Unless your goal is to make a crepe, a flat pancake is a sad pancake. The ideal flapjack is tall and fluffy, and the secret to raising them to glorious heights is to do less. (By “do less,” I mean “don’t mix so much.”)
This is not exactly a secret. Every pancake recipe or box of mix vaguely instructs you to “not overmix,” but offers no help beyond that. Luckily, Cook’s Illustrated posted this handy graphic actually showing what your batter should look like before it hits the griddle.
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We made 2 sets of batter with the same ingredients. We stirred one batter until smooth and left lumps in the other, and found that the degree to which we stirred dramatically impacted their consistencies. With less stirring, the lumpy batter was noticeably thicker because lumps obstructed the flow of free water. The lumpy batter was also better able to hold on to the air bubbles formed during cooking, producing taller, more leavened pancakes. Tap the link in our profile to access our Easy Pancakes recipe. #cooksillustrated #easypancakes #pancakes #breakfast #brunch #recipes #pancakerecipe #cooking #foodscience
As you can see, you want your batter to be wet, without any huge dry spots, but you don’t want to break up the lumps and bumps. A rougher consistency helps the batter grab on to the gases released during leavening, letting your flapjacks climb to their proper height. I tried it last Saturday and can confirm that though it goes against some of my more neurotic impulses, it definitely resulted in better, fluffier pancakes which, in turn, resulted in a better Saturday.
Leave Pancake Batter Lumpy | Cook’s Illustrated Instagram