There are a million pancake recipes out there, but this light, feathery creation is one you will come back to

There are things I believe every home cook should know how to do, fundamental recipes that you can anchor a diet on, a life of. With time and practice, these are the dishes that you can cook without a recipe, the kind of things that I hope to teach my children so that when they leave the house they can make scrambled eggs or cacio e. pepe without consulting a cookbook (or calling home).

Pancakes are fundamental, at least in our house, and the ability to make them on the fly – on a sleepy Sunday morning in a rented cabin, or in your own kitchen, for breakfast or dinner, is a laudable goal for This year.

There are a million pancake recipes out there, but developing the one of my dreams, light and tender, that soaks up butter and maple syrup like a sponge, was actually not that easy. Over the years, I’ve auditioned for contestants, rejecting the leaded, soufflé, two-ingredient, divinely hot, and buttermilk varieties along the way.

My pancakes are made with ingredients that I always have on hand – a single egg, all-purpose flour, milk and butter. This makes them very similar to many other pancake recipes, at least at first glance, but my recipe stands out with the addition of a large amount of baking powder, which gives these pancakes a considerable volume.

For best results, I cook the pancakes on a preheated ungreased non-stick griddle (or skillet). When the dough hits the preheated pan, the cakes immediately begin to rise, reaching their soft potential and browning evenly from edge to edge. Make a pancake tester to make sure your pan is neither too cold (which prevents the pancakes from rising to their full height) nor too hot (which can cause the pancakes on the outside to blacken too much before they not cooked), is always wise, not to mention a treat for the cook.

True to their name, these pancakes look like cakes. You can reduce them, if you wish, by replacing some of the all-purpose with whole wheat or spelled flour. They’re denser if you do, but still wonderful. You can add citrus zest to the batter, berries or chocolate chips, or leave them unadorned to serve with yogurt or peanut butter, or just do as I did, covering a stack with a large nut butter and real maple. syrup.

A year of Sundays awaits us; memorize this recipe and you will be good to go.

Jessica Battilana is a freelance writer and the author of “Directory: All The Recipes You Need”. Instagram: @jbattilana Email: [email protected] Twitter: @jbattilana

Perfect pancakes

If you are making pancakes for a larger crowd, you can double this recipe. For a double batch, use only 2 tablespoons of baking powder. If you want, you can substitute up to half the all-purpose flour for whole wheat or spelled flour (more, and pancakes get heavy).

Makes 12 small pancakes

1½ cups of plain flour

1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons of sugar

½ teaspoon of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt

1 to 1¼ cup of milk

1 big egg

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

3 unsalted butter, melted, plus more for serving

Maple syrup, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a measuring cup, whisk together 1 cup of the milk, the egg and the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, add the butter and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. The dough will be thick and lumpy but still pourable; if it looks too thick, add extra milk by tablespoon until it is the right consistency.

Preheat a nonstick skillet or skillet over medium heat. When the hotplate is hot, make a test pancake: Pour or pour a small amount of batter onto the hotplate and use the bottom of the spoon to gently roll out the batter in a circle (the batter is so thick that it will not spread easily on its own). Cook until golden brown and set on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and cook on second side for 2 more minutes, until golden on second side. Set the heat on the hotplate, then cook the remaining pancakes in batches until all the batter is used. While it’s best to eat pancakes right away, you can keep the first batch in a hot oven while you bake the second. Serve hot, with butter and warm maple syrup.

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