Diner Pancakes at home, SVP?
December 20, 2010 8:32 AM Subscribe
What's the secret to good, diner-style pancakes? As in, big, slightly puffy, and buttery and buttermilky tasting?
posted by mccarty.tim to Food & Drink (38 answers total) 86 users marked this as a favorite
So, this morning I ate out at IHOP, and remembered how good their pancakes are relative to mine of that style.
I consider myself a good cook (I make creme brulee, stained glass jello cake and smoked turkey with the best of 'em!), and can whip up a quick batch of thin, light pancakes about the size of an english muffin fairly easily, using a Joy of Cooking recipe my family has altered beyond recognition. But that's not what I always want.
Sometimes, though, I want the big, thick pancakes that they serve at diners, with a nice butter and buttermilk flavor. But whenever I attempt at that, the result is kind of leaden or otherwise mediocre.
Some info about my kitchen: I tend to use unbleached flour, up to date baking powder, large eggs, unsalted real butter, cultured part-skim buttermilk and usually skim milk (it's what my mom and sister drink, even though I know whole is best for cooking). I cook on either a nonstick skillet, or a nonstick griddle, treated with a thin layer of pam, and then lightly brushed with melted butter (too much keeps the pancakes from forming a good golden brown soft crust, I've found). I also have a cast iron skillet, which has a decent seasoning, but not enough that I feel like I can trust an entire batch of pancakes not to stick. I could pick up a cast iron griddle, if necessary, and justify the purchase since I could also use it for bacon, eggs, and sausage. I portion pancake batter with a ladle, which is about half a cup, which is easier than using a measuring cup (messy!), and more precise than pouring directly from the bowl.
Pancakes are usually a spur of the moment decision for me, so I don't like letting the batter rest and haven't noticed much of a change when I have done it, but maybe that's where I'm going wrong. I also don't see much point in making a homemade mix, because measuring isn't what takes the most time, it's the making/cleanup.
Thoughts? Tips? Recipes?