"Instant" Pancakes – the Alton Way

October 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

Most of the homemade pancakes I’ve eaten in my life have been from a box mix, especially ones made from Bisquick. The problem is being able to use up all the mix before the expiration date. Sometimes when the Mister wants pancakes, I just don’t have any Bisquick. I’ve always wanted to try making pancakes from scratch but some of the more higher rated pancake recipes I’ve looked at requires a resting period. I guess that’s not a big issue if I was planning ahead of time but most weekend mornings, making pancakes is a last minute decision and I just don’t want to wait an hour or so before eating.

So this morning, after the Mister got back from his long walk with the pooches, I decided to make some pancakes for him. I thought of Alton Brown’s flap jack episode and looked up the recipe (here). After reading through I realized, wholly blueberries, this is going to make way too many pancakes for two people. The original recipe makes 12 pancakes. The problem here is that I don’t know how big Alton makes his pancakes. I usually make mine about 5-6 inches wide, which using about 2/3 full in my ladle. But that still didn’t answer my question. I found a clue in one of the reviews that stated she cut the recipe in thirds to feed 4 people. Perfect. So I basically halved the third of the recipe. Ya’ with me?

Since I don’t do math well early in the morning, I wrote the 1/2 of 1/3 ingredients down. I can’t believe my brain actually worked that out without coffee. I mainly didn’t want to do math on the fly while putting all the ingredients together. Okay, that’s 1/3 of the original. Then that’s 1/2 of the 1/3 recipe…Perfect. Well, I had to make a second batch with the correct portions after I had a cup of coffee. Turns out I can do math without coffee but I can’t measure correctly without coffee. Sheesh. At least I was able to measure out the right amount of blueberries. I decided to use blueberries since I always have blueberries on hand (for our morning smoothies) and I love blueberry pancakes! Who doesn’t love blueberry pancakes?

Now I love my Bisquick pancakes but these “instant” pancakes are the most fluffiest, tender pancakes either of us have ever had. The flavor was good although I might try adding an extra 1/2 teaspoon sugar next time to see if it gives the pancake a little bit of sweetness. The Mister agrees that it could probably use just a bit of more sugar. But I suppose I could just dust the top of the pancake with a bit of powdered sugar. Either way, I doubt that I will ever buy another big yellow box of pancake mix again. The Mister confirmed that he prefer these pancakes over Bisquick too.

The dry ingredients can be combined and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Just make sure the contents are shaken up to remix all the ingredient before using.

Adapted from Alton Brown’s “Instant” Pancake Mix
Yield: 4-7 pancakes, depending on the size of pancakes
Serves 2


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or substitute with 1 cup whole milk minus 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 – 1/2 stick of butter, for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup fresh fruit (such as blueberries)


Heat an electric griddle or nonstick frying pan to 350 degrees F. Heat oven to 200 degrees F.

Whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the melted butter. Make sure the melted butter has cooled before adding the egg yolk or else you might scramble your yolk!

Combine the buttermilk mixture with the egg yolk mixture in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. slightly frothy. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix. Using a whisk, mix the batter just enough to bring it together, about 10 seconds. Don’t try to work all the lumps out. It’s extremely important not to overmix the batter or else gluten may form, resulting in chewy, not-so-tender pancakes.

Check to see that the griddle or pan is hot by placing a few drops of water onto to the griddle. The griddle is ready if the water dances across the surface. I trust the temp on my stove griddle so I skipped the water dance test.

Lightly butter the griddle. Wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible.) I put a small pat on my griddle and then rubbed it around the surface with my spatula. A wide spatula would work best in flipping the pancakes.

Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle. This one is around 6 inches in diameter.

Add your fruit.

When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the griddle-side of the cake is golden, gently flip the pancakes. You can gently lift up a edge to see if the bottom has reached golden goodness before flipping it over.

Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set. The pancake should rise a little more while it cooks. I sometimes use the spring-touch method to make sure the pancake is set. I gently press down around the center and I know it’s ready when it feels a bit firm but still springs back immediately.

Serve immediately or remove to a towel-lined baking sheet and cover with a towel. Hold in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes. This modified recipe made about seven 6-inch pancakes, which was the perfect amount for us (4 for him, 3 for me).

I like to add small pats of butter between each layer of pancakes.

Then I pour my maple syrup over all that fluffy goodness. Oops, there goes my pat of melting butter.

There you have it. Instant pancakes without the wait.

Hope everyone is having a fantastically ghoulish Halloween weekend!


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