Some years ago, a friend gave me some pancake mix that came with a gift basket she’d received. “You’re the only person I know who might still make pancakes from scratch,” she said. Something about her tone, as with many things she said, made it sound like it wasn’t a compliment. I refrained from pointing out that using pancake mix was not the same as pancakes from scratch.
I do make pancakes fairly often, from actual scratch. Mixes are easier, but not much easier. For a long time, I tried different recipes and may again, searching for the fluffiest, lightest, and most flavorful pancakes. My recipe box contains four pancake recipes: All Purpose Breakfast Batter from Martha Stewart’s Living, which wasn’t great; two from America’s Test Kitchen, which were fine; and Fluffy Pancakes, cut out of some magazine, which calls for nonfat dry milk, which I do not keep on hand. On some weekend mornings, I’ve referred to Martha Stewart’s website. She proffers at least five basic formulations, and a zillion variations, with berries, whole wheat flour, pumpkin, and so on.
After trying many recipes, I’ve recently returned to my old Betty Crocker cookbook, which I received as a wedding gift forty-some years ago. These pancakes turn out just fine. I double the recipe, which gives us a few extra for the refrigerator. My husband and son want their pancakes straight up: no berries, no cornmeal, no fancy sauces, no spelt, no exotic additions. Betty Crocker is as basic as you can get.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I add a few teaspoons of lemon juice to the milk and let it sit for a few minutes, or put it in the microwave for thirty seconds. I fancy it interacts with the baking powder for a lighter texture.
What’s your breakfast fare? Have you a favorite pancake or waffle recipe, or have you switched to admirable kale and mango smoothies to start your day?