Now that Shrove Tuesday is only a few days away, now is the time to review your top pancake tips and to help, here are a few of ours.
Fresh flour makes a big difference in pancake flavour and texture, because the simpler the recipe, the more vital high-quality ingredients are. Try to get your flour from a good health food store or local mill. If you want to make really light and fluffy pancakes try using cake flour.
Test if the pan is hot enough by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If the drops dance and sizzle, it means that it is ready.
You may want to test the batter and pan by cooking one trial pancake first. If your pancakes are browning on the bottom before bubbles appear on top, the pan is too hot; whereas if the tops become dry before the bottoms are golden brown, the pan is not hot enough. Make sure that you alter the heat of your pan accordingly to ensure you get an evenly cooked pancake.
Do not over-mix your pancake batter because this overdevelops the gluten, resulting in rubbery pancakes. Over-mixing can also burst the batter air bubbles, which are important if you are looking for a light pancake. Keep in mind that each cook measures differently, so the batter may need slight adjustments. If the batter seems too thick, thin it with a tablespoon at a time or milk or buttermilk or water; if it seems too thin and runny, blend in a tablespoon or so of flour.
Pancake batter consistency is important, but sometimes unpredictable, since ingredients, how long the batter sits, and even weather affect the batter.
A ladle works for pouring pancake batter, but if you use one, realize that the highter you hod it, the more you risk breaking the air bubbles in the batter. Therefore, hold the ladle near the surface of the pan. You want at least an inch of space between cooking pancakes, so remember when you pour the batter that it will spread.
The important part… the flipping
Resist the urge to move pancakes while the first side is cooking, as this will break the seal between the pancake and cooking surface, meaning the pancake will not cook as evenly. Similarly, turn pancakes only once. The second side never cooks as evenly as the first, and takes only about half the time to cook as the first.
A thin, broad spatula slides easily under delicate pancakes and enables you to flip them without mangling them.
Lift only the edge of a pancake with a spatula to see if it’s golden brown and ready to flip.
Remember to gently flip your pancakes. Try to avoid flipping your pancakes too high, unless you want to be picking up pieces from your ceiling or the floor!
Leftover pancakes and reheating
You can freeze leftover pancakes in airtight plastic bags. Reheat pancakes in a toaster, toaster oven or regular oven at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes. If using the oven, remember to place the pancakes on a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Try to avoid using the microwave as this can make the pancakes a little tough!