I thought a really good recipe in time for Christmas and out of town guests was in order. The recipe I am sharing with you is the one I grew up with, forgot (oh the humanity!), and then rediscovered.
The story of these pancakes…
My wife and I were newly married. We wanted pancakes one morning so we hopped in the car, drove the the store, bought some pancake mix, and syrup. We didn’t have a griddle then so we used the large nonstick skillet on medium heat.
We ate the pancakes and enjoyed them. They where alright, but not super; passable, but nothing to write home about. We made the mistake of buying another box of pancake mix after we ran out (we enjoy pancakes about once a month).
It finally dawned on me, “Hey you’ve got all the ingredients to make pancakes why don’t you make some.” I got out my trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (a wedding gift), found the pancake recipe, whipped some up and we enjoyed… Again, they were passable, definitely better than the box mix, but nothing special.
Then, I used the pancake recipe from my gourmet cooking textbook, On Cooking (this is a fantastic, yet very pricey, cook book and I haven’t had a bad recipe yet). Those were pretty good, and I learned how to make buttermilk when I didn’t have any. But again, they weren’t as good as the pancakes I remembered…
Yes, somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind, I knew I had eaten better pancakes. It had been years since I’d had them at home, but, like most people, I remember Mom’s cooking being the best!
I called up Mom, she sent me Grandma Jones’ Pancake recipe. I mistakenly thought this recipe was from Mom’s old Kitchen-Klatter Cookbook… notice: they are out of print… it was not—by the way, but this is a good cookbook. The true origins of this recipe are clouded by time, and perhaps that is best. The mystery adds to the enjoyment.
I tried out Grandma Jones’ Pancakes the following Saturday.
Holy Cow! Jen and I were in unanimous agreement, we’ll never buy pancake mix again! The flavor cannot be beat. They are lightly sweet, brown perfectly, and can be mixed up in five minutes.
I later learned my uncle makes the same recipe when he goes camping with his buddies, and they always want him to make pancakes—they go more for the pancakes than the camping. 🙂 Just so you know, I almost started a family fight when I told them I was sharing this recipe; we like our food and we guard good recipes. You may consider this recipe a gift; besides, the world needs better recipes.
I highly recommend you try making these pancakes for your family, they really are fantastic and I doubt you’ll every buy a box mix again.
About the recipe itself
A batch of pancakes usually makes about 20 four-inch pancakes. The batter is slightly lumpy but this is no issue because the flour lumps cook out.
1 Cup heaping flour
¼ Cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¼ Cup vegetable oil
1 Cup milk
1 tsp vanilla*
Heat griddle to about 325 degrees. Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl (beat the egg first then add the other wet ingredients), and set aside. Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl and add them to the wet ingredients. Using a whisk, beat until ingredients are well combined. Small lumps are of no concern. It’s good to let pancakes sit for a moment to allow the flour become fully moist, this improves the texture of the batter.
Pour batter on griddle until about four inches in diameter. Wait until the pancake is covered with holes then flip (see image below). Cook for about two minutes longer, then remove. You will have in front of you, the best pancakes. Ever.
You can substitute half the white flour with whole wheat flour. You can add chocolate chips, blueberries, and nuts if desired. We also enjoy them with peanut butter and chocolate syrup… even with just plain butter and nothing else.
*The vanilla is not in the original recipe but we really enjoy the flavor.
Feel free to share this recipe. Let me know what you think of it after you’ve tried via the comments below. If you have questions, please ask.