The one recipe you should never make with your KitchenAid stand mixer

A few weeks ago I was researching the KitchenAid Stand Mixer and came across a blog post from someone that I didn’t think was the best advice. The blog post was about making pancakes with your blender (or any stand mixer for that matter). Now, the recipe was probably pretty good, but the process is what was flawed in my opinion.

For me, pancakes are all about being soft, light and fluffy. In no way should they be dense, rubbery or gummy. If I wanted to, I could take a trip to one of those late night breakfasts and get a stack of hockey puck flapper jacks.

No, for me pancakes should be handled with care and attention. The reason is gluten. Now for a bit of food science. Gluten is a protein, in fact it is a composition of 2 proteins named gliadin and glutenin. When water is added to wheat flour and then mechanically mixed, gluten is formed. And it’s this wonderful gluten that gives bread dough and pasta their chewy, springy characteristics. But since the gluten content is increased by mechanical mixing or kneading, it’s not something we want to do if we want to have light and fluffy pancakes.

So the next time you want to enjoy skillet for breakfast, leave your blender tidy. Instead, follow this basic cooking process.

You can use any basic pancake recipe you like. The key to a good result is in the mix. What you want to do is first combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl big enough for your batter. Next, combine all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Now, before you add the wet to the dry, get ready. An electric griddle is probably the best appliance for cooking pancakes at home, but if you have to use a frying pan, that will work too. There are 2 differences. An electric griddle has a built-in thermostat, which means the heat will stay more consistent than with a pan on the stove. Second, the griddle means you can cook a lot more pancakes at the same time. I myself use a skillet on the stove but I never cook more than one pancake at a time and keep them warm in the oven until ready to serve. It’s not the best but I’ve run out of room to store a griddle so I opted not to buy one. Using my stove, I heat the pan for 2 minutes at level 5. Then I lower the heat to 4 when cooking. If I notice things are taking too long, I turn the heat up for about an extra minute, then turn it down again to 4.

Now that you have a hot baking device ready, it’s time to mix the batter. You want to get the mix as quickly as possible without activating too much gluten. So take the wet ingredients and literally throw them into the dry. Then take a spatula and stir in the wet ingredients for 10-15 seconds. That’s it. Some of the dry may not be perfectly mixed, but that’s okay. I have never eaten a lumpy pancake with this method.

Then place some batter on the hotplate or in the pan and wait. You want to see the bubbles forming all around the outside of the pancake. This is the sign of a flapjack ready to be flipped. If the heat is high enough, the bottom will be nicely browned. If it is too low it will be pale in color and conversely if it is too hot the bottom will be very dark. Flip the flapjack over as gently as possible and continue cooking on the opposite side. Normally, the second side cooks in half the time of the first.

When serving the pancake, always have real maple syrup on hand. It can make all the difference in the world and the taste is unlike any other. Since you put all this care and attention into making the best pancakes possible, you deserve them to be perfectly sweetened with a little maple syrup.

So. The next time you crave a few pancakes, keep the KitchenAid mixer covered and use the dump and fold method instead for the lightest, fluffiest pancakes you can make at home.

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