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How to make the best pancakes from mixes in a box

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Pancakes, is it possible to make fluffy pancakes from boxed mixes?

My children love when I make then "Daddy's famous pancakes" from a box mix but they get a very stiff and crunchy bottom (from the first pour).

I cook them on a non-stick griddle without butter or anything on the griddle.  I'm wondering if that's just the nature of "just add water" mix, the griddle or something else...

post #2 of 21

What box mix do you use?  I've tried lots of them but I find that the Hungry Jack box mix is the best for a quick pancake.  Try experimenting by making it a bit thicker or thinner batter by adjusting the water you add.  I like a bit of a runnier  batter than what's posted on the box.  As for the griddle, I melt a stick of butter and add a bit of vegetable oil in a cup next to me and brush the pan before I pour my batter on it.  I haven't had a problem with sticking or burning. 

 

Forget about the first pour, we all throw those away.  Want to make a fun pancake?  Add fresh blueberries to the batter.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #3 of 21

Find a mix where you gotta add eggs.  You can separate your eggs and beat the whites, add almond, sugar, vanilla extract, milk, buttermilk, etc.

 

Then again, pancakes are notoriously easy.  Your basic ingredients are flour, baking powder, baking soda, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla.  You can make beautiful pancakes if you get the proportions and consistency correct.

post #4 of 21
Krusteaz works well for me. I used to get lots of compliments on our great "home made" pancakes.

We also added fresh blue berries, banana, blackberry, strawberry upon request. Also served with soft whipped butter and real maple syrup.
post #5 of 21
Grew up on Aunt Jemima, switched to Bisquick with my first Southern girlfriend. When I had kids and used to make a lot of pancakes and waffles, I'd mix a few pounds of mix myself and keep it in an airtight container until it was time for the wets.

The last thing was the best thing, because I like to use a fairly soft flour, and mixing AP with cake flour is the best way for me to get what I want. Also, I like to use a little malt and sugar in the mix as well; and a bit of baking soda to "potentiate" the baking powder.

You could use powdered milk or buttermilk I suppose, and add water; but we always used fresh dairy -- whether milk, buttermilk, creme fraiche, sour cream, yogurt, or an unholy combination. It's nice to have the control.

At one time or another, I've had just about all the mixes and think they're all pretty good. I can't pick a favorite. The best part is shaking them up like a cocktail instead of mixing with a spoon.

BDL
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post #6 of 21



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post

Krusteaz works well for me. I used to get lots of compliments on our great "home made" pancakes.
We also added fresh blue berries, banana, blackberry, strawberry upon request. Also served with soft whipped butter and real maple syrup.


WE use Krusteaz also, the pancakes are great, make sure you don't over mix the mix, that could be the reason they are tough. The batter also should not be to think, they will over cook on the bottom and not cook in the middle. Make sure the pancake batter isn't to think.....................good luck................ChefBillyB 
 

 

post #7 of 21

I use Krusteaz and get good results.  The trick I learned is to mix it a little dry but then let it sit for about 5 min before pouring onto the griddle. The mix seems to "rise", it's not yeast but the mix gets larger bubbles and will actually move up about an inch in a 2 1/2 cup measuring container.  Ask Alton Brown what is happening, I just know it works.

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dledmo View Post

I use Krusteaz and get good results.  The trick I learned is to mix it a little dry but then let it sit for about 5 min before pouring onto the griddle. The mix seems to "rise", it's not yeast but the mix gets larger bubbles and will actually move up about an inch in a 2 1/2 cup measuring container.  Ask Alton Brown what is happening, I just know it works.


We don't need super-geniuses, it's pretty simple stuff. Let's save Alton.

Pancake mix uses baking powder as a leavener. Baking powder contains a dry acid. When the dry acid is dissolved in liquid, it's able to react with another compound -- baking soda or something very much like it -- and the reaction produces gaseous carbon dioxide. The gas is what creates the bubbles. The longer it "sits" (up to a point), the more completely the acid dissolves, the more complete the reaction, the more gas, the more and bigger the bubbles.

BDL
Edited by boar_d_laze - 10/2/11 at 10:16pm
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post #9 of 21

When I have the time I've made these and was met with great reviews  JamieOliverPancakes

 

Also I recall a pancake discussion by an old member, RPM who gave some very good pointers accompanied by lovely pics, can't find it though. I think he also advocated barely mixing the batter and letting it sit for a while before pouring.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #10 of 21
The reason for not mixing too thoroughly is to avoid gluten formation. Another reason for letting it sit (besides allowing the dry acid to dissolve and create more gas) is to allow the glutens to relax. Fewer and more relaxed gluten strands makes for a more tender pancake. Yet another way to get tenderness is to use softer flour. Softer flour is something you often see in Southern baked goods; and a big reason to like them.

Softer flour (softer than most of the AP you find in the US, anyway) is something you see in a lot of boxed mixes, and self rising flours. Again, one of the reasons to like them for certain purposes..

If you make your own mix -- and you should at least try it -- it's a good idea to mix some of your AP with some cake flour to have a softened AP for biscuits, pancakes, waffles and turnovers (like Yorkshire pudding) -- just about anything which doesn't need a lot of structure, including a lot of quick breads like pancakes.

If you start with a hard AP like King Arthur, you may even want to go 50/50. My usual ratio is about 2 parts AP to 1 part cake flour.

You want to avoid "Bread Flour" for making pancakes if at all possible.

Here's an excellent recipe for the dry side:

Ingredients:
4 cups AP flour (not KA)
2 cups cake flour such as Swan's Down
2 tbs + 1 tsp double acting baking soda (for fluffy, omit the extra tsp for regular)
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbs granulated, turbinado or light brown sugar
2 tbs malt powder (the type you use for malted milk)
1 tbs table salt

For the wet side, you want to keep your ratios very simple because (a) they're simple; and (b) they work.

For each cup of dry mix, add 1 egg, 1 cup of milk, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, etc., 1 tbs of melted butter. Nonfat milk products won't work as well as low-fat or whole milk products. If you use buttermilk or any of the cultured milks, it's likely you'll have to increase the amount by roughly a quarter. You may mix any of the dairy products with any other. For instance, when I use sour cream I thin it with some milk -- about 50/50 -- before adding in.

When you mix, if you mix in a bowl, always wets into dries -- never the other way around. In a shaker it doesn't matter.

Several people have made the point of not over mixing. No matter how you mix -- whisk, spoon, or shaker -- your final batter should be lumpy, but there should be no visible, dry flour. If you lift the batter with a spoon and pour a ribbon back onto the surface, it should leave a distinct and lingering trail. A good trick for teaching kids to cook is to have them right their nick names on the surface of the batter with a batter ribbon. The first letter should be almost faded away as they finish the last.

The batter should pour slowly. As a rule of thumb, the slower the batter pours the thicker the pancake. If your pancakes are too thick and crepe like, thin the batter -- and vice versa. There is no set, "right" amount. Don't confuse dryer with not over mixing. A dryer mix will make a thicker cake, but not better in any other way. Dryer + not over mixed, will make a higher, fluffier pancake.

If you want super-fluffy pancakes, sift the dry ingredients after measuring.

You can rest the batter for five minutes or even longer -- a couple of hours, covered in the fridge, is fine. The trick for longer holds is to use "double acting baking soda." The "double" part means that one of the dry acids is heat activated, and will not use itself up after a few minutes in solution. If you use a single actor, you lose the luxury of a long hold.

Pancakes adore medium heat. Make sure your griddle is thoroughly and evenly preheated to a touch too hot. Reduce the heat, grease the griddle, and pour a "tester" right in the middle of your griddle. It will not bake evenly, but the griddle will equilibrate. Give the tester to the dog, and start cooking pancakes.

Small and medium pancakes bake evenly and quickly. Large pancakes are more problematic, the edges cook faster than the centers. If you want a creamy-in-the-middle cake go large. If not, keep them on the small side. Just so you know.

Hope this makes sense,
BDL
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post #11 of 21
I have to completely disagree on Hungry Jack. I bought them for the first time after reading some comments online. We are in Canada and often go cross border shopping in the USA. Hungry Jack Extra Fluffy was on sale. We will never buy them again. The dough tastes somewhat like cornmeal or grits. It is very powdery taste and feel to it.

We will be sticking with Aunt Jemima or better yet, making them from scratch. HJ is simply gross. Yuk. frown.gif
post #12 of 21
In a pinch I use Hungry Jack buttermilk and it works great!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #13 of 21

+1 for Krusteaz. A long time ago I cooked in a restaurant and that's what they used. I thought they were really great for a premade mix. It's been my favorite mix ever since.

post #14 of 21

Another vote for Krusteaz here too - sometimes I add apple juice to the water for extra flavor.

post #15 of 21

I sometimes use pineapple juice in the batter, then put cream cheese on top. Good for the taste buds, eh?

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mskvarenina View Post
 

Pancakes, is it possible to make fluffy pancakes from boxed mixes?

My children love when I make then "Daddy's famous pancakes" from a box mix but they get a very stiff and crunchy bottom (from the first pour).

I cook them on a non-stick griddle without butter or anything on the griddle.  I'm wondering if that's just the nature of "just add water" mix, the griddle or something else...

I grease/oil the pan.  Heat the griddle to about medium high. Let it heat through all the way. Lightly grease the griddle with brushed on vegetable oil or butter. Wait till tiny bubbles form, then flip.

 

If you want a real treat, try making aebelskivers.  Williams-Sonoma has a mix, if you're not up to making your own.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWxISl1dpyI

 

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/search/results.html?words=aebelskiver&activeTab=recipes&page=1


Edited by Cerise - 10/3/13 at 10:05am
post #17 of 21

One cup of AP flour

One Egg

Two cups milk

One teasoon of baking powder

One tablespoon of sugar

Half a tablespoon of melted butter

 

1. Mix everything on the liquifier for 3 minutes

2. Put some butter on a pan

3. Drop the batter on the pan

 

Enjoy!

post #18 of 21

     Following is by WEIGHT, not volume!

              
* Exported from MasterCook *

                                 Pancake

Recipe By     :Formatted by Pete V. McCracken, 657 Village Green St., Porterville, CA 93257 (559) 784-6192 PersonalChef@cwdi.org
Serving Size  : 0     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Batter

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  4              parts  flour
  4              parts  liquid
  2              parts  egg
  1               part  butter

Source:
  ""Ratio", Michael Ruhlman, ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-6611-3  ISBN-10: 1-4165-6611-2"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 2781 Calories; 107g Fat (34.9% calories from fat); 65g Protein; 382g Carbohydrate; 14g Dietary Fiber; 672mg Cholesterol; 1087mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 25 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 19 Fat.


Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0

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Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #19 of 21

Pete, wow, 2781 calories and 107 g fat per serving! 672 mg cholesterol.:lol: 

post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonYeti View Post
 

Pete, wow, 2781 calories and 107 g fat per serving! 672 mg cholesterol.:lol: 

Um, note there are NO servings listed and I goofed by not deleting the ridiculous nutritional analysis :roll:

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post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

The reason for not mixing too thoroughly is to avoid gluten formation. Another reason for letting it sit (besides allowing the dry acid to dissolve and create more gas) is to allow the glutens to relax. Fewer and more relaxed gluten strands makes for a more tender pancake. Yet another way to get tenderness is to use softer flour. Softer flour is something you often see in Southern baked goods; and a big reason to like them.

Softer flour (softer than most of the AP you find in the US, anyway) is something you see in a lot of boxed mixes, and self rising flours. Again, one of the reasons to like them for certain purposes..

If you make your own mix -- and you should at least try it -- it's a good idea to mix some of your AP with some cake flour to have a softened AP for biscuits, pancakes, waffles and turnovers (like Yorkshire pudding) -- just about anything which doesn't need a lot of structure, including a lot of quick breads like pancakes.

If you start with a hard AP like King Arthur, you may even want to go 50/50. My usual ratio is about 2 parts AP to 1 part cake flour.

You want to avoid "Bread Flour" for making pancakes if at all possible.

Here's an excellent recipe for the dry side:

Ingredients:
4 cups AP flour (not KA)
2 cups cake flour such as Swan's Down
2 tbs + 1 tsp double acting baking soda (for fluffy, omit the extra tsp for regular)
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbs granulated, turbinado or light brown sugar
2 tbs malt powder (the type you use for malted milk)
1 tbs table salt

For the wet side, you want to keep your ratios very simple because (a) they're simple; and (b) they work.

For each cup of dry mix, add 1 egg, 1 cup of milk, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, etc., 1 tbs of melted butter. Nonfat milk products won't work as well as low-fat or whole milk products. If you use buttermilk or any of the cultured milks, it's likely you'll have to increase the amount by roughly a quarter. You may mix any of the dairy products with any other. For instance, when I use sour cream I thin it with some milk -- about 50/50 -- before adding in.

When you mix, if you mix in a bowl, always wets into dries -- never the other way around. In a shaker it doesn't matter.

Several people have made the point of not over mixing. No matter how you mix -- whisk, spoon, or shaker -- your final batter should be lumpy, but there should be no visible, dry flour. If you lift the batter with a spoon and pour a ribbon back onto the surface, it should leave a distinct and lingering trail. A good trick for teaching kids to cook is to have them right their nick names on the surface of the batter with a batter ribbon. The first letter should be almost faded away as they finish the last.

The batter should pour slowly. As a rule of thumb, the slower the batter pours the thicker the pancake. If your pancakes are too thick and crepe like, thin the batter -- and vice versa. There is no set, "right" amount. Don't confuse dryer with not over mixing. A dryer mix will make a thicker cake, but not better in any other way. Dryer + not over mixed, will make a higher, fluffier pancake.

If you want super-fluffy pancakes, sift the dry ingredients after measuring.

You can rest the batter for five minutes or even longer -- a couple of hours, covered in the fridge, is fine. The trick for longer holds is to use "double acting baking soda." The "double" part means that one of the dry acids is heat activated, and will not use itself up after a few minutes in solution. If you use a single actor, you lose the luxury of a long hold.

Pancakes adore medium heat. Make sure your griddle is thoroughly and evenly preheated to a touch too hot. Reduce the heat, grease the griddle, and pour a "tester" right in the middle of your griddle. It will not bake evenly, but the griddle will equilibrate. Give the tester to the dog, and start cooking pancakes.

Small and medium pancakes bake evenly and quickly. Large pancakes are more problematic, the edges cook faster than the centers. If you want a creamy-in-the-middle cake go large. If not, keep them on the small side. Just so you know.

Hope this makes sense,
BDL

 

Thank you :) 

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