The Best Pancakes You Will Ever Make

I made the Best Pancakes this morning. That’s according to an Epicurious YouTube video hosted by the affable chef Frank Proto, which I watched yesterday.

I realize I’ve written about pancakes before. Now I’ve added a fifth recipe card to my collection, which doesn’t even count the tried-and-true Betty Crocker cookbook version I’ve recently been using.

Chef Proto is very convincing. Watch the video and see. He’s stern but also encouraging. His recipe differs from my others in that he adds vinegar (instead of lemon juice, as I have been doing), more sugar, and vanilla. These last ingredients make for a delicious fragrance as you stand over the griddle.

The major learning outcome for me, though, was the importance of not over-mixing. I knew this already, of course, but Chef Proto is very, very emphatic. After mixing the batter, he looks at the camera and repeats, “No more mixing,” and shakes his rubber spatula at you. He leaves many lumps, many large lumps, in his batter. I have always been careful to do this myself, I thought, but I was not careful enough. This morning I made myself stop mixing and leave very many lumps.

The result was airy, fluffy pancakes—the goal I have been striving for. My pancakes looked exactly the same as Chef Proto’s. Because of the vanilla, sugar, and probably the vinegar, they are also quite tasty. I lacked only whipped salted butter, which Chef Proto slathered on his stack in memory of his grandmother.

My own taste testers’ response was, shall we say, underwhelming. My son and husband dug in to their pancakes without comment. After a little chewing, I asked, “What do you think?” They mumbled that they were good.

Then, “Thick,” my husband said.

I let a few minutes go by. “Are you saying they’re too thick?” I asked.

My husband looked like he wished he were somewhere else. “They’re fine,” he said, using the all-purpose adjective that is no help whatsoever.

He added, “You know, I like thin pancakes, too.”

I cannot rely on other people’s approval to evaluate my achievements. I needn’t look to others for validation. I have striven to produce thick fluffy pancakes, and I have at last done so. I have made the grade and cut the mustard. I have prevailed.

The Best Pancakes You Will Ever Make
3 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt          Mix first 5 dry ingredients in large bowl.
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
2 ¼ cups milk
¼ cup oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3 eggs
Whisk liquid ingredients thoroughly. Fold them into the dry ingredients. Mix gently, and leave lumps. When you stop mixing, stop mixing. No more mixing. Melt(whipped, salted) butter on griddle. Drop large tablespoons of batter on the griddle. Turn when bubbles have mostly popped. Your pancakes are done when you press gently and the pancake springs back.

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10 Responses to The Best Pancakes You Will Ever Make

  1. Kathy says:

    Barb: Ha! I think he just didn’t want to talk about the pancakes as much as I did :–)

  2. Barb Ewing Cockroft says:

    I loved reading this! I chuckled when I heard John retort the ubiquitous, “Fine.” If I had a dollar for every time Don would say that in response to one of my questions, I would be a millionaire. “Fine,” I learned, means “not fine,” in male speak…but, regardless, I am so glad you prevailed in mastering the fluffy pancakes. I’m sure the twins would give you 5 stars!

  3. Kathy says:

    Jewel: That recipe makes a lot, though. Too much even for three of us. So invite company!

  4. Kathy says:

    Sarah: Yeah, the cleanup after pancakes is considerable.

  5. Kathy says:

    LaVerne: Another family member’s idea of a compliment is, “It isn’t terrible.”

  6. Jewel Moulthrop says:

    They sound wonderful!

  7. Sarah May says:

    Then who comes in to clean your kitchen? I say go to The Inn on Coventry.
    But, thanks! ❤️

  8. LaVerne Dietz says:

    You have certainly found a keeper! Not sure about the recipe but, it sounds unique and worth a try. It is the husband who kindly chooses his bites of language in replying to your question. “You know, I like thin pancakes too.” The thin ice comment my kids would voice when they were little to my inquiries as to taste and texture was, “This isn’t half bad Mom.” Thanks for sharing the recipe and your slice of family breakfast vignette.

  9. Doreen says:

    Pancakes… Not some thing I make very often, but so fun to read about your adventure. I will have to try the recipe. No excuse continuing to use Bisquick now!

  10. Sarah Becker says:

    King Arthur buttermilk pancake mix; makes diner-style pancakes. They use malt extract. You house will smell amazing!!! Plus, I make waffles, not pancakes. Yum-oh!

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