Since there is such a plethora of pancake recipes to choose from on the net I thought I'd create a guide to help you with creating the perfect pancakes recipe for you. It goes through equipment you'll need to the types of ingredient to use and at the end a selection of basic starter recipes to use (I'll be adding more later).
I do hope you'll find this useful and you'll keeping coming back to this!
I think the best starting point for great pancakes, especially fluffy pancakes, is having the right equipment. Luckily, the equipment needed to make pancakes is relatively cheap so you'll be happy to know you won't be breaking the bank.
I strongly suggest using measuring utensils and not relying on your eyes for accuracy. A digital scale, some measuring spoons, measuring cups and a measuring jug are all you need. You'll need a scale to measure your flour, butter and sugar. Measuring spoons and measuring cups are great for measuring small amounts of dry or liquid ingredients but more importantly they'll give you a much more reliable quantity than say the flatware and crockery you use to eat everyday food. Measuring jugs are great for measuring liquids and for using it to pour exact quantities too. Of course these are great not just for pancakes but for any bakes you want to do.
Depending on how you group your ingredients you'll need one large mixing bowl and one or two medium sized mixing bowls. In general, for fluffy pancakes, the large bowl is used to hold the dry ingredients and the medium sized bowl(s) is used to hold the liquid ingredients.
Fluffy pancakes are all about air so using a sieve to add air into the flour as well as get rid of any unwanted particles is a great tool. To mix everything together you'll need some type of whisk. I tend to use a balloon whisk for my liquid ingredients and then swap to a handheld electric whisk mixing the dry ingredients with the liquid ingredients.
A rubber spatula is great for folding in egg whites and meringue mixes however even if you're not using those a spatula can be helpful when it comes to getting flour that has stuck to sides of the bowls down and that way you makes sure you incorporate every drop of flour into the mix.
I don't see the point in investing in 'pancake machines', in my opinion, a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet is all that's really needed. Some people do use griddles as they save time but again these aren't necessary.
When it comes to actually cooking the pancakes you'll need something to pour the batter into the skillet. Rather than pour the batter straight from the bowl, a ladle will help you especially when it comes to having the correct size. Of course if you want smaller or maybe even larger pancakes then you could use measuring cups instead. Lastly and this goes with out saying you'll need a spatula to turn your pancakes as they're the safest bet to making sure you don't ruing it. Of course if you have a daredevil streak flipping pancakes in the air are still an option.
Flours & Raising Agents
Ideally when looking at how much flour to use in your recipe, 60g (1/2 cup) per person should be your starting point. This works primarily for plain flour or self-raising flour but will differ ever so slightly for other flours. You'll need to add or take away depending on how dry your flour is. I find the best flours to use for making fluffy pancakes are namely plain flour, self-raising flour (for my lazy days), rye flour, spelt flour, fine cornmeal and a few tropical flours such as cassava flour.
Raising agents are essential if you want a Instagram worthy pancake stack. The main two you'll probably see being used are baking powder and baking soda. Without raising agents you'll more than likely end up with dense pancakes as the air in the batter can't circulate and so the batter pushes down on itself.
Binders & Fats
Egg yolks in combination with some form of liquid dairy and fat product fuse together to make the binder for the pancakes. It goes without saying that if you don't have these three elements then you're not actually making pancakes (or any cake for that matter). Allow 1 egg per two people you're serving. When making fluffy pancakes the number one thing you should think about is using a thick liquid. Buttermilk, Greek yoghurt (or any thick yoghurt) and ricotta are your best options. The runny options such as milk will leave you more so with crepes as opposed to hotcakes. Melted butter, melted coconut oil, groundnut oil or any other nutty oil are great fat elements to add because it helps to create a smooth texture but they also add that extra bit of flavour.
It's also important to note that the ratio of liquid to dry mix should be just under double. So for example if you were using roughly 500g of flour then you'd want the total amount of liquid to be about 900ml.
Whips & Sweetners
Not everyone will agree but I think you should always separate the egg whites and egg yolks. I've found that folding a meringue mix (made from the egg whites) into the batter at the end of preparation incorporates more air and gives you that 'melt in your mouth' feeling. You can make a meringue mix a number of ways and all though sugar is the easiest way to do so, honey or syrups with some adjustments can be used too.
Adding Flavours & Starter Recipes
Adding flavours to the pancake batter is optional primarily because pancakes usually come with toppings that are very rich in flavour anyway. However it never hurts to add additional flavours. What does matter however is when you add in the flavours. It's important that ground spices go with dry ingredients and extracts go with liquid ingredients. The most popular spice used is cinnamon and the most popular extract is vanilla.