Fluffy Pancakes

I have never met a pancake that I didn’t like, though I must admit to having favorites. Boxed or bagged pancake mixes are okay in emergencies or when camping, but homemade pancakes are so easy to make and taste so much better that we seldom use mixes today. We never use a mix for buckwheat pancakes. The batter for great buckwheat pancakes must be leavened with yeast overnight. If you need persuading, try my recipe for Raised Buckwheat Pancakes Raised Buckwheat Pancakes.

While we most often breakfast on Buttermilk Whole Wheat Pancakes, when the doctor orders you to begin a low fiber diet in preparation for a colonoscopy, white pancakes go on the menu. Mrs. David A. Bontrager of Haven, Kansas, called these “Plain Pancakes,” when she contributed the recipe to Mary Emma Showalter’s Mennonite Community Cookbook, but there is nothing plain about them, especially once I began making them with some buttermilk. These fluffy cakes are worth making often because they really are fluffy and delicious. This recipe makes nine or ten cakes.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 cup buttermilk
1 T vegetable oil
2 large eggs, separated


Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt together into a mixing bowl. Stir the milk, buttermilk and oil into the dry ingredients until you have a fairly smooth batter. Separate the eggs, dropping the yolks into the batter and the whites into a one quart mixing bowl.

Use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites until you have stiff peaks. Then beat the yolks into the batter on medium speed for about a minute. Raise the speed to high and beat for another fifteen seconds or so. Stir a couple tablespoonfuls of beaten egg whites into the batter, then fold the remaining egg whites into the batter by gently tipping the batter over the egg white with a rubber spatula.
Fluffy Pancake batterThis is not difficult to do, and you can find videos and detailed tutorials online. Here is a photo of batter ready for baking. Note that you can still see a few small globs of beaten egg white in the batter.

Put third cup measures of batter onto a non-stick skillet or griddle over moderate heat (350º on an electric griddle) and cook the batter until the edges turn dry and a few bubbles appear in the center of the cakes. Turn them and cook another minute or so until they are done. Repeat and eat with butter and maple syrup.

NOTES: My mother folded beaten egg whites into various puddings and cakes, but I think that I was actually taught the procedure by my high school French teacher. She taught us how to make chocolate mousse and introduced us to avocados. I have forgotten her name but not her contribution to my culinary education. Equally important, she taught me enough French to pass the Graduate Record Exam years later when I needed certification in a second modern foreign language.

I like a fried egg or a country pork sausage patty with my pancakes. Jerri sometimes treats herself to pancakes with peanut butter, jelly or jam.

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