WHAT ARE FLUFFY PANCAKES?
The secret behind fluffy pancakes all comes down to the science behind gluten. The best explanation I’ve read so far comes from scientist and author Shirley O. Corriher’s book Cookwise. Basically when you make your batter, you don’t want to over mix it. This reduces the amount of air trapped inside. Furthermore over mixing causes your “bubblegum spiderweb” (from Cookwise) of gluten to become stiffer. Less flexibility means your pancakes won’t expand as much when your baking powder starts pumping out carbon dioxide.
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING FLUFFY PANCAKES
- Tender Not Tough
The best pancakes, flap jacks or griddle cakes–are tender without being chew or tough. Their fluffy insides are airy and light with good height. There are number of ways to get to sky high pancakes–baking powder, buttermilk, or egg whites. We favor a combination of these things.
- Customize Your Pancakes
Once you get your basic batter down, it’s easy to customize your pancakes with fruit or chocolate chips or spices like cinnamon or cardamom. Our best advice for pancake add ins like fruit–add them to the batter, not to the raw side of the pancake while it’s on the griddle. The batter coats the fruit so it doesn’t scorch when the pancake is flipped.
Make your pancakes healthier by experimenting with whole grain flours. You can adapt the recipe below as a 3 to 1 ration of all-purpose flour to whole wheat flour.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH FLUFFY PANCAKES?
Get serious with your syrup! Maple syrup comes in various colors and grades based on how long the maple syrup is boiled. The longer it is boiled the darker it is–and the stronger the flavor. Good maple syrup is a must for pancake and waffles–we encourage you to make the investment in a high quality syrup that suits your taste. If maple syrup isn’t your thing, classic pancakes are excellent with honey, fruit compote or even fresh fruit and whipped cream. Want to really get crazy? Then check out Birch Syrup in our Food Fight! Birch Vs. Maple. (written by Chef Stef)