The 5 Most Common Pancake Fails—and How to Fix Them

Just say no to dense, flat, flavorless pancakes.

<p>Simply Recipes / Hannah ZImmerman</p>

Simply Recipes / Hannah ZImmerman

The pancakes themselves are not difficult to make. I would be surprised to hear anyone who doesn’t like pancakes. hasn’t When you flipped a pancake, it was either dense, tasteless, burnt or scrambled. You can’t seem to figure out why this keeps happening. Here’s a quick guide to troubleshooting better, fluffier pancakes. It’ll be here for your consultation every Saturday morning henceforth.

Scenario 1: These pancakes taste good, but they’re dense and chewy—the opposite of fluffy.

A number of factors could lead to denser pancakes, but let’s start with the ingredients first. How many eggs added? Plan to use one egg per cup flour—more than that, and your pancakes will take a turn for the denser because of the custardy yolks; add less, and your pancakes may not rise to their fullest, fluffiest potential.

But there could be a few other issues at play: You didn’t over-mix, did you? Your pancake batter should have lumps. I mean, it should be combined, and there shouldn’t be any flour lingering on the bottom of the bowl, but too much mixing will overdevelop the gluten in the flour, and that will make for tougher pancakes.

Last but not least: Avoid pressing the pancakes down in the pan. Do not! They are not hamburgers, and pressing down will not give you crispier edges—it will give you dense-as-heck pancakes since you’re pressing all the air out.

Scenario #2: These pancakes have flattened. Really flat.

What is the amount of liquid you added? Overly wet batter can result in a flat pancake. If you want to make a change, add a little more flour. The batter must be thick enough to drip off of the spoon rather than running.

If a little flour doesn’t fix the issue, there could be an issue with your baking powder. Baking powder goes “bad” eventually, growing stale if it’s been in your pantry for a long time (ahem, years). If it doesn’t, splash some warm water over a teaspoon of baking powder. It should fizz or bubble gently. If it doesn’t, add baking powder to your grocery list and have eggs for breakfast instead.

Scenario 3: These pancakes don’t taste like…anything.

It’s time to mix things up. First, did you salt the batter? Not a lot, just a pinch—salt makes things taste more like themselves. It could be that your pancakes have no flavor because they need a pinch of salt.

After salt, it’s time to start experimenting. Substitute a different kind of flour—like whole wheat, rye, oat, or almond flours or cornmeal—for half of the all-purpose flour in the recipe. Add some sugar (or maple syrup or honey) to the mixture. You can add some richness to your batter by adding a few teaspoons of butter (or maple syrup). melted brown butter!) Use olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil. Buttermilk can be substituted for regular milk. Use half a banana instead of an egg. Add a squeeze of lemon or a sprinkle of cinnamon. Blueberries or chocolate chips can be used to make smileys. Butter is a healthier alternative to oil for frying pancakes.

Scenario 4: I can’t stop burning pancakes!

You may be experiencing a problem with heat. It is important that your pan be hot enough to cook but not too much.—aim for medium heat. You may need adjust your heat level as you cook the batch.

You can use a cast iron griddle or skillet—cast iron holds heat well and evenly, which means that your pan will get hot, stay hot, and give your pancakes a good crisp crust (and will reduce the chances of your pancakes cooking unevenly). If you have a skillet that is cast iron, it will hold heat well and evenly. This means your pancakes will cook evenly. an electric griddle You can use any frying pan! My favorite pancake-making tool is an electric frying pan, because it distributes heat evenly.

Scenario 5: My pancakes are falling apart as I flip them.

Your batter could be too loose—add a little flour. It is possible that you are turning too quickly. Wait for bubbles to form on the surface. Bubbles mean that not only have the pancakes cooked on the bottom side, but that the uncooked side is beginning to firm up too—which means that it won’t fall apart when you flip.

It could also be a problem with heat. Not hot enough and the pancake won’t have cooked enough to stand up to a flip. Too hot and the pancake’s bottom will have cooked too fast with a top that’s barely warm.

Click Here to Read MoreHow to Make Buttermilk Pancakes

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