|My Everpresent Pancake Dilemma - Lumps!
||[Mar. 5th, 2009|12:01 pm]
Tantalizing the world one tastebud at a time...
Hi, everyone! This is my first post to the comm.|
I love making pancakes. I never use a mix: just flour, an egg, milk (or soy milk/yogurt, what have you), and a dash of oil. But lately I've been having terrible problems with flour lumps! I have tried mixing the milk/egg and whisking it into the flour, and also pouring the flour slowly into the milk/egg mixture while whisking. Nothing seems to make a difference! Any suggestions?
Also, I have found thin pancakes much easier to cook than thick ones. The thicker ones tend to brown too fast before they're ready to turn. Is the solution to turn down the heat?
Are the flour lumps really big, or are they just visible in the batter? My flour lumps are usually small enough to melt into the pancakes once they hit the pan, and I think that's normal... I remember Alton Brown once warned against overmixing because while you might end up with a creamy smooth batter, the pancakes will be tough, and there will be air bubbles everywhere, which makes them brown faster in my experience. Sticking batter in the fridge (or just letting them sit on the counter for a while) to settle air bubbles & using medium low heat have always done me well. Hope this helps!
They're big: the size of half a pea, and there's some left when I pour the batter out. I try not to overmix. Maybe I will try to let the batter sit for a while and see what happens. Thanks for the suggestion. :)
Well, I haven't ever made pancakes, but I know that flour can give that problem due to humidity... like, in the air, or where you keep it.
Have you tried to sift the flour slowly in the egg/milk mixture? You put the flour in a sieve and you "mix" it with a spoon, so it goes down without lumps... I hope I haven't said nothing stupid, and that it can help in someway!
Good idea... it might just be the humidity in this particular flour. I'll try sieving it and see what happens!
Second part first: yes! In my experience, you have to gradually turn down the heat throughout the cooking process, otherwise they seem to cook with exponential speed. Never good! And for some reason, unless you're working with a large grill that has been on for hours already, the first pancake (or cakes, if you're doing more than one at once) are always a loss. They just don't turn out well, for whatever reason.
If you're already whisking so very thoroughly, then it's a bit of a conundrum! I would strongly suspect the oil, though. Does it have to be oil? Is that just a preferred recipe choice? Most recipes generally call for melted butter, which definitely blends better than oil. Or perhaps you could try heating the oil? The difference is just that butter breaks down, chemically, when you heat it, and oil doesn't, really. The breaking down process allows butter to bond with other elements, while the oil would be more likely to bond with smaller amounts of other things, which would create lumps that would be pretty hard to break up. That's my thought, at least? Now I'm curious, though - keep me posted! :) And good luck!
Sorry for the delay in replying! Turning down the heat gradually is a good idea- I'll try it. I generally treat the first pancake as a loss anyway - the test pancake.
I use oil because my husband is vegan, but if I'm making them just for me, I'll try butter and see what happens. Or maybe I'll omit the oil. Thanks for your advice!
No worries! Maybe you could try heating the oil? Also, have you tried using an electric mixer? I just thought of that now. Perhaps that would help, too. :)
I will try heating the oil. I don't want to use a mixer, though, because I fear it would overmix and toughen the pancakes. And also it would be more to wash. *is lazy*
Yes, cook the pancakes at a lower temperature. Also cover for a minute to finish cooking. To minimize lumps, measure your flour first, then mix milk, egg, and oil together. Add in a steady stream while whisking into the flour.