Today I would like to introduce Sommer from the fabulous food blog, A Spicy Perspective. There’s many reasons I just adore Sommer. She’s sweet, bubbly, super creative and oh so smart. And did I mention she’s a closet pork-oholic? I haven’t met many people who were as addicted to pork as me. Her blog is fantastic. She has a great mix of classic American dishes, healthy recipes and dishes with global flair. Today Sommer is sharing the secret to perfect diner pancakes.
I’m honored to be guest posting here on Babble’s Family Kitchen today! Thanks Angie for the invite. I hope I do you proud.
My family recently spent some time along the Carolina coastline. One thing I noticed while traveling from one little beach town to the next, was that they all seemed to contain three things: a mini golf course, a discount beachwear shop, and pancake houses. While sitting at a diner one morning, in front of a half-eaten stack of golden fluffy pancakes, a question popped in my head. “Why do Diner Pancakes taste so much better than homemade pancakes?’ My mind was a Rubik’s Cube of confusion. “I’m a good cook.” I told myself, “…with a delicate palette. Why can’t I figure out how to make pancakes that taste like this?” After several trips back to the pancake houses to “investigate” this question further… in the name of research, of course, I finally arrived at a conclusion. Malt. Malted Milk Powder, as in, “I’d like to order one large chocolate malt with two straws, please.”
Diners and pancake houses have been using malt powder to flavor and sweeten their pancakes for years. That dark, yet airy, back-note I couldn’t quite put my finger on? Malted milk powder, baby. So now that the century-old mystery of diner pancakes has been revealed, here’s a recipe that addresses the three things that make the difference between good pancakes and GREAT pancakes. Flavor, Texture, and Lift—the fluff factor. The flavor should be understated so that the syrup and toppings can shine. But really, good pancakes need to be tasty enough to stand alone. As mentioned, malt powder gives pancakes an undeniable depth of flavor that vanilla alone, or even buttermilk, can’t touch. The optimal texture is produced by a thick moist batter and the proper cooking temperature. The batter should be thick, but not too thick. You should be able to scoop and pour the batter onto the griddle in a slow ribbon. The griddle should be heated to medium-high so that the pancakes cook quickly, but don’t turn dark.
Leavening affects the fluffiness of your pancakes. You need enough baking powder to create significant lift, but too much will make the pancakes bitter. Once you flip the pancakes, they should immediately pop right up. Addressing these three elements creates perfect diner pancake every time! You can find malted milk powder in the baking isle of most major grocery stores—usually by the condensed milk or non-dairy milks.
Perfect Diner Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup malted milk powder
¾ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¾ cup milk
1 extra large egg
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or extract)
3 Tb. melted butter
1. Heat the griddle (or non-stick skillet) to medium-high.
2. In a bowl, add all the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk the milk, egg, and vanilla until frothy.
4. Add the milk mixture to the dry mix and whisk until smooth. Finally, whisk in the melted butter. Allow the pancake batter to rest for 3-5 minutes to thicken.
5. Start by making one pancake as a test-batch to ensure your heat in accurate.
6. Use a 1/4 -1/3 cup scoop to ladle the batter onto the griddle. Cook for 1-3 minutes per side. Flip when small bubbles rise to the top of the batter.
Tip: If your batter thickens too much, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to thin it just enough to pour.
Makes 8-10 pancakes.
For even more amazing recipes from Sommer (like these delicious zucchini muffins swirled with Nutella), visit her blog, A Spicy Perspective. You can also join her facebook community and follow her on twitter for all her latest and greatest creations.
Try this Classic Pancake Recipe with 10 simple twists!