Max out your stacks

EC: 11 Essential Pancake Tips, Just in Time for Fat Tuesday

No matter if you call it Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, or plain old Pancake Day, the last Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is the most pancakes-laden day of the calendar year. Religiously speaking, it’s the last day before the self-deprivations of Lent set in (it’s a Catholic thing), and culturally speaking, it’s a day that many countries and cultures around the world stir together flour and eggs, fry them over hot fat, and douse them with plenty of sugar. Whatever your reason is for carbo-loading, Extra Crispy is here for you with some excellent advice for maximizing your enjoyment of that plate fulla pancakes.

1. Deploy brown butter

“Brown butter blows the already great taste of butter out of the park. When you brown butter, you’re not browning the butter as a whole, only the milk solids. As you brown, the milk solids break down into smaller, tastier molecules that vary in flavor from toasty, nutty, sweet, floral, and butterscotchy. The smell alone is intoxicating and worth making this recipe for. While it takes good timing to not burn the butter, it’s a pretty simple step in this straightforward recipe.”—Peter Kayaian, “You Should Use Brown Butter in Every Pancake You Make

2. Don’t bother measuring

“You may balk at the idea of having to haul out measurements first thing in the morning, but here’s a little secret: You don’t need to measure precisely when you're making pancakes. They’re a very forgiving recipe, so if you’re comfortable, eyeball stuff. Mess around a little, take some risks.”—Allison Robicelli, “Learn to Make Pancakes Properly and Save a Stack of Cash

3. Bust out the bubbles

“While leftover Champagne is rare, it could definitely be a problem if you got a little too excited last night and popped wayyy too many bottles. Sure, you could drink the remaining Champagne for breakfast, but you likely had your fill last night. Since mimosas are out of the question, consider pouring leftover Champagne into pancake mix instead of dumping it down the drain.”—Jiselle Basile, “Mix Leftover Champagne Into Your Pancake Batter

4. Fix your flats

“You didn’t over-mix, did you? You actually want some lumps in your pancake batter. I mean, it should be combined, and there shouldn’t be any flour lingering on the bottom of the bowl, but too much mixing will overdevelop the gluten in the flour, and that will make for tougher pancakes.”—Caroline Lange, “5 Pancake Fails and How to Fix Them

5. Fluff ‘em to infinity

“The key to making extremely fluffy pancakes is entirely dependent on the way you handle just one ingredient: the eggs. Instead of incorporating entire eggs into your pancake batter all at once, try separating the yolks and the egg whites. Combine the yolks with the wet ingredients while placing the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whipping them over high speed until soft peaks form. Reserve until you’ve combined all of the other ingredients and then GENTLY fold the whipped whites into the batter using a spatula.”—Jisele Basile, “The Only Fluffy Pancake Secret You’ll Ever Need

6. Give the vegans some

“Take a typical pancake recipe, like this buttermilk number. To replace the buttermilk with a vegan substitute, take the same quantity of your favorite non-dairy milk (almond, soy, etc.) and add just a bit of acid (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar). Buttermilk is naturally acidic, and the acid reacts with the baking soda to give your pancakes their light and fluffy texture.”—Paula Forbes, “3 Ways to Make Pancakes You'd Never Guess Were Vegan

7. Say yes to cheese

“It’s a short stack of perfect diner pancakes, with slices of American cheese interlaced therein, and a fried egg or two on top. Maybe a dash of hot sauce if there’s some on the table. There really is no room for anything to go awry—like if someone handed you a warm, sleeping puppy and she was dressed up in a teddy bear costume and she fell asleep at the exact right angle for you to take selfies without waking her up. You might not naturally wake up thinking "Oh, this is what I need in my day," but when it happens, there’s no denying that it’s perfect.”—Kat Kinsman, “You Should Put Cheese on Your Pancakes

8. Do (or don’t) pre-cut your stack

“The results left no room for doubt: Cutting as you go ensures hotter pancakes. After ten minutes, the fully intact pancake would cool 15 degrees. When it came to the cut pancake, however, the outside pieces cooled more quickly than the inner pieces. After ten minutes, he found, the outer pieces would cool 19 degrees, while the inner pieces would cool about 15 degrees.”—Jordan G. Teicher, “You Shouldn’t Cut Up Your Pancakes Before You Eat Them

9. Minimize the waste

“Spotty bananas past their prime can transform breads, muffins, smoothies, and these Three-Ingredient Pancakes. Store the next batch languishing on your kitchen counter in the fridge until you’re ready for a quick, 10-minute protein-packed breakfast. The mushier the banana, the sweeter the flavor. Live alone? Great—these are perfectly-portioned for one and reduce food waste. If you’re cooking for a crowd, this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to serve more.”—Extra Crispy Staff, “Three-Ingredient Pancakes for When You Literally Can't Even

10. Make a face

“A good technique is to make two different colored batters. Do this either by making one with darker flour, adding cocoa powder to the batter or, if you feel really funky, food coloring. This gives you the ability to highlight aspects of the design and/or make distinct outlines.”—Linnea Covington, “The Art of Making Animal Pancakes

11. Give the blood a miss

“I let the pancake cool and eventually worked up the strength to take another bite, which was more tolerable. The flavors were more complex, less visceral, though still feral. The sweetness of the sauteed onions cut through the thickness, though the rubbery and gritty texture still made me cringe, sending shivers down my spine. Even an extra helping of lingonberry jam couldn’t save this dish for me.”—Maxine Builder, “How to Eat Blood for Breakfast