My pancakes are terrible!!

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by koukouvagia, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I need help making a better pancake. I've made from scratch, I've made from a box. I've used vegetable oil to grease the pan, I've used butter, I've used both at the same time. I've used low heat high heat crepe pans skillets thick batter runny batter you name it I've tried it. No matter what I do they come out burnt or uncooked or not appetizing. What am I doing wrong?
     
  2. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Miss KK, could it be the technique, the timing?
     
  3. ordo

    ordo

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    Beautiful mushrooms you have there!
     
  4. Iceman

    Iceman

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    I think they look fine. For me all they need is a big glob of butter and a big splash of syrup.
     
  5. dillbert

    dillbert Banned

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    looking at the two examples,

    heat is definitely too high.  on the right you can see it's burning in the middle and around the edges (the edges curl up, hence the 'not burnt' ring) but the center does not rise.

    some other thoughts...

    based on the obvious high heat and the size, meguesseth the batter was a tad too thin.
    I like to use a ladle so they all come out sorta-the-same-size.

    don't use butter in the pan/grill.  it will burn at too low a temp.

    if it's an electric griddle, start at 375' and adjust from there.

    if your using a 'on burner' pan or griddle, test the heat with a dime size drop.

    "on burner" stuff is exceedingly prone to demonstrating "uneven" heating - I have a big griddle that spans two burners - it's taken me a long burnt/raw road of experimenting to get it right.

    be aware, the cooking surface will cool after you pour on the batter - it is tricky to 'get the right heat' - it will require experimenting with your own equipment (ala not all thermostats are equal/exactly the same/accurate) - and indeed I've tossed more than a few rounds....

    ...the mix
    I do my own from scratch based on a recipe voted "Best" by Consumer Report - last century....
    for two:
    130 g AP flour
    260 g milk
    1 large egg
    1 tbsp vegetable oil
    1 tsp - 1 tbsp granulated white sugar to taste
    pinch of salt
    1-1.25 tsp baking powder - keep it fresh; date when you open it, toss it after 6-8 months.

    I weigh both the flour and the milk because when making small batches, accuracy is key to consistency.

    your flour will almost certainly react differently than my mine (Ceresota Unbleached) - so don't object to making adjustments - just write them down so you can do it again...

    once the liquids are mixed in, start cooking.  batter tends to thicken with standing; doing brunch for billions I've had to thin it midway....

    avoid long 'after mixing' delays if you can - almost to exclusion todays baking powders are 'double acting' and if it stands for too long you lose the leavening of the 'first act'

    ancient theory holds you turn the pancake when the bubbles no longer close up after forming - heat adjustment is the trick to having nice golden color on turning.  to hot, the bubbles stop but it's burnt on the bottom; too cold the bubbles stop but the bottom is pale....
     
  6. french fries

    french fries

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    I never have a problem KK, so I hope that means I can help you.

    I only make pancakes from scratch, using the following recipe: 
    the only addition I make is a little bit of lemon zest if I have organic lemons around (optional but delicious). 

    I never measure the milk, I just add until I get the desired consistency. 

    I make sure the pan is not too hot. I agree with Dillbert, it looks like your pan was too hot or you left the pancakes for too long. The butter should melt slowly in the pan (I only use butter, no oil), and not make noise like when you add a steak to a pan!! Flip when you see bubbles appear. After you flip, don't cook for too long, you're pretty much done. 
     
  7. helloitslucas

    helloitslucas

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    Would you mind posting your recipe that you used?
     
  8. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    No problem. I used trader joes pumpkin pancake mix hehe!
     
  9. helloitslucas

    helloitslucas

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    This is the only recipe I use: 

    Dry goods mixed:

    1.5 cups all-purpose flour

    3.5 teaspoons baking powder

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 tablespoon white sugar
     

    Wet goods mixed:

    1.25 cups milk(I throw a small dash of whole cream on top of this, optional)
    3 tablespoons butter, melted(and then at room temperature)

    1 egg beaten

    Letting sit for a few minutes and then obviously mixed together in the end. 

    Pancake recipes vary from each person to the next. Not matter how many times I make these, they are good. Always on medium to high heat. :p Never burned.
     
  10. french fries

    french fries

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    Hey Lucas, I wonder: why letting the mixes sit?
     
  11. helloitslucas

    helloitslucas

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    Nothing more than my grandmothers instructions. No scientific proof provided/needed. :p
     
  12. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I've always used buttermilk in my homemade pancake mixes.  Never tried straight milk.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  13. french fries

    french fries

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    I see! Thanks for answering. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  14. vic cardenas

    vic cardenas

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    I like to cut my pancake batter with some apple juice. 
     
  15. french fries

    french fries

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    I saw a recipe with grated pears. I'd like to try that one day. 
     
  16. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree that your temperature is too high, but I also think you are using too much oil/butter.  Those edges look almost fried.  I see that on mine sometimes, if I add too much oil to the griddle.  I never pour it on, but use a paper towel to brush it on.  That way I don't get too much oil on there.
     
  17. colin

    colin

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    The recipe FF posts looks good, though I would omit the sugar and consider a cultured dairy product.  You can separate the eggs and beat the whites if you want a fluffier result.  I agree with Pete re less oil and lower temperature.

    The mix seems irrational especially given that, if a 'net search is right, the Trader Joe's mix asks you to add melted butter, milk, and an egg.  Are people really buying mix because they can't bear to measure salt and baking powder into flour?
     
  18. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    I'm in Pete's camp, that looks to me like burnt fat, i.e. butter, oil etc. not the batter itself.

    Letting the batter sit a spell relaxes the gluten, and they just seem to cook up better
    that way. Samo with crepes which are basically pan pancakes.
     
  19. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I've heard this before too, I can't remember where.  Some people say oil others say butter.  I'm sure that what I'm doing wrong is not because of the recipe, the recipe is irrelevant.  It has something to do with the right amount of heat and the right kind of oil/butter.  Something is off about my technique.  
    Don't wanna be judged for it, thanks.  I also enjoy mashed potatoes from a box.  I'm capable of anything.
     
  20. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I will be trying this on the weekend.