Richer pancakes

I recall in vivid detail my mother’s pancakes from childhood. My mother was extremely caring and made a great deal of effort in an attempt to enrich my childhood, but she was not particularly good at making pancakes. I craved the kind of light, fluffy pancakes I knew existed from my travels to IHOP and various hotels, but regardless of whether the attempts involved a scratch recipe from original ingredients or a box of Aunt Jemima, the overly fried rubbery discs bore no resemblance to the breakfast of my imagination.

As an adult, I eventually found a recipe that hit all the key components, but I’m open to trying new approaches. When Serious Eats‘ Stella Parks presented her take, I had to give it a spin. What’s striking about this recipe is the high ratio of fat to milk: more than double the fat and half the liquid of my usual recipe (and most of the standard approaches I’ve seen). The pancakes look great and fluffy, but emerge a bit too buttery for my taste. It’s not the flavor that’s the issue, and they are surprisingly not greasy, but overly rich in the way that you might find a brioche when you are looking for a simple white bread. For some, it may be perfect. It’s simply a matter of taste and consistent with the main ways I differ from Stella’s taste. I had a similar issue with some of her cakes and her pie crust.

My family has the same reaction, and even my pre-teen son found himself I characteristically unable to polish off his serving.

I have found that switching to Stella’s preferred bleached Gold Medal flour has eliminated the occasional gumminess that comes from King Arthur (presumably a result of over development of gluten when I’m overly rough with the batter).

They say making mistakes is the first step in learning. I must be learning a lot.