It’s Father’s Day weekend. Time for the kids to give dear ol’ dad, (or granddad), something sweeter and sloppier than just a kiss. How about a stack of homemade pancakes? I don’t mean the kind you find in a box and add water—though Hungry Jack is might good and fast. I’m talking about pancakes made from scratch. I searched the web for something a little different and ran onto something trumpeted as a Secret Family Pancake Recipe. HuffPo called it “The Only Pancake Recipe You’ll Ever Need.”
I’m always cautious about anything that’s raved about too highly on the Internet, but according to the food blogger, this recipe contained a “magic” ingredient: corn meal. He promised it would not be gritty, just crunchy around the edges. I like crunch around the edges, so I gave it a try. If you like crunch around the edges, it delivers as promised. The cornmeal doesn’t alter the taste, it just punches up the texture.
Still, the next time I’m inclined to spend 20 minutes whipping up pancakes rather than opening a box, I’ll return to Alton Brown Instant Pancakes with the pre-measured dry ingredients.
But whether or not you use Alton Brown, Secret Family or Hungry Jack recipes, here’s a few pointers on technique that are worth recalling:
- Place all dry ingredients in one bowl; all wet in another. Pour wet into dry and stir gently.
- Leave some lumps. Restrain yourself from making the batter smooth. Whisk the batter only until dry ingredients incorporate with the wet.
- Apply oil to skillet with a wadded paper towel to prevent puddling and uneven cooking.
- Cook on medium-high heat (about 375 degrees). The temperature is right if the surface sizzles when you flick a bit of water onto the hot skillet.
- Never smash the pancake with a spatula.
- Flip pancakes only once, though you can gently raise a edge to check the color. Best to wait for bubbles to form and burst in the middle of the pancake before flipping.
- Get creative by pouring batter into oiled, metal cookie cutters for fun shapes.
- If you must hold cooked pancakes, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and place, uncovered, in a warm oven. Don’t stack or cover—the steam will make them soggy.
Happy Father’s Day!