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PANCAKES

Makes about 10 (6-inch) pancakes

A recipe for the ideal pancake (tender, fluffy, golden brown, barely sweet) will get you only halfway there—making them still takes some practice. Learning when to stop mixing, when the pan is ready for the batter, how to drop the batter to get a round shape, when to flip, and when to remove the pancake from the pan might take a few tries. But, once you’ve mastered it, you can spoil everyone on your vacation by waking up a little early to get these started.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Maple syrup, for serving (optional)
  • Salted butter, at room temperature, f0r serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Measure the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together gently. When the batter is still a bit lumpy, stir in the melted butter with a few strokes of the whisk, then let the batter sit for 10 minutes at room temperature while the baking powder activates and the remaining lumps dissolve (see note #1).

Lightly grease a griddle or sauté pan with cooking spray and preheat over medium-high heat (see note #2). Test the cooking surface with a dime-size amount of pancake batter. If the bottom cooks in a few seconds, then you’re ready to make pancakes.

Ladle out approximately 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. The pancakes are ready to flip when small bubbles start to form on the top surface. Flip the pancakes and continue cooking until they’re firm to the touch and golden on both sides.

Stack the pancakes into a giant tower à la Shel Silverstein. Serve “good little Grace” the one on top and save the middle pancake for “terrible Theresa.” Top with maple syrup and butter.

Note #1: You’re trying to bring these ingredients together as gently as possible to avoid overworking the batter and ending up with pancakes that are tough or chewy rather than soft and tender.

Note #2: You can use butter or canola oil to cook the pancakes, but nonstick cooking spray will give you the easiest and most consistent results.

The Night Before: Whisk together the dry ingredients and store in a covered bowl or freezer bag.