A few weeks ago I was researching the KitchenAid stand mixer and I came across a blog post by someone that I thought was not the best advice. The post was all about making pancakes with your mixer (or any stand mixer really). Now the recipe was probably pretty good but the process is what was flawed in my opinion. If you like to have gummy or chewy pancakes, then by all means, go ahead and use an electric mixer.
But I really like to have soft and fluffy pancakes that really soak up the syrup. So, for me having dense lifeless pancakes is not the way to start my morning. For me pancakes need to be handled with care and attention. The reason is gluten. Now for a bit of food science.
Gluten is a protein, actually it is a composition of 2 proteins named gliadin and glutenin. When water is added to wheat flour and then mechanically mixed, gluten forms. And it is this wonderful gluten that gives bread dough and pasta their chewy and elastic characteristics. But since the gluten content is increased by mechanical mixing or kneading, it is not something we ever want to do if we desire to have light and fluffy pancakes.
So if you want your breakfast pancakes to be light and airy consider unplugging that mixer and instead follow this 'manual' process. You can use any basic pancake recipe that you like. The key to a great result is in the mixing. What you want to do is mix all the dry ingredients first in a bowl that is large enough for your batter. Next, mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
Before you can start mixing you need to plan ahead a little. You can cook them with either an electric griddle or a pan on the stove, the choice is yours. An electric griddle is a preferred choice because it has excellent heat control and it has a large surface which means more pancakes can be cooked at once. Regardless of the method you choose you can keep cooked pancakes in the oven wrapped in a clean towel before serving.
With your cooking appliance hot and ready to go it is safe to make the batter. I prefer what is affectionately called the dump and stir method. The idea is to mix the wet and dry ingredients in about 12 seconds or less. So take the wet and dump them on top of the dry. Mix with a large spatula for a count of 12 and then immediately stop.
Sometimes the batter does not get completely incorporated but that is ok because the cooking process will smooth things out. Next, place some batter on the griddle or in the frying pan and wait. You want to see the bubbles forming all around the outside of the pancake. That is the sign of a flapjack that is ready to be flipped. If the heat is high enough the bottom will be nice and brown. If it is too low it will be pale in color and conversely if it is too hot the bottom will be very dark.
So as gently as possible flip the flapjack and continue cooking the opposite side. Normally the second side will cook in half the time as the first. When serving the pancake always have real maple syrup on hand.
It can make all the difference in the world and the taste is like no other. Since you put all this care and attention into making the best pancakes you could, you deserve to have them sweetened perfectly with a little maple syrup. There you have it. Next time you get a craving for some flapjacks, keep the KitchenAid mixer covered and instead use the dump and fold method for the lightest and fluffiest pancakes you can make at home.
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