Old-Fashioned Pancakes

Makes 16 4-Inch Pancakes
This is the most basic recipe for a slightly thick pancake. It’s just as easy to make a quick homemade batter as it is to open a box mix, which needs ingredients added to it anyway. And using organic ingredients seems to give the pancakes a cleaner and truer flavor. Get the kids involved in the preparation when they’re young. It may turn out to be their only cooking skill, but it’s one worth having. Also known as hotcakes, griddle cakes, and flapjacks, pancakes are a very economical way to feed an army of ravenous boys. A couple of strips of bacon, a few sausage links, and a fried egg on top is the best home-style rendition of the classic diner offering. Cook up the whole recipe of batter, even if not all the pancakes are needed for breakfast. Serve the leftovers for snacks or dinner, with peanut butter, honey, or jam spread on top. Or, cook a lumberjack special for dinner!


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for serving
  • Vegetable oil, for the griddle
  • Pure maple syrup, warmed, for serving


  1. Place a heat-proof platter into a warm oven (at 200 degrees).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add in the egg, milk, and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Whisk from the center, slowly incorporating the flour. Rest the batter for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat a large well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or favorite griddle over medium-high heat. Swirl the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet (or use oil to coat the griddle) and immediately pour in 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. When bubbles rise to the surface, flip the pancakes, slightly reduce the heat, and cook until the bottoms are golden and the centers are cooked, about 1 minute. (Rarely does the first pancake work because it takes a bit of time to get in the groove with the heat, fat, and batter.)
  4. As the pancakes come out of the skillet, place them on the warm platter in the oven until ready to serve. Serve a stack of 3 pancakes, topped with more butter and the maple syrup.
cook's note
Pancakes Add-ins
• Mash a ripe banana and mix it into the batter. • Fold in ¾ cup of berries. Blueberries are especially good with banana batter.• Sauté thinly peeled, cored, and sliced apples in a little butter with a dash of cinnamon. Spoon onto the uncooked side of the pancakes before flipping. • Replace half of the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat, buckwheat, or rye flour. • Toast pecans or walnuts, chop, and fold them into the batter. Slice fruit on top of the pancake before flipping.
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