Monday, August 22, 2011

Grandma Kelly’s Good Old Fashioned Pancakes Really Measure Up

I was looking over a list of the all-time most popular recipes posted on Allrecipes last week, and there it was at number one…”Good Old Fashioned Pancakes.” Since I’ve never done a classic American pancake recipe video, despite countless food wishes for just that, I decided it was an omen that could not be ignored.

This is from Dakota Kelly, who claims to have found it on a well-worn card in her Grandma's recipe book. Well, Grandma Kelly, if that is your real name, this recipe makes one fine stack of pancakes. Not too thick, not too thin, tender, light, buttery, and delicious.

I’ve always used those exact same seven ingredients, as do 90% of all pancake makers, but like many “pros,” I simply throw everything in a bowl, and stir in enough milk, until the batter feels “right.” I never bothered to write down the formula.

So, as much as I hate to admit it, it was actually kind of fun to use an exact set of measurements, knowing I’ll now be able to repeat these results again and again. I know that boxed mix is convenient, but every once in a while you need to make this kind of recipe from scratch. I hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 12 small pancakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted

130 comments:

Corcat87 said...

Could you replace the regular flour with others (ie buckwheat, wholewheat) and it still work?

Lish said...

Thanks so much for using a stainless steel pan to cook these! I love the fact that with a little know-how and practice you CAN cook delicate food without non-stick! Pancakes for dinner tonight I think!

Chef John said...

depends on what you mean by "work"... they will taste differently and not have as fine a texture.

Overweight said...

"need to make this kind of recipe from 'starch' ".
Unfortunately, that's the problem with pancakes...

Anonymous said...

Chef John, whenever you hold a forkful of food to the camera after you have completed the dish, I just want to open my mouth and consume my screen :(

Chef John said...

oops! fixed! thanks!

Anonymous said...

can we replace milk with water if we have issues with milk chef? :(

Chef John said...

you probably could, but i've never tried it. cant u use lactose free milk?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Chef John, i just made this and it tasty like heaven.
so thank you so much :D

Anonymous said...

How can you warm your plates? Do you put it in the oven or something? Doesn't the plate breaks in too much heat?

Marcos said...

Once I was in Vermont, I tried Blueberry pancakes, Thereafter I can not imagine Pancakes without Blueberries. For this recipe, could I add some blueberries to the ingredients without modifying the amounts already given? In any case, thanks for this recipe Chef!

Caernon Jenkins said...

Your good old Lemon Soufflé Pancake video introduced me to the magic of beat-the-eggwhites-and-fold-into-batter technique, and the extra fluffiness was indeed dramatic. The technique is curiously absent from this vid, how come? :)

Livia said...

Looks delicious!
(and this time the video didn't even leave me with a craving...since I just had buttermilk pancakes for bfast :-)

Doug said...

We don't usually have whole milk in the refrigerator, but rather 2%. Will using this lower fat milk have a significant effect on the pancakes?

Chef John said...

I only use 2% for everything

Brooke @ Foodwoolf said...

Looks like a yummy breakfast. And as always, soooooo easy and good!

Thanks for the love, the bidding, and the awesome recipes.
xoxox,
Brooke

Jenna said...

I have to admit I am a fan of Alton Brown's recipe and I refuse to deviate as all other recipes always disappoint. It's a little extra work but so worth it IMHO. My reason for posting though is to share that I mix up all the dry ingredients and keep them in a vacuum sealed container so I always have ready to go pancake mix without having to resort to commercially made which is always full of chemicals. You could do the same with this recipe.

Chef John said...

Caernon, "old fashioned" pancakes means no egg white whipping ;)

connieemeraldeyes said...

Now I want pancakes and it is dinner time. Those look good.

Anonymous said...

How do you heat your dishes? oven or microwave?

Anonymous said...

Just made these. Way too much baking powder. Are you sure about that 3.5 teaspoons?

Food Junkie said...

John, being an expert baker (I am sure I baked something this year - or maybe it was last year or the year before) I have a question on the sifting. In the back of my mind there is a memory stirring that says flour should be measured AFTER sifting when you are baking. Am I mistaken?

And the pancakes look great and I will definitely giving Grandma Kelly's recipe a try.

Chef John said...

Some measure after sifting, but then you usually get less flour than the person who wrote the recipe intended (unless they sifted first, which they probably didn't) Another reason real bakers only use weights. Anyway, it's just pancakes, not an exact science. :-)

Chef John said...

Yes, anon 3 1/2 teaspoons id right. You didn't use tablespoons did you? btw, some tasters are very sensitive to baking powder and it tastes very strong.

Jim said...

Anon here. I used 1 tablespoon and half a teaspoon. I weighed as I measured and 11.5 grams of baking powder ended up in the pancakes.

If that's correct, then I suppose it's just a taste I prefer to be more subtle.

Thanks for the response.

Anonymous said...

I love you! Never stop making videos!

ttony21 said...

For those wondering about ingredient substitutions: I typially use 50% whole wheat flour and 50% all purpose flour, and I replace the milk with some vanilla almond milk. I personally love the flavor this way :)

Cream whipper said...

Yea, Grandma's pancakes was really great and still now in demand.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef,

can we replace melted butter with vegetable oil instead to prevent the solidifying? Thanks

LDM said...

Now we need a good fall fruit topping to go on the pancakes:

Maybe an apple compote?

Chef John said...

Sure, but butter tastes better than oil, and as you saw it wasn't really a problem.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John!

My boyfriend is lactose-intolerant. Is it possible to replace the butter with margarine?

Thank you for all your videos! I learned to cook because of you!

Thom said...

Chef John...a point of clarification on measuring flour. I know bakers weigh their flour, but most of us measure. When YOU include flour measurements in your recipes, how do you measure? The posts on peach cobbler, and the blueberry clafoutis, and now the pancakes, prompt me to ask so that I am sure to do the right thing. Thanks!

Chef John said...

I spoon flour in and level off. Search How to measure flour in our search box. We did a video.

JoAnn said...

Nothing I love more than pancakes, bacon and eggs on a Sunday morning. My Dad made the best pancakes with bacon grease and whipped eggwhites. Your recipe is straight out of BHG cookbook circa 1967...its a classic Chef. Nice job.

Thom said...

You did a 'How to Measure Flour' video...of course you did! Thanks for the answer, and the video in the can: http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-measure-cup-of-flour-and-why-you.html

Chef Tom said...

OMG! Those look delish. I love a nice short stack of pancakes. Now I know what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow! Thanks

iTHa said...

Hi chef John.. Can I just mix the egg with milk before i pour it in to the flour..?

Chef John said...

Why would you want to dirty another bowl for nothing?

ceejaysez said...

Chef John. This recipe is legit. It's midnight and I saw your video. Never going back to boxed pancake mix again. The whole family woke up for it.

Thanks!

Chef John said...

You can use margarine or oil

Cookingwishes said...

Lolvey pancakes recipe. Enjoyed watching this video. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Chef John, thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made them for breakfast this morning and they were by far the best pancakes I have ever had.

Teo said...

Chef John, is this recipe similar to the russian Blintze?? Just checking, cause i really want to learn how to make those and this pancakes look like them.

Teo

Sy said...

Oh, wow! The family loved them. This puts my old recipe to shame. I say old because I will never make them that way again. I used your recipe and added just a hint of cinnamon to make it my own. Thanks, Chef John. Now that I'm working again, you are so getting a donation.

Iselinn said...

Mmmm! These ones were really great and the first time I've tasted American pancakes. Ours here in Norway are a little different. Veeeery thin ones, and we don't have them for breakfast, but for lunch and dinner.
My younger sister loves me loads now because I've made her these ones a several mornings. There really is something about waking up to the smell of these pancakes and coffe getting ready! At least it seems to cure my sisters morning krankyness (seriously... she is super scary in the morning...) so thanks for that too, Chef John.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's crazy how for the first time I realized why they are called pan"cakes", they taste like any other warm cake especially in the middle. I honestly don't know what I was eating before... pan fried batter perhaps?

thanks!

Andrew

Heyo said...

Am i the only 1 who find the pancakes extremely salty? i did put the right amount of ingredients.

Anonymous said...

I never had pancake this good since my childhood fantasy that I assumed I had pancake this good. Only difference is that this one is for real!

Anonymous said...

Iselinn....thats because Norwegian (and Swedish) pancakes are more what we would consider crepes in the states. Tasty tasty though. Maybe slightly different from the french ones.

Anonymous said...

I was hungering for some North American food since I can't get any damn pancakes where I live (italy). I just made these and wolfed down three pancakes. MMMM the only thing i changed was that i had no baking powder so I used self rising flour and i added a very tiny drop of vanilla extract. Amazing reults, chef John. They were fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Ok Italy back in the house... I already posted on how great the pancakes turned out..I had to report back on eating more of them. I had saved the batter in the fridge but I couldn't resist coming back again and I made another pancake. It was light and yummy. Much better than any pancake mix I've tried and probably dare I say it: the best pancakes I've had in my life???
Great job, chef John

Nelson said...

I just made my first pancakes thanks to this recipe and they were delicious! You weren't kidding about 12 little pancakes from all this batter though, is it ok if i refrigerate the rest of the batter?

yohtan said...

I just made these not too long ago for a late dinner. They came out great!! I added a little cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla to make it my own. Thank you Chef John! :D <3

Yolanda said...

I have just tried this recipe this morning and the pancakes were amazing! I love cooking, but when I try something new, I don't get it the first time, but this was really easy and quick to make! :-) My boyfriend loved them. It was a very different breakfast for us, we are from Spain but we are currently living in France, so pancakes are not our usual breakfast kind of thing. Anyway, I think I will make them more often from now on!!!!!! Thanks for the great recipe!!!!!!!

ramako said...

Hey Chef John! I'm new to cooking so I am sorry if this is a stupid question but in the recipe it says 1/4 cup of milk where as in the video it looks like you put a lot more, was the 1/4 cup a mistake?

Chef John said...

If you check again you'll the the measurement is 1 and 1/4 cup milk. Enjoy!

Esther G said...

Cup..how much is one cup? Thanks

Anonymous said...

Can i use chocolate milk o.o

blackbot said...

Hey chef,
there seems to be too much dry ingredients, any way i could fix that??

blackbot said...

Hey chef,
There seems to be too much dry ingredients, any way to fix that?
Cheers :D

Chef John said...

i don't understand what you mean by too much dry ingredients?

Anonymous said...

can u use sticking pan

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just made these, the recipe calls for too much flour, or not enough liquid, 1 cup flour would be more than enough, the batter came out too thick, and after "chemical reaction" it was even more thicker. I had to drop batter to the pan and flatten it, pancakes raised and were almost 1 inch high, very dry, I used exact amount of ingredients, except I put 1/2 tsp salt. I had to add more milk, and some sour cream to save my breakfast :o) I will post the best fail proof pancakes recipe next.

Anonymous said...

OK, here is our Grandma's recipe. I tried many recipes, this is the best, I will just stick to it. 1 cup flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 egg, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 tbsp melted butter, blueberries (optional). Mix dry ingredients, beat milk, egg, sour cream. Pour milk mixture over dry ingredients, stir in melted butter. Fold in blueberries (I prefer to put a few blueberries on top of each pancake/batter, brown on one side and then turn and brown on the other until golden). You can put more sour cream, or butter, they never fail. This recipe will make about 11-12 big pancakes. Kelly's recipe made more than that, big puffy muffins, they were huge. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Just made these this morning. So easy, and I throughly enjoyed them, but I suspect IHOP is not happy with the new skills that you taught me with this video.

Lora said...

Thanks for this recipe Chef John, made this with vegan substitutes, so I used mashed bananas instead of eggs and it turned out so delicious!
This will be my official recipe for pancakes!
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/385486_10150510860166195_747846194_10895549_1618465447_n.jpg

ChefJohnsBiggestFan said...

CHEF JOHN-

I LOVE WATCHING YOUR VIDEOS PROBABLY TOO MUCH. ;) CALL ME OBSESSED IN FACT. BECAUSE OF YOUR INSPIRATION I HAVE BECOME QUITE THE COOK AROUND HERE. I WANT TO ASK A VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION. WHAT KIND,BRAND, OR NAME OF COOKWARE SHOULD I USE FOR THE ULTIMATE COOKING CUISINE AT ITS FINEST?? I HAVE P.O.S. PANS AND AM READY TO STEP IT UP. I NOTICE ALL YOURS LOOK STAINLESS STEEL. I CAN'T SPEND AN ABSOLUTE FORTUNE BUT I DON'T MIND TO SPEND A LITTLE MORE ON SOME GOOD COOKWARE. ADVICE PLEASE??? THANK YOU SO MUCH AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. BTW I MADE THE ANGEL HAIR BROCCOLI PASTA AND WE LOVED IT SO MUCH!

Anonymous said...

Can you use ButterMilk instead of Milk???? Im asking becaus eits thicer then milk!

Parker :)

Chef John said...

you could, but I've never tried.

Anonymous said...

Finally, I have found the perfect pancake recipe.

Thanks Chef John.

Steve Sica said...

I made these pancakes and they were AWESOME! I added just a splash of vanilla extract and it was great! Best pancakes ever!

Yossi said...

Hi Chef John,

Love all of your video recipes! I'm just moved to Indonesia 2 years ago and your recipes made the transition so much more fun and flavorful! I just made these pancakes 5 minutes ago at 11PM and my husband loved it! Why wait for breakfast when you can have a late night supper?

Thank you soooooo much! Looking forward to more video recipes.

Anonymous said...

hi,

i know this is late, but can you tell me how you get the lacy appearance on the pancakes? it's very hit and miss for me when i try to get it.

thx

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John, can you transfer your recipe into gram, cause I don't have cup or tsp. I'm just starting to cook and my mom don't let me buy these things. So it would be great if you can, cause I really wanna try this recipe.
Thx

Chef John said...

I don't do metric, but simply go to Google and search "metric convertor" Trust me, you have more free time to do these conversions than I do! ;)

Anonymous said...

I was told to add a teaspoon of vanilla when making pancakes, what do you think?

Ambreen said...

How can I reduce the recipe to make it for 1 or 2 people? Sometimes I just want to make it for myself.

Dr bob said...

I have made pancakes a few different ways,buttermilk,whip egg whites ect,these look simple and I will make yours in the morning then decide if vanilla is needed.As always real maple syrup is key

Anonymous said...

Unbelievably amazing. Living in Asia and trying to make great pancakes for 1 1/2 years and have finally found my go-to recipe. Thanks!

Frenchchick said...

Just made these this morning. Loved these and will make these again for sure. Best recipe ever!

Anonymous said...

Hi

Please can anybody tell me what size is this "one cup" in grams??

Thanks

Chef John said...

it would be much faster to google!

Samir Soliman said...

Chef John, Thanks for this delicious recipe... I'll give it a try surely..I like your style in cooking and your way made me fond of cooking.. I'd be grateful if you could present some oriental recipes >> I am Samir Soliman - Egyptian living and working in Saudi Arabia.

Marina said...

these were our yesterday breakfast and they were AWESOME!!! Thank you.

If there is a book with your recipes I'd love to buy it.

Chris said...

My brother just introduced these pancakes to me over the weekend and by god, they are amazing!

The one thing I had trouble with was when the batter set for 5 minutes it got incredibly thick. I had to add about another 3 Tbsp of milk to it, but man, they are buttery goodness.

Anonymous said...

if everything is room temp. then butter shouldnt solidify. right?

Chef John said...

milk and egg are cold.

Toni said...

Hi Chef John! I was wondering, will too much baking powder make the pancake taste funny? I didn't have measuring spoons available so I winged it with the baking powder using a regular teaspoon. The pancakes turned out great and fluffy but it had an after-taste of some sort and made my and my husbands throat and tongue feel like it was itchy. Hope you can shed some light for us. I will definitely be buying measuring spoons soon for the next time though.

Anonymous said...

Does raw cane sugar not work with this recipe?

Chef John said...

sure

Anonymous said...

Thank you Chef John. I just made the best pancakes ever thanks to your video! Finally, I don't have to relay on pancakes from McDonald's anymore.

I can't stop smiling with content right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

nihonT

Dennis said...

Chef John! you are amazing! love all your food recipes you inspire me to try a lot of different food, and btw these pankages tastes like heaven!

Dennis said...

Thank you Chef John! you inspire me, with your great cooking and always great videos! I am right now enjoying some of the most tasty pancakes i have ever tasted! Thanks again! and keep doing what you are doing! ;D

Jennine said...

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com a couple of years ago and have since made it at least once or twice a month since.

I have added peanut butter, chocolate chips, bananas, etc (not all at the same time) and they always taste so good.

They also turn out great with soymilk, which I use when I make them for myself, sans family.

It is a lot of baking powder, but it makes them SO fluffy! I always have to add more milk though.

Your videos are awesome and this is definitely a recipe worth spreading around!

supermario106 said...

I tried this recipe last week and wow.. they came out really well. Im so impressed by the way you cook chef John...

supermario106 said...

Next time making this im gonna do banana flambe

Anonymous said...

Amazing recipe! Today I've made pancakes for the first time in my life, and I must say they're delicious!

Laura Riveros said...

I love this recipe!!! It is delicious.

Anonymous said...

Hello Chef John,

Could you use self rising flour and still get the same great results?

Anonymous said...

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_grams_are_in_a_cup

google!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thx chef john for everything! all your recipes are fantastic good. god bless your hands and brain!
with all my respect, nicole from romania

Chef John said...

thanks! :)

clintosdebrave said...

The last time i tried to make pancakes from scratch they turned out to be very rubbery. Will try your recipe next time.

Keep up the great work Chef John! love your voice and cool attitude in the vids!!

Greets from Malta
Clint

Krista said...

I found these to be just a tad salty. I used sea salt instead of table salt. Would that have made the difference? I also used coconut oil instead of butter and they were delicious!

Anonymous said...

it's way too salty :[

Anonymous said...

This is a sooo amazing recipe! I've made these just several days ago and my entire family now pushes me making them every morning! :)
Sometimes I haven't got enough time in the morning. Is it possible to make the batter the night before and put it in the refrigerator?
I've thought about preparing pancakes before bedtime but they wouldn't taste as good I think!

Christopher Jensen said...

Hi,

for some reason my batter was very thick which made for really tough pancakes.

Tommassive said...

I'm full of wine and i'm making this right now. Don't judge me!

marnye said...

Chef John, I have made this recipe twice...but I didn't sift the dry ingredients. The batter turned out way too thick and I had to add at least a cup of milk to bring it to normal consistency. I did not know sifting was so magical.

Randy Sieb said...

These are the BEST pancakes I have ever had. Had them for dinner with some sausage links. We all loved them!! Thanks!

Jessica Eddins said...

These were the best pancakes I have ever made! I have made them 3 TIMES!!! I absolutely love them. Thanks Chef John

Suselbee said...

I tried making these today, but I'm not sure where I went wrong? I added all the right ingredients, and measured it all out, but my batter was really thick. I added some more milk and got the consistancy I wanted. (Although, thinking about it now, I probably should have just added another egg.)
I cooked them up and everything, but they didn't even almost come out looking like your ones. And they had kind of a bitter taste? Not sure if that was from the slightly burned one on the pile or not. But either way. I wasn't impressed with myself.
Any help would be fabulous. I'd love to try these the way they're meant to be eaten... :3

Chef John said...

You don't want to thin with an egg, so you did the right thing by using milk. The bitterness is from the baking powder. Some people are sensitive. Not sure why your batter was thick though. Did you pack the cups of flour? That may have done it.

joshua gonzales said...

Can you use brown sugar instead of white?

Chef John said...

Yes you can use brown sugar instead of white but the flavor will be slightly different.

SillyStilly11 said...

took out the sugar and salt put in vanilla extract and cooked them! its a perfect less sweet version! added some finely shaved milk chocolate Toblerone! TO DIE FOR!

rain.drop said...

Simply delicious. Thanks!

Fairuz Shahirah Merican said...

can you add vanilla extract or vanilla powder for taste? how much would you put?

Rabin said...

I added 1 tablespoon of sour cream
and a tsp vanilla. Makes a moist
texture as well. Keeps overnight.
Take out of fridge before you make
the coffee.

AdmiralPrice said...

Just made these pancakes and, DAMN they're good!

Maritsa Darmandzhyan said...

I love you.

You've made me such a great cook.

J said...

Chef

My batter was viscuous and my pancakes were thick. The pancakes did not spread across the pan.

What happened?

Rose Yu said...

Chef John, it is amazing that the pancake is not sticking to your stainless pan. How do you do that?

Mommy's Homemade Food said...

I found your blog a couple weeks ago and love all the recipes we have tried. My kids WERE hard fans of Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream pancakes....not anymore. I made these and used buttermilk and they were amazing. P.S. Made your lemon bars and the dog jumped up on the counter and ate the entire pan!

Michael said...

Made these for my wife and daughter this morning. I am now known as a hero around the house. Thanks!

michelle herbert said...

I have made dozens of recipes from your site, and I have never been disappointed, these pancakes are no different! Chef John you are my back pocket (not so) secret to successful cooking every time. Thanks for delivering high quality recipes for free time and time again :) you are my favorite "celebrity" chef.
-Michelle

Chiara Coen said...

Great consistency, but... way too salty! I'll be adding just a pinch next time, not a teaspoon. :- )

Stephanie Michelli said...

So I had been looking for a pancake recipe for a while. My husband doesn't like the egg taste you get from homemade ones. So I still figured to try this one, since it only had one egg in it. It is now my permanent go to pancake recipe. He didn't know there was eggs in it. Everytime I make them for some reason he forgets and always asks if there was eggs in it. I won't tell him the truth till after he eats it. It's a big hit especially with guests.
Now for the baking powder I did notice it, it was a bit much for me. So I read comments before mine. Chef you said some people notice it more then others. So to fix it for me I just added 3tsp. instead. Which worked out great. There wasn't a major difference and I didn't notice it as much anymore.
And for milk I accidentally used skim milk for the pancakes one time and the baking powder didn't activate as much. Which made them very flat. So I believe the fat in the milk helps the pancakes to be more fluffier. So more fat equals more fluffy pancakes.
Last I decided to have a little fun with it so I added chocolate chips and one 1 ripe banana. It was delicious. :-)

Cherry Bomb said...

I just made these for my in-laws for Labor Day brunch. They were delicious and my in-laws loved them! Chef John, the way you describe how the bubbles should look is what did it. The pancakes were slightly crispy around the edges! So awesome, and I'm a novice cook who has never made pancakes in a skillet before. I used bacon grease to cook them in (something I picked up from watching True Blood, of all things). I couldn't be happier. Thank you Chef!

Cherry Bomb said...

By the way, I used Almond Milk for this and it worked just fine. I used Original but I'm curious as to what Vanilla would taste like.