It’s Sunday morning and your craving flapjacks but you don’t just want any flapjacks. Your mind wanders back to a few weeks ago when you were sitting cozy around a booth at your local diner cupping a steaming cup o’ joe while waiting for those fluffy hotcakes to hit your table. As soon as they did, hot maple syrup and butter quickly adorned, sleeves rolled up and it was time. Go-Time! Ok, back to reality. You are home, kids or friends are hungry and its time to show them what you got. That’s where I come in. And, don’t worry, you don’t have to tell your friends about me. Take the credit!
Turning to my friends over at The Kitchn, they have provided a roundup of their 5 tops tips for flippin’s the best flapjacks in town…and right in the comfort of your home.
Don’t overmix the batter:
· When you mix the wet and dry ingredients together, gluten starts to develop. And the more you mix the batter, the more the gluten continues to develop. So what happens? The result of overworked batter is a stack of tough and chewy pancakes instead of the light and fluffy ones you were probably dreaming about.
· Follow this tip: Mix the batter just until the wet and dry ingredients are combined, and there are no more visible wisps of flour. The batter will likely be lumpy, and that's okay.
Rest the Batter:
· The resting period, which can range from five to 30 minutes, depending on the recipe, plays two roles. The gluten that was activated during mixing rests and relaxes, and also, the starch molecules in the flour absorb the liquid in the batter, ultimately giving it a thicker consistency.
· Follow this tip: Good things come to those who wait. And, yes, that saying also applies to pancakes. It might seem trivial, but resting the batter is an important step that gives the gluten time to relax and settle down. In other words, it makes for pancakes that are more soft and tender, and this is especially important with crepes and Dutch baby pancakes. Use this time to clean up, set the table, or prep your toppings.
Start with a hot pan:
· A sign of a good pancake, in my opinion, is one that is delicate and buttery-crisp around the edges with a soft, fluffy interior. But if you start with a pan that's not quite hot enough, instead of forming a lightly crisped exterior, the batter will start to soak up the butter or oil that's in the pan and get greasy.
· Follow this tip: Give your pan some time to get good and hot evenly. Before adding the batter to the pan, the butter or oil should be very hot but not smoking. If you're not quite sure if the pan is hot enough, don't be afraid to make a small test pancake first.
Don’t set the heat too high!
· High heat doesn't cook pancakes faster, it cooks them unevenly with burnt outsides. The pan needs to be hot, but make the mistake of setting the temperature too high and the bottoms are likely to burn while the inside remains raw and doughy.
· Follow this tip: Setting your stove to the right temperature is one of the keys to great pancakes. The pan needs to be hot, but that doesn't mean the heat needs to be cranked up to high. For a well-cooked pancake with a golden-brown outside, and an inside that's soft and cooked through, keep the heat set to medium.
Know when to flip your pancakes! Not too soon and not too often!
· You might be tempted to flip once the bubbles start to appear, but it's not quite time. Give it another minute.
· Pancakes should be flipped once, and only once, during cooking. And as long as you didn't flip them too soon, you won't need to flip them any more than that. Flipping pancakes too many times causes them to deflate, losing some of that wonderful fluffy texture.
· Follow this tip: Wait to flip the pancakes when the bubbles on the surface burst, and not a second sooner.
And, now that you have your technique down, try these fun tips from King Arthur and the Pioneer Woman.
Kind Arthur: Malt, rather than sugar, is what sweetens most food-service (i.e., restaurant/hotel) pancake mixes. For that typical "diner" taste, try malt in your pancakes instead of sugar.
Pioneer Woman: Secret ingredient for the best pancakes in town? Cake flour!
For other terrific tips and hundreds of recipes, including my very own Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, visit my website (thetabletogether.com). While there, consider “subscribing” and I will send a new tip or blog post directly to your inbox every Tuesday and Wednesday morning!
P.S. Make sure you check out my YouTube channel, The Table Together with Tiffany Lewis, for dozens of videos solely dedicated to bringing all of these fantastic tips and recipes to life!
Cheers to starting a new tradition around The Table Together!
Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together!