My pancake go-to recipe has always been the classic Joy of Cooking receipt. However, I rarely make it because I find the measuring fiddly, and because it works best made the day before, resting in the fridge overnight. And to be honest, my son just doesn’t like pancakes enough to make that worthwhile. So, I dug for a shortcut using self-rising flour, which I keep on hand for biscuits.

  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 130g self-rising flour
  • 2 T sugar

Beat the egg into the milk, then whisk in the melted butter. Stir flour & sugar together. Whisk liquids into the dry ingredients.

Hot griddle, no oil needed (the butter in the batter is enough). Cook on one side until bubbles stop rising & much of the top is dry. Flip, cook until done (you’ll see a wash of steam coming out — it’s okay to peek for doneness).

Batter is a bit runny, so don’t expect to get 4 cakes on one griddle. One large cake works better. I get 3 large cakes from this recipe.

[UPDATE: November 2023, Matthew:] We don’t always have self-rising flour in the house these days, so I’ve gone back to using baking powder.

This recipe is enough for one hearty serving, about four good-sized pancakes.

Put a large skillet or flat griddle on medium heat. Depending on the surface finish, you might add a tiny splash of cooking oil at the very start, but for some pans this is not needed.

  • 2 Tbsp butter

Put the butter in a small dish and microwave for 20 seconds.

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Scant tsp baking powder

Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and combine with a fork

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • The butter that you just melted a minute ago

Add the wet ingredients to a bowl (or your measuring cup) and use a fork to scramble them together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, and stir until no dry spots remain.

Dribble a tiny test-size circle of batter onto the skillet and cook it to evaluate the temperature. It should sizzle, but just a little, and bubbles should form in the course of a minute or two. Check the bottom of the first pancake and adjust the heat as needed: if the pan smokes, it’s too hot; if the pancake remains pale, it’s not hot enough. Flip and finish and confirm heat is right.

Remove first pancake and eat while pouring out batter for first actual serving. I like four medium pancakes per person but some people like one giant one or a dozen tiny ones. Your choices may be constrained by the size of your pan.

Flip each pancake after bubbles have formed and started to pop. Cook until finished on other side.

It just takes a couple of minutes on each side, so if you’re using this time to get out the syrup or other toppings, don’t get distracted and let them burn!

Melted butter and maple syrup are the classic topping for these pancakes, but jam or apple butter are also solid choices.

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