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Jan 22, 2007 11:44 PM

Pancake Paradise Lost – The good, the bad, the inedible at OHOP

It was Pancake hell weekend at RW Orange’s House of Pancakes.

Here’s the short version

What’s your favorite pancake recipe?
Do you have any deliciously different ideas?
What are your tips for producing that perfect pancake?

I found this site with about 86 pancake recipes that seems to have interesting ideas:

This is the long version which is must me blathering on about some truly bad pancakes I made. The above sums it up.

I no longer should be allowed the privilege of criticizing the worst slop from any restaurant because of the little pancakes of horror I made.

The adjectives: limp, gummy, flaccid, greasy, oily, thin, runny, lumpy ... all at once ... pale except for charred spots.

I don’t like to cook but this was so bad it is now a personal challenge. I tried again this morning with equally awful results.

I used the basic pancake recipe from the link above.


2 cups flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tbs. sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. The pan was sprayed as lightly as the ozone layer covering the arctic.

2. The skillet was heated until drops of water jumped like hyperactive children in inflatable party-bouncers after eating too much cake at a birthday.

3. The batter spread as thin as Donald Trump’s skin ... except for the little lumps here & there like the bruises of his opponents.

4. I walked one room away to pick up the Sunday paper & the smoke detector went off

5. The pancake was as black as the heart of (politician of your choice) and stuck to the pan like Glen Close to Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction.

Repeated steps 1-3.

Hover over pan, adjust heat slightly down ... and wait ... and wait ... and wait. It was like waiting for Godot ... long, boring and unending ... like this post.

The pancakes browned like Conan O’Brian on a beach ... either remained pale or burned.

Yes ... as many similes and metaphors as spam emails from Nigerians ... but I’m trying hard NOT to say the pancakes eventually tasted like (explicative deleted).

Help ... help ... for some reason I’m compelled to get this right ... I mean this is so simple ... I followed the recipe ... what oh what is wrong?

Must a griddle be used? Stale baking powder? Bad recipe? Is an egg beater needed to get the lumps out? Too much butter in the batter? The pan only had a light spray of oil so they should not have been that greasy.

Threw a little batter in a dish and microwaved it ... yeah, that doesn’t work ... but if anyone DOES have a from-scratch microwave recipe it would be of interest. Standing over a stove isn’t my thing.

It took me five Thanksgivings to finally make a decent turkey and I went through LOTS of chorizo before perfecting that cooking task. I want a short-cut other than trial and error.

I’ve done the bad and ugly and would like the good. I’ll report back when successful ... I’ll invite you to breakfast.

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  1. I think you're using too much milk. I use 1/2-3/4 of a cup for every cup of flour. You also might want to get some new baking powder. I add about 2 tablespoon sugar for every cup of flour and a good squeeze of lemon juice - gives 'em a little added umph. Good luck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bryan

      Equal flour and buttermilk gives the texture I like. Your ratio would produce heftier ones, which I don't prefer. There seem to be strong personal preferences between thinner, eggier pancakes and thicker, more cake-y fflapjacks. To each his own.

      The pan should be somewhere in the med - medium high range. Test the temperature by making a coin-sized pancake and see if it cooks up the way you want.

    2. LOL, pancakes paradise lost but your post was a laugh. Have you seen Good Eats about pancakes? It was really good. Here's the recipe.

      Rather than hyperactive children on a balloon bounce water drops, try Emmitt Smith in Dancing with the Stars, some movement, but not hyperactive. Lumps in batter are fine. Have the Sunday paper ready so you don't have to leave. VERY lightly butter instead of spray (Alton Brown says to wipe it off and I've found it helps to do that. Did you use a nonstick pan? I find that easier to use. I want to say it takes about two minutes (wait for the bubbles) before it's ready to flip. Finally, I have a perfect pancake maker pan if you want it--free.

      1. I've been using this extremely easy recipe, an old one from Gourmet, with the best results so far (at least for me).

        --you want to have the heat on medium low and yeah they're going seem like they take forever to brown but the first one is always the worst.

        1. Best. Post. Ever! I read it out loud to my husband who, quite frankly, just didn't get it.

          My "everyday" pancakes are Bisquick cooked on a T-Fal griddle. My "company" pancakes are these Blueberry Buttermilk wonders from the FTV site:

          1. I have actually been craving pancakes lately, and finally made them this weekend. I used a recipe from the LA Times food section, which was printed as part of a feature on pancakes probably 8-10 years ago now. It makes fabulous pancakes -- light, tender, fluffy & tasty.


            Dry ingredients:

            1 C. flour
            1 T. sugar
            1/2 tsp baking soda
            1/4 tsp salt.

            Wet indredients:

            1 egg
            1 c. buttermilk
            2 T. melted butter

            Mix together dry ingredients in bowl & set aside. In a separate bowl, beat egg well then whisk in buttermilk. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients -- mix until the flour is just blended in, then add butter. If too thick, thin with up to a 1/4 C. more buttermilk. If still too thick, thin with milk. (The consistency should be that of yogurt -- thick but pourable -- the batter in your description sounds like it might have been too thin).

            Let batter rest for 1-2 hours. Cook pancakes on a hot, buttered griddle or cast iron pan. You must use a WELL-greased pan. Do a test pancake first -- do not flip it over until the bubbles on the surface hold their shape and the edges of the pancake look firm-ish. If you are getting blackened pancakes, your pan is too hot. It also could be the pan you are using. I definitely find that using cast-iron is the way to go for pancakes.