Aside from bacon and cereal, pancakes are one of the most loved breakfast (and brunch!) items. Pancakes are made from a batter that has eggs, milk, and butter and cooked on a flat surface until fluffy and cooked through. So that’s how the pancake got its name, it’s a cake (from batter) cooked on a pan. The pancake has many versions around the world, usually using many different ingredients and may be sweet or savory. In America, the perfect pancake is described as being light, fluffy, and having crisp and tasty edges.
- The world’s biggest pancake measured almost 50 feet in diameter and weighed in at over 6,600 pounds.
- The world’s most expensive pancake is served at Opus One in Manchester and it costs $1,350 per serving. The pancake is served with lobster, caviar, truffles, and hollandaise sauce made with Dom Perignon Rose. The pancake itself is a basic butter, sugar, and milk pancake.
- The southern region of the United States accounts for over a third of the pancake (or flapjack) consumption in the country.
- National Pancake Day is on February 25. (It may depend on who is hosting it.)
- The earliest mention of the term “pancake” was in the 15th
- The first pre-mix that was sold was for pancakes and it was called Aunt Jemima pancake flour. This was invented and introduced in 1889.
Pancake Buying Guide
You can’t buy pancakes off the shelf as nobody really wants to eat limp and soggy pancakes that have been sitting on the shelf for extended periods. The closest thing you can find to ready-to-eat pancakes are pre-mixes and frozen pancakes.
- Pancake Premixes – These are ready to mix pancake batter. No more weighing, no more measuring, and very consistent results. All you need to do is add the wet ingredients like egg and milk (sometimes all you need is water, depending on the premix type). These are great, as long as you buy from a local supplier that can guarantee that no additives and preservatives are added to the mix. Most commercial pancake premixes contain anti-caking agents, preservatives, and other “improvers” to make unnaturally good pancakes.
- Frozen Pancakes – There are a couple of large companies that offer frozen pancakes which you can just pop into the microwave for a quick pancake fix. This comes at a tradeoff as most frozen pancakes are loaded with preservatives and typically have high fructose corn syrup to make it tastier.
- “Diner” Pancakes – These are your quintessential pancakes. You can go to any Diner in America and order a stack of pancakes. Unless the place is really known for their pancakes, these tend to be run-of-the-mill types, but still much better than frozen pancakes.
- Homemade Pancakes – These are the best pancakes, as you know exactly what goes into each piece. The only downside is they sometimes don’t come out the way you expect them to. But then, the mistakes can be really tasty as well.
Unless you have a foolproof recipe, the next best thing we can recommend is getting a premix from a local supplier. This saves you the trial and error and this should guarantee you consistent results most of the time.
Pancake Production & Farming in Texas
You can find pancake premixes by local gristmills in Texas. These mixes are made with organic flours and grains that have been ground by the owners themselves. This is much better than what you can buy in stores from large industrial food makers. You can also check out farmers’ markets, there are some sellers in some markets that give unique twists to pancakes like pancake tacos, pumpkin pancakes, celery root pancakes, and other variations that you would have to see to believe.
Preservatives, Additives, and Chemicals:
Since we don’t have to worry about preservatives and chemicals when purchasing local artisan pancake premixes, let’s take a look at what additives we can find in commercial pancake premixes and frozen pancakes.
- For Frozen Pancakes, here are the additives that we have found.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup – This seems to be everywhere nowadays. Very cheap way to make commercial food “tastier”
- Enriched Flour – Flour that has been stripped of all nutrients due to processing and bleaching. The “Enriched” part comes from nutrients being added back to the flour, making it sound better than it is.
- Vitamins and Minerals – While this may sound good at first glance, we have to wonder why vitamins and minerals are added. The simple reason? So they can make the product sound more wholesome than it is on the label.
- For pancake mixes, here are some of the additives we have found.
- Enriched bleached flour – Same as above, chemically processed four that has nutrients added back to it.
- Dextrose – This is a sweetener that is more or less liquid sugar.
- Food Starch-modified – Starch that has been chemically modified to have a better texture.
- Artificial Flavors – Can’t place why they have this unique taste that you can’t seem to replicate at home? This is the answer to your question. Unspecified artificial flavorings.
Frozen pancakes, depending on the producer can be packed in single-use plastic bags before being boxed or can be placed on trays before being packed in single-use plastic bags before being boxed.
For premixes, they are usually packed in resealable plastic bags. They are also some producers that box them up after they are packed in bags.
Pancakes are usually eaten for breakfast or brunch. Maple syrup and butter are the toppings of choice but you can also top them with fresh fruit, cream, jams, and/or jellies.
There aren’t usually leftovers when pancakes are involved, but if there are any, they can be stored in the fridge for a day or two. For premixes, they can be stored in their resealable pouches for up to a year or up until the best before date. Frozen pancakes can be stored in the freezer for about three to six months without any noticeable change in quality.
Make Your Own Texan Pancakes:
Now, this isn’t the simplest of pancake recipes, but it sure is one of the best ones out there. Texas-style pancakes with pecan nuts. What’s not to love?
Egg, one piece (Large)
Milk, one and a half cups
All-purpose flour, two cups
Whole-wheat flour, one tablespoon
Baking Powder, one heaping tablespoon
Salt, half teaspoon (Kosher if available)
Sugar, Two tablespoons
Vegetable Oil, Four Tablespoons
Pecans, Shelled, Half cup
Beat together egg and milk until mixed. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth. (Don’t overmix to minimize gluten production and keep them light and fluffy)
Heat skillet at medium. Pour ¼ cup of the pancake batter. Once the edges are brown and bubbles are popping, flip and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.
Serve Immediately, Enjoy!