When I have a craving for pancakes, I know exactly where to go. To my mom’s house. She starts with a base of Aunt Jemima pancake mix (not the instant, “only have to add water” stuff), rather, it’s the kind where you have to add milk, eggs, and oil. My mom adds eggs and milk (eyeballs it… never measures), butter and bacon grease, vanilla, and sometimes a little baking soda. I judge pancakes by crispy edges and a soft, springy (almost spongey) inside. I top ’em with butter and a little syrup (I feel too much syrup overpowers the other parts), and they’re perfect-o. Everyone that eats my mom’s pancakes falls in love. Sadly, my mom lives far away, so I can’t always get pancakes when I want them. I’ve tried to follow her methods, and they just don’t taste the same. I think they’re missing that made-with-love factor. So I started looking for a recipe I could make–a go-to pancake recipe that my children one day would savor. After many try-outs, I found Alton Brown’s “Instant” Pancake Mix. I followed his directions EXACTLY. I cooked them on my electric griddle, which is essential for 2 people to enjoy a batch of pancakes at the same time. AWESOME results. They’re still not my mom’s pancakes, but they’re a close #2.
ALTON BROWN’S “INSTANT” PANCAKE MIX
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (check expiration date first)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Combine all of the ingredients in a lidded container. Shake to mix. Use the mix within 3 months.
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 cups “Instant” Pancake Mix, recipe above
- 1 stick butter, for greasing the pan
- 2 cups fresh fruit such as blueberries, if desired (I didn’t add these)
Heat an electric griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees F. Heat oven to 200 degrees F.
Whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the melted butter.
Combine the buttermilk mixture with the egg yolk mixture in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix. Using a whisk, mix the batter just enough to bring it together. Don’t try to work all the lumps out.
Check to see that the griddle is hot by placing a few drops of water onto to the griddle. The griddle is ready if the water dances across the surface.
Lightly butter the griddle. Wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible.)
Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle and sprinkle on fruit if desired. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the griddle-side of the cake is golden, gently flip the pancakes. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set.
Serve immediately or remove to a towel-lined baking sheet and cover with a towel. Hold in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes. (I never hold pancakes in a warm oven… those glorious edges lose their “crispiness,” and that’s just heartbreaking when that happens. You have to eat them immediately.)
Yield: 12 pancakes