Pancakes are one of the best things to have for breakfast. But making them good consistently can be quite the hassle. One such mistake that can often ruin your whole morning is taking a bite out of your pancake only to realize it is dry. But why are your pancakes so dry and how can you fix them? That is what I am here to tell you.
If you find your pancakes dry, you are probably making one of three mistakes. Dry pancakes are the result of too little leavening agent, too little butter or egg, and too much flour. The gluten in the flour traps the air inside the batter, which is caused by the leavening agent. While the egg and butter keep the batter moist and the gluten network stable.
So, an imbalance of any one of the three can lead to your batter being dry. However, I will go into more detail about this in the article. I will tell you how each of these factors affects the dryness of your pancakes and how you can fix your pancake batter. So, stick around till the end for all the answers.
Why Are Your Pancakes dry?
The main reason behind dry pancakes is not having the perfect balance between the flour, eggs, butter, and leavening agent. If you use too few wet ingredients, your pancakes will end up dry. As well as not adding enough leavening agents like baking soda, your pancakes will be dry and thick.
But what do these ingredients do that make your pancake moist or dry? Let us take a closer look.
Too Little Or Too Much Baking Soda
Earlier, I mentioned how adding too few leavening agents like baking soda can lead to a dry and dense pancake. However, adding too much can lead to a similar problem. Adding baking soda will make the air bubbles rise, but too much will lead to them rising too fast. As a result, your pancakes will end up being brittle and dry, as well as odd-tasting.
Too Much Flour
The biggest problem with adding too much flour to your batter is that you will dry out the batter. One of the main reasons for dry pancakes is that there are too many dry ingredients and too few wet ones.
When pancakes have too much flour in them, they do not spread out in the pan as easily and cook much slower. Not to mention, having too much flour will result in a dry batter which becomes even dryer in a hot pan. Lastly, though the gluten in the flour traps the air bubbles produced by the baking powder, too much gluten will result in dry, chewy pancakes.
Not Enough Eggs Or Butter
Eggs and butter are two of the few wet ingredients that you can add to your pancake batter. However, not wanting to add too many eggs to your batter in fear of making an omelet instead of pancakes is a valid concern. But eggs are necessary as the protein in the eggs helps to stabilize the gluten network, while the yolk and butter keep it nice and moist.
How Can You Fix These Mistakes?
Fixing each of these mistakes is not a difficult task. Basically, you will need to readjust your batter by either adding some butter or some more flour.
Let’s look at what you need to do for each of these mistakes.
Fixing Too Much Baking Soda In Your Batter
When it comes to adding too much baking soda, it is a simple fix. If you have added too much, add a bit of flour to counteract it. After adding some flour, you should stir the batter and let it rest for a few minutes.
Fixing Too Much Flour In Your Batter
The best way to fix this is to add some melted butter. The main problem that arises from using too much flour is the increase in the number of dry ingredients, adding melted butter solves this.
However, adding an egg in this situation would result in the batter becoming too loose and needing you to mix the batter again. This would result in overmixing causing excess gluten which you do not want.
Fixing Too Little Butter Or Eggs
This fix is self-explanatory; if you are worried about adding too many eggs to your batter, one egg should be enough. But if you are making it for the family, I recommend two. If the batter stays dry even after adding the eggs, try adding some melted butter or oil.
Tricks To Making The Perfect Pancake
Above I showed you why your pancakes can be dry and how you can deal with them. Now, let us look at how you can take your pancake game to the next level.
Cooking It Over A Medium Heat
Cooking it over medium heat ensures that it cooks evenly on all sides. It’s more likely to adhere to the bottom of your pan if you cook it on low heat. Cooking it at a high heat means that you will end up burning one side before it’s ready to be flipped. And if you flip too early, you will end up with splattered pancakes.
This advice comes in handy no matter what pancake recipe you are using. You need to heat your pan to medium heat and leave it like that. Always use a non-stick pan for your pancakes and add a little butter or oil to the pan just to coat it. You do not want a layer of fat on your pan before cooking your pancakes.
Mix Butter Into The Batter
Mixing some melted butter into the batter not only makes it smoother but also adds to the flavor of the pancake. It is also this extra butter in the batter that helps lubricate the mix and prevents it from sticking to the pan.
Using Leavening Agents
As mentioned earlier, leavening agents are necessary to get the bubbles to rise for nice fluffy pancakes. You can use either baking soda or powder, but be sure to add at least half a tablespoon or risk your pancakes being dense and thick.
Let Your Batter Rest
Another trick that most people miss out on is letting your pancake batter rest for around ten minutes. You can even add your leavening agents after letting it rest to avoid overmixing. If you have overmixed your batter, letting it rest will allow the gluten to relax and absorb more moisture. Plus, this lowers the chances of a dry, chalky pancake.
Knowing When To Flip Your Pancakes
Knowing the right time to flip your pancakes is nothing less than an art. As the perfect flip can result in an evenly cooked pancake, the first thing you should look out for is the air bubbles. This lets you know if there is enough moisture.
You should start seeing them around 3 minutes into cooking your pancakes. The surface of the pancakes should also lose its shine and start looking dull, and the edges should start to dry. This is when you should flip your pancake. Use your wrist while flipping so you keep the shape of your pancake.
Once you have flipped your pancakes, they are almost fully cooked, so do not keep them on the other side for long. Leave it for less than a minute on the other side, or a minute and a half max, and be sure to cook it at medium heat. Now, take it out of the pan and you’re done! Enjoy your delicious pancakes.