon on the right. 



  1. I can just taste the berrys poppin in my mouth they look really yummy!

  2. FINALLY!!!!! Someone tells me where the heck the term "bucket list" comes from!

  3. My favorite memory is Sunday Pancakes at my Grandma's House.
    Hi Cathryn, Please send me your mailing address - You've won the January Give-Away from Emerald Window! Congratulations!

  4. So glad you found a pancake recipe that works for you. I know how frustrating it is when you want to make something and it just will not come out right. And congrats on winning the giveaway from Emerald Window!

  5. This info is just what I needed. Have tried so many boxed mixes and recipes and they all came out so dry and heavy. Also think I was over mixing the batter. I'm anxious to give this recipe a try as I do enjoy pancakes.

    Cathryn, thank you for the words of encouragement on my blog. I needed that. :) I do understand the allergy to gold as I have a friend that can not wear gold earrings either. It makes her earlobes swell and they become raw and infected, her doctor said it was a metal allergy and that she might be able to wear platinum...but the big question was could she afford to wear platinum. :D

  6. Well done! I used to make pancakes well, but ever since claiming as much two years ago I haven't had a single successful batch. Coincidence?

  7. Yum. Pancakes. Can there be a better comfort food? Glad you found a recipe that works.

  8. I love a good pancake!! Although what we would think of as your standard pancake is perhaps what you would describe as a French crepe(?) - those wee ones we'd call Scotch pancakes. Both tasting equally delicious in my opinion....!

  9. Oh my goodness-I love this post-YUM! Those pancakes look amazing!

    Going to start following you, now:)