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Fast Fluffy Pancake Help!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm having trouble with making consistent fluffy pancakes.
At my little disfunctional cafe they've been using Krustez <sp?>. We also have a limitation as in having to make them on a 1 1/2' x 2' elec hotplate. They just opened for b-fast about a months ago and looking into proper equipment (see my posts about grill and cleaning issues).
Some days I can't make them to order because I frequently have several tickets and I'm the only cook. So up till now (meaning this past week since starting) I've relied on the method they used before which is make up a box and keep in fridge.
No, it doesn't work.
It means that in order to make them edible you have to add more water than called for and they turn into kind of an illegitimate child of crepes and pancakes. If I make them thicker they're really hard and rubbery.
So how does IHOP do it? Given they probably have someone to just mix batter...does anyone have any idea what I can do? I know what IHOP does for omelettes, just not batter longevity in the first place.
I've considered a little batter shaker and actually make them to order and just eat the extra few minutes. You know, like a 2 c plastic measure cup with a lid? I'm also trying a couple of different mixes.
Or what? I'm open to suggestions here. I need fast and quality. At least until they get the equipment sorted out. Well, then I'll still need fast and quality but at least I'll have a place to cook them! :D
Oh, and at present I can't cook any more than three or 4 at a time anyway given the grill space.
I've heard you can make some ahead of time and re-warm them. Any thoughts on this as well?
Thanks for your help.

post #2 of 5

How many?

Given that that little griddle can't pump out IHOP volume it would seem to me that using a good simple scratch recipe would be your best friend here.

If you need to save time (and have any time for prep) you could premeasure your flour/sugar/salt/baking powder into ziploc or vacuum bags. When you need to make up more batter just drop a dry premix in a s.s. bowl then add milk, eggs and oil. Takes like 40 seconds?

Not only will it hold up well in a s.s. bowl for a good hour, you'll get your fluffy pancakes and the cafe can brag on their "from scratch" pancakes.

If you store it in fridge for any length of time and if it gets too thick you can thin it out with a little milk.

Theoretically you could make up a bunch of pancakes in advance and hold them in a chafer but...maybe not so good like fresh.

My two bits.

post #3 of 5
When we make pancakes in our restaurant we "souffle" the batter. i.e. fold whipped egg whites into batter:)
post #4 of 5
I agree with axeldbljumps about "souffle"-ing the batter. Take the measure of eggs, separate the whites, and set aside any sugar called for in the recipe. Mix the yolks with the liquid part of the recipe and after main batter is just mixed, beat the whites and sugar until medium-peak. Fold half the whites into the batter, when almost completely mixed, add remainder of whites. This should hold up for some time. However, don't expect it to maintain much longer than one hour.

P.S. Refrain from 'bashing' your employer, it's not as easy or cheap as you may think it to be. Overhead in a restaurant is a killer, and if your forking money from your own pocket to survive, you have a completely different perspective. Just a thought from the other side, I don't have my staff do anything I haven't or wouldn't do myself. :-)

Also, IHOP most likely has a supplier with a recipe formulated for them only. Probably lots of fat and other goodies that should be banished.
post #5 of 5
Also, refrain from the habit of many cooks, unnecessarily stirring the batter between batches.

The idea of chemical leavening and whipped egg whites is to create a foam. For light and fluffy, you want to keep as many air bubbles intact on the griddle as possible. Be ever so gentle until the protein matrix is set by the heat.
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