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The pancake topic to end all pancake topics


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(Host's note: this new pancake topic has been merged in here. This post is not in response to the above request.)

I use the following recipe, but it seems to be hit/miss... sometimes being pretty good, but sometimes exhibitting very bitter flavours (50% chance that a batch is bitter from past experience).

(3 20cm pancakes)

1 cup flour.

1 tblsp baking powder.

3 tblsp rice powder.

3 tblsp cornflour.

5 tblsp sugar.

3 tblsp maple syrup.

1 tsp vanilla essense.

1 cup milk.

4 whole eggs.

mix powder, add wet ingredients, fry over melted butter.

What can I use to improve this recipe?

I have not been able to identify the source of the bitter taste.

I usually serve with icecream & fruit, or bacon, eggs, sausages and tomato sauce. Either way, the bitter taste really makes the thing horrible.

Edited by Chris Hennes (log)
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Why the rice flour and corn flour? Is there something you're trying to do nutritionally here? Typically a recipe of this kind contains only all-purpose white (wheat) flour.

I suspect the pancakes may be bitter from rancid corn flour. Check that the corn flour is fresh when you buy it, and store it well-wrapped in the freezer.

If the off-flavor is more metallic, try using a non-aluminum baking powder (in the US, that's Rumford's).

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The corn flour and rice flour is there to give the pancake more "bounce", or a more... elastic feel? is the best way to put it.

I'll check whether the corn flour is OK as per your suggestion. I just assumed that flour goes for ages and didnt check.

BTW how would I check? Can I smell it? or by eye?

The powder looked fine as far as I could tell.

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The oil in the corn flour can go rancid over time. If it's whole-grain corn flour with the germ milled into it, then it can go rancid fairly quickly unless refrigerated (like whole wheat flour). Rancid corn flour or corn meal smells stale, musty, or sour. You can also taste a little of it. Is it bitter?

Sometimes what we call corn starch in the US is called corn flour outside the US. I'm assuming that you're using something like finely ground cornmeal that is yellow in color. If it's that white stuff used to thicken gravies, then I don't know what's causing the bitterness in your pancakes.

Are you happy with this recipe, except for the bitterness? For pancakes, I always make Bette's buttermilk pancakes http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?.../05/FD93601.DTL . For crepes, I always use Julia's recipe http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/recipe.cgi?r=141525 Just some suggestions, if you care to try them out.

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First, I'm in Australia, so when I say cornflour, I actually do mean the white stuff, that you refer to as starch. And I have been using the same set of ingredients for 4 different batches, of which the second and third were bitter, but the first and 4th were good... which actually doesn't make much sense unless I'm inadvertantly doing something different each time (i.e. different temperature of something when putting it in, or something like that).

I'm quite happy with my pancakes, when it is a "good batch". But I am always open to try new recipes and integrating their technique with my own to find a better pancake.

Thanks for the links. I will definitely check them out.

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Hmm...check out if aluminum in your baking powder tastes bitter to you (by comparing it to a non-aluminum brand, which, unfortunately, is more expensive).

Also, I went surfing on the web, and your recipe may contain too much baking powder, which can taste bitter. http://www.shaftek.org/blog/2007/01/20/bak...d-bitter-taste/

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In Australia a lot/most "Cornflour" (meaning corn starch) is made from wheat or even rice. "Corn" here is used in the older sense of "grain or seed", rather then "maize" (which is Indian Corn). White Wings produce a gluten free Maize cornflour.

The recipe looks like American style pancakes, rather then crepes. You might be better be better off asking in the general forum for help.

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I use Bill Granger's recipe for pancakes.

Off memory, it's.....

250g flour

tablespoon baking powder

3 tablespoons castor sugar

pinch of salt

750mil milk

2 eggs - beaten

80g melted butter

Mix together flour, baking power, castor sugar, and salt.

Add in milk, eggs, and butter, and mix well.

Heat pan with butter, and ladle in 80ml of the batter, and cook as you usually would.

This mix makes about 16 small pancakes.

The recipe works well as it is, but we've found that if you make the batter the night before and leave it in the fridge overnnight, what you get is a much lighter and fluffier pancake.

Even if you're not prepared to do it the night before, leaving the mixture to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour will also have a similar result (not as good as overnight, but it's still noticeable).

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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You should also look at the wide variety of Ukrainian/Russian crepes that originated after the Napoleonic invasions still world wide famous today of course fro paper thin to thick ones recipes do vary.

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This is a recipe I just used this week to make pancakes for 75 kids at a benefit event. I used half buttermilk and half whole milk plus I added a cup of whole wheat to the total flour and a cup of fresh corn meal to the recipe. Everyone raved and asked for the recipe.

Basic Pancakes

Yield 10 servings – 30 pancakes

Flour 24 oz. 680 grams

Salt 2 tsp. “

Sugar 6 oz. 170 grams

Baking soda 1 Tbs. “

Baking powder 2 Tbs. “

Milk or buttermilk 3 pints 1.5 liters

Eggs, lightly beaten 6 each “

Butter, melted 3 oz. 85 grams

Vegetable oil as needed – or griddle spray

Sift all the dry ingredients

Wisk the milk, eggs, some of the melted butter

Combine with a wooden spoon the dry and wet mixture and the remaining butter

Batter will be slightly lumpy.

Drop on moderately hot oiled – sprayed griddle using 2 oz ladle.

Cook 2-3 minutes, turn


Whole grain pancakes – substitute ¾ cup whole-wheat flour

Johnnycakes – substitute half the flour with cornmeal.

Serve with – real maple syrup and fresh berries

From: The New Professional Chef – The Culinary Institute of America - Sixth Edition

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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i'm sorry, but i'm pretty sure this recipe can't be improved upon:

1 eggs

1dl wheat flour

1dl milk

pinch of salt

multiplied by any number. fried in good amount of butter in cast iron skillet. served with raspberry jelly and whipped cream. thin, slightly crispy around the edges, delicious.

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I make a recipe similar to Bette's (as noted above), but here's the secret for a lighter, flufflier pancake (that's seldom ever mentioned): once the ingredients are mixed, let the batter rest for a minute or two. It will get airy, almost like foam, but that will subside once you drop the batter on the griddle.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all your replies.

What I'm trying to achieve with my recipe is something of a cross between western pancake and Korean pancake. For more information on Korean pancake, please feel free to head to http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=38905&st=0, where ho-ddeok is described in its many glorious incarnations.

Main differences I want to achieve (to either variant) are:

1. Ease of cooking. Western pancakes are more liquidy than the korean counterpart. The dough is watery, so that you can pour straight out of the mix into the pan and voila. The Korean kind is a kneeded dough, kind of like pizza base. Lots of work.

2. Texture differences. The Korean pancake is a lot more chewy and has a soft, crunchy (I know they are opposite words but I dont know how to describe it any better) outer layer where the dough has browned. I haven't been able to achieve this with my recipe. The western pancakes tend to be soft and fluffy. By overcooking, all I get is burnt pancakes, and not the crisp that I am after.

3. Use of easily available cooking utensils. I don't want to have to use a korean pancake griddle. I'd rather just use my 20cm tefal skillet, the way that western pancake is made.

4. New flavours. I want a heavily buttery taste, akin to buttermilk pancakes, which is not the case in ho-ddeok.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Has anyone ever tried making pancakes with Bulgarian Buttermilk? I have read it's tangier than regular, so I don't have any idea if you would need or want to change other quantities. I saw some at the grocery store the other day and was thinking of giving it a try.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations

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Has anyone ever tried making pancakes with Bulgarian Buttermilk? I have read it's tangier than regular, so I don't have any idea if you would need or want to change other quantities. I saw some at the grocery store the other day and was thinking of giving it a try.

I have used it a number of times but see no difference from the less expensive brands. I prefer buttermilk cakes to those made with sweet milk. Those just seem to have something missing.

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When you say "regular" I assume you mean regular buttermilk, not regular milk, right? It's been a long time since I bought Bulgarian buttermilk. It's tasty, but my memory is that it only comes whole-milk, or 4% milkfat. Since I try to cut down on my cholesterol I always use a low-fat or 1.5% buttermilk when I make pancakes or bread or whatever.

I don't recall if the Bulgarian is tangier, but it's certainly richer. I'm sure it would make yummy pancakes, and I would just sub it in the same quantities as your favorite recipe, then see if it needed adjustment.

Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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Yes, sorry I wasn't clear: I am comparing regular buttermilk to Bulgarian buttermilk, which apparently uses a different bacteria in the culture, and is reputed to be more acidic. It's only $0.20 more for the half gallon, so I think I will give it a shot next time and see what I end up with.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations

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Bulgarian culture buttermilk makes lovely pancakes or any other "quick" breads, such as biscuits or scones, etc.

I make my own buttermilk and have kept the culture going for several years and use it for sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt and kefir as well as buttermilk.

It works well with the 2% lowfat milk (I use only organic) as well as with full-fat milk but not so well with 1%. It is okay but does not develop the "tangy" flavor I like, although you may find it just fine.

I started out with the purchased product and simply used it as my culture and kept it going just as one would with any yogurt culture.

This became an advantage when the local stores stopped carrying the commercial Bulgarian product. I can still buy it but have to drive an hour to the San Fernando Valley so making my own saves gas as well as wear and tear on my nerves!

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett


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  • 13 years later...

So, I'm stumped. I can't seem to make fluffy pancakes. They come out kinda flat. I use the standard baking powder/flour ratio (1 tbsp/2 cups, with fresh baking powder!). I usually use bread flour, but sometimes all-purpose.

What's the trick? My baking powder biscuits and breads always come out great.

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It's often the case that the batter is too thin. Otherwise, it's possible that it's overmixed or that the pan is too cold.

Also, don't use bread flour, if anything, prefer cake flour.


My recipe is:

140g flour

10g sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

A large pinch of salt


100g sour cream

220g yogurt (low fat)

(instead of the yogurt and sour cream, you can use 320g high fat yogurt)

1 large egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Mix the dry ingredients together.

Mix the wet ingredients in a second bowl.

Sieve that dry mixture into the wet and fold until uniform, avoid overmixing.

Fry in a little butter over medium-high flame.

Edited by shain (log)
  • Like 1

~ Shai N.

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Well, OK, but there are a lot of posts online that says that bread flour should be OK. Also, I NEVER use cake flour for anything.

I'll use milk instead of sour cream and yogurt, but that won't be as acidic. Acidity is important if you're using baking soda, but not really

for baking powder. Your recipe calls for a very small amount of leavening, maybe half that of most recipes. I have a hard time

understanding how that contributes to fluffiness. I'd agree that a thicker batter may be the solution.

Edited by DougL (log)
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Bread flour is not great for pancakes.  Don't overmix the batter. Let it rest after mixing for a good 30 minutes.


My last batch came out quite nicely...




I use a recipe very close to this one...but I cut back a bit on the baking soda.


Of course, Kenji weights in too. I like his recipe except I don't go through the trouble of separating the eggs.


Gotta use both baking powder and soda if using buttermilk for pancakes. Or kefir. Or yogurt. Or sour cream.

Edited by weinoo (log)
  • Like 4

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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