My Tips for Making Perfect Pancakes

3 simple tricks for a truly delicious stack, every time.
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Pancakes have always been a breakfast staple in our house, but they used to be reserved as a weekend treat. But ever since Sloan's embraced them (and insists on sitting on the counter to "help"), we now make them throughout the week. While it takes just a little longer now to get out the door, I love how weekday mornings now feel indulgent, which has also given me the opportunity to hone my technique to a science. Here are three simple tricks I use for perfect pancakes, every time:

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My Tips for Making Perfect Pancakes _1

I prefer not to use plain milk in my pancakes but rarely have a carton of buttermilk in my fridge (a trick for making them light and fluffy), so I just make it at home. I put one tablespoon of lemon juice into a measuring cup and fill the rest of it with milk to the 1 cup measuring line. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and you'll notice the milk will have thickened a bit, which in turn will make the batter thicker and pancakes tastier (buttermilk has a covetable tanginess to it). 

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I often see 'don't overmix' in recipes but truthfully don't always know what that means. I remember reading a pancake recipe that actually spelled it out by writing 'ten stirs only' so I've faithfully followed that instruction ever since. Ten stirs results in a lumpy batter with just the right amount of air bubbles in it, for fluffier but still thick pancakes (versus an overmixed batter which leads to rubbery and tough pancakes). 

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To be honest, I didn't remember why I let my batter sit until I looked it up. Similar to what happens when you overmix, gluten in the batter can overdevelop and yield a more chewy pancake whereas letting the batter rest allows time for the gluten to relax and yield tender pancakes. This ten-minute interlude is when I usually take the time to wash berries for the topping, make some orange juice, clean up, or simply sip my coffee. Trust me, it's worth the wait. 

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P.S., Here's the pancake recipe I've used and loved for years.