Need an excuse to indulge in a stack of butter-smothered pancakes? Lucky you: March 1 is National Pancake Day!
Sure, IHOP — which may or not have actually started the latest faux holiday — is giving away a short stack of three pancakes for free until 10 tonight. But where's the fun in that?
Step up your flapjack game with these tips and tricks instead:
Substitute buttermilk for regular milk (never use water!) for extra fluffy pancakes. If you don’t have buttermilk simply add two tablespoons of vinegar to the milk to “sour” it into buttermilk. Make sure to give the milk and vinegar mix a few minutes to sit before combining it with the other ingredients. We recommend this recipe from allrecipes.com, but the milk trick works with store bought mixes too.
You’ve (hopefully) tried delicious banana pancakes, but why not peanut butter and banana? For those seeking a savory flapjack, skip the maple syrup and up the protein with peanut butter. Spread peanut butter on one side of two cooked pancakes and combine the pancakes with the peanut butter in the middle. Since it’s not sticky with syrup or butter, you can eat it with your hands.
Feeling adventurous? Try adding some Mexican flair and substitute cornmeal for flour and top your cakes with fresh fruit and cajeta, a sweet goat milk spread.
Here are a few more pancake tips and tricks to keep in mind:
- Leave the lumps.
Too much mixing overdevelops the gluten and eliminates the air bubbles, resulting in rubbery, dense pancakes.
- Adjust the proportions.
For thinner pancakes, add more (butter)milk. For crepe-like pancakes add an extra egg.
- Cook 'em quick.
If your recipe includes baking soda, use the batter as soon as you add the eggs and milk. The liquid starts reacting immediately. If you wait too long the batter goes flat.
- Make fun shapes with cookie-cutters.
To add a bit of whimsy to your pancakes and ensure perfect shape, pour the batter into greased metal cookie-cutters.