Deb’s Perfect Pancake Recipe

Childhood food memories never fade. In fact, so often they swell as we age, helping us cling to our young years that grow farther away each glorious day that we are alive. Perhaps this is why my mom, at the healthy age of 83, still waxes poetic about her delectable memories of her mother’s bountiful baking. After a recent comment she left on a pancake photo I posted, describing her own breakfast creation, I began to recall my food memories from her kitchen, realizing that pancakes and waffles fill a large section of that memory bank.

perfect pancake recipe

In fact, my mom has been flipping pancakes and waffles for us as far back as I can remember; her buckwheat pecan version nearly legendary. In college, everyone wanted to head down to our house on the weekend for Sandy’s yummy buckwheat pancakes or crispy buttermilk waffles. Remember those old-fashioned combo waffle and pancake makers where the griddle flipped over to be a waffle maker? That was a fixture on our kitchen counter.

perfect pancake recipe

It’s no surprise then that I prepare pancakes nearly every Sunday morning — Brown Butter Banana Pumpkin, Lemon Banana Blueberry Pancakes with Yogurt, Banana Cinnamon Buckwheat, Whole Wheat Meyer Lemon Blueberry, Pumpkin Pecan and the list goes on…

So you can imagine my reaction years ago when my son came home from a sleepover at his best friend’s house to inform me that his friend’s mom’s pancakes were perfect. “Really, that’s wonderful honey. What makes Aunt Deb’s pancakes perfect?”, I said in my sweetest sarcastic tone. He told me their color is even and they are perfectly round, not to mention the chocolate chips that are always nearby for a sweet addition.

This declaration only fueled my desire to ensure that my Sunday breakfasts would follow in my mom’s tradition, drawing my kids and their friends home, even when they are distracted by the rigors and excitement of college life. Perfecting my pancake has become a bit of an obsession. And the clock is ticking as my son and his friend leave for college in just a few short months!

I shared this “perfect” conversation with Deb at lunch recently and asked her to divulge her perfect pancake recipe secrets. Turns out she uses a boxed mix as a starter, she creates the perfectly even color with a butter-less non-stick surface and the perfectly round shape doesn’t come from a pancake squirt bottle, just a small ladle and Deb’s raw talent.

perfect pancake recipeI mentioned to Deb that I’d discovered how simple it was to forgo the box mix and just prepare pancakes from scratch, no added preservatives or unwanted ingredients – just exactly what you need to make a perfect pancake. She said as long as it didn’t use any funky flours or weird ingredients, she’d be willing to try it. Bananas, though, are ok. Challenge accepted. And she’s been patiently waiting for this recipe post ever since.

So finally Deb, here you go. Just AP (all-purpose) flour and for my family and others, a few fun variations to try.

Thanks mom for starting the tradition and Deb for fueling it. In honor of them both, I share with you Deb’s Perfect(ly) Plain Pancake Recipe and Sandy’s Perfect Buckwheat Buttermilk variation.

What are your family’s breakfast traditions? Do you eat different breakfasts on the weekend than during the week?

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Deb’s Perfect Pancake Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 - 6
 
The dry ingredients for this basic pancake recipe can be easily multiplied and stored airtight for use on many Sundays in a row or for a quick after school snack. I have made these so far with 100% all-purpose flour, ½ AP and ½ buckwheat, and ½ buckwheat and ½ white whole wheat flour - all with equally good results. I also frequently use buttermilk instead of regular milk and will show that variation as well.
Ingredients
Dry ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose (AP) flour OR 1 cup buckwheat/1 cup AP OR 1 cup buckwheat and 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Wet ingredients:
  • 1.5 medium size bananas
  • 1.5 cups milk OR 1 cup buttermilk and ¾ cup regular milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients. I usually use a fork to combine them which helps break up any lumpy bits of flour or baking powder if there are any.
  2. In another medium size measuring cup or bowl, mash the bananas, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and whisk it together until combined.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, combining just until most lumps are gone and dry flour is no longer visible. Do not over stir. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes if you can and then check the texture. If it seems to thick (mine has come out nearly perfect each time), you can always add a bit more milk.
  4. To make the pancakes, I use a stove-top griddle pan, not a non-stick as Deb does. And I prefer to use butter which results in an imperfect look but a delightful tasting crunchy exterior. I use medium heat and wait until the butter is just sizzling. Add a small ladleful of pancake mix. I frequently add in blueberries, nuts, or chocolate chips at this stage.
  5. Be patient and wait to flip your pancake until you see some little holes/circles forming in the batter. Once they are visible, flip and they will be ready in just another minute or so.
  6. Serve with fresh fruit, maple syrup, fruit compote, bacon, sausage, or whatever suits your schedule, diet, and time table that morning. Eat and repeat every Sunday.

 

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26 Responses to Deb’s Perfect Pancake Recipe

  1. Carol Sacks April 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    Fun! Now, I’m craving pancakes!!

    • Beth Lee April 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      You know I’m a big fan of BFD (breakfast for dinner) so follow your craving Carol!

  2. Lizthechef April 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Good heavens, now I’m craving pancakes – when I was a kid, we had waffles for supper sometimes. It was my job to watch and see when the red light went out, meaning they were ready. After my mom died, I found our old waffle iron, vintage 1948.

    • Beth Lee April 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      Do you still use the old one? Checking for the red light is such an important job! And I love Breakfast For Dinner. This week, it seems like a particularly comforting idea.

  3. @yumivore April 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Pancakes (on blog) reminds me of one of the first posts we did together Beth along with Chow and Chatter (way back when). True then as now, love pancakes! Will have to give Aunt Deb’s a try. #yum

    • Beth Lee April 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

      Oh yes – for National Pancake Day – a wonderful memory. And that post still remains a popular one for me – my bubbe’s bubula! These are traditional but lend themselves easily to so many variations of which I’m sure you can already think of several.

      Maybe the next group post will be bruschetta 🙂

  4. Gretchen April 16, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    Oh – these sound like a little bit of heaven. I recently began using buckwheat and these will surely be a hit! Thank you! Gretchen

  5. Beth Lee April 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Buckwheat is wonderful in pancakes – Betty Crocker used to make a buckwheat mix that became impossible to find but I used to hunt it down for my mom. Now that I’ve figured out how to do it from scratch – so easy – all you need is the flour which is readily available at most stores.

    Thanks for stopping by before you depart…looking forward to the trip reports!

  6. sandy corman April 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    thanks for the nice memories. I still make pretty good pancakes and use buckwheat flour with a smattering of buttermilk flour. 83 whose 83? I am and have been for a long time only 39.

    • Beth Lee April 16, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      Sorry – just a typo – I meant 38, not 83 🙂

  7. Kristi April 20, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    Looks Delicious! For any mom’s living with a milk protein free diet for their little bundle- just substitute the milk for coconut milk!

    • Beth Lee April 20, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      Yes – great idea Kristi – I use lactose-free milk if I’m not making the buttermilk version. Another option would be lactose free kefir but I would have to work out the proportions as that is obviously thicker than milk. Would probably be close to the buttermilk proportions.

    • Beth Lee April 20, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      Hope you like it – my kids adore the buckwheat ones. Let me know! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Sarene (FringeFood) April 20, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    You’re so right about pancakes being holding such a strong culinary memory. I loved my mom’s sourdough pancakes. She’d make them silver-dollar size and use about a stick of butter in the pan so they had these wonderfully buttery, crispy edges.

    • Beth Lee April 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

      Oh I can see your mom standing at the stove in your childhood kitchen flipping those mini gems! A happy happy memory for this weekend. And three cheers for the butter!

  9. rebecca April 20, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    wow fun memories i bet your mum is lovely like you

    • Beth Lee April 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

      She is a very spunky “38” 🙂 And she loves England – I bet you two would get along famously!

  10. De April 20, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    What a enticing post! Love the scrumptious recipe with a splash of nostalgia, I’m charmed!

    • Beth Lee April 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      I’m ecstatic that you’re charmed. Great to see you here and I really hope our road trip south happens and that you come along for the ride!

  11. Hannah April 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    Sigh, kitchen memories are the best…especially when they involve pancakes!! I love your Sunday morning tradition and I know your kids will return often (with friends) for your delicious breakfasts. Buckwheat pancakes are my favorite, yet I rarely make them at home. Time to use Aunt Deb’s recipe! Your last photo is particularly enticing to me…wonderful post, Beth.

    • Beth Lee May 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

      Thanks Hannah – it seems the less I try with photos, the better they turn out. I break a lot of rules, but mostly I enjoy the natural beauty of the food itself and I especially love Sunday morning sunshine on my food!

  12. Couscous & Consciousness May 1, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    Oh some beautiful looking pancakes there, Beth. Most of my kitchen memories revolve around my grandmother’s Sunday lunches (usually Indian food) rather than breakfast. We never really had any breakfast traditions when I was growing up, but as an adult my favourite breakfast is definitely French toast. Those strawberries are making me long for summer all over again – the last of strawberries finished about a week ago here.

    • Beth Lee May 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

      Oh gosh – I forget sometimes that the other side of the equator is ending what we are just beginning!

      Love the idea of Sunday lunch. And french toast is another frequent visitor in our kitchen, especially if I have leftover challah!

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