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Oct 16, 2007 02:00 PM

Making pancake batter the night before?

I am pretty much a novice with them but I was thinking of having pancakes for breakfast tomorrow and was wondering if there is any reason that I can't make the batter tonight and have it ready to go in the morning?
I'm also wondering why most recipes call for 1/4 cup or so of batter? You almost never get them that small when you eat out and I like them big. .so I sorta don't understand why anyone would want to make small cakes? I would think most of us have skillets at least 12" and larger? What am I missing here?

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  1. you can make pancake batter the night before, but I think it gets a little gluey. When you make it right before throwing it on a hot skillet, it still has a lot of air whipped into it and makes very airy pancakes with lots of "cells."

    Crepe batter, OTOH, should be refrigerated.

    And I think recipes just call for 1/4 cup for sake of uniformity and giving correct "serving sizes" for not only the pancake, but how many cakes the batch will make. Make 'em as big or small as you like, just make sure to watch cooking times so you don't end up with burnt or raw-in-the-middle flapjacks.

    1. I always make crêpes, not the thick kind of pancakes (we call the latter "galettes") so of course I make them the night before, or even earlier. Much less risk of failure that way.

      1. I think buckwheat pancake batter is best made the night before. And if it seems too stiff in the AM a quick drop or two of liquid works.

        I for one gave up on making huge skillet size pancakes, hard to flip.

        1. A yeast recipe is what you need if you want to ready it the night before. Quine is right about buckwheat. Look for a package of buckwheat with a yeast based recipe on the package. Then you can adapt it for regular flour or (my favorite) whole wheat pastry flour.

          1. Batter made with buttermilk and baking soda should be used right away, since CO2 is produced upon mixing. Double acting baking powder produces some of its CO2 upon heating, so making the batter ahead of time is an option. Crepe batter does not have these rising agents, and so benefit by 'resting', during which time the flour has a chance to fully absorb moisture. Yeast (and sourdough) based batters are allowed to rise overnight, with the final addition of ingredients in the morning.


            4 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              Since I usually make crêpes, I never add a rising agent to those.

              I have made blini (those are small yeast-based pancakes, not blintzes which are similar to crêpes). But since they are yeast-based, once again I let them rest. And sourdough, which contains less gluten than wheat, definitely needs a rest.

              1. re: paulj

                I agree w/this - don't make a regular ol' baking soda or powder/buttermilk batter the night before. To save time, combine dry ingredients the night before, and mix em up quick w/the wet ingredients in the morning....but not before.

                1. re: JaneRI

                  I third this motion - with the leavning action you get you don't want the batter continue reacting overnight. I also feel that the texture is compromised whith leftover batter - never seems to get the golden crisp on the outside/fluffy inside unless it's made fresh.

                  1. re: eastcoastgirl_westcoastlife

                    Yes. Mix dry ingredients and leave on counter. Mix wets in a separate bowl and refrigerate. In the morning combine the two mixtures and take it from there.