Quest for the "Perfect" Pancake

One week ago, while spending a long weekend in the Berkshires (western Massachusetts) with my wife and daughters, we had breakfast at the Haven restaurant in Lenox. It's a pricey, yuppified, country-style, food joint that owes its existence to New Yorkers who frequently visit the area. The eggs and potatoes and bacon and coffee were excellent, but not any more enjoyable to my palate than what I get in a decent diner. However, the pancakes were something special and raised the bar in my quest to achieve the perfect pancake at home.

Before getting to details, I want to put a philosophical stake in the ground and declare that I do not believe perfection can ever be attained. At best it can be approached. Mary Lou Retton was able to claim a "perfect ten" in her 1984 Olympics Vault because the resolution on scoring isn't refined enough to capture imperfections like a pinky out of alignment.

So it is with pancakes.

The recipe I've been using at home is something that's been modified over the years and produces an excellent pancake. Not as close to perfection as Mary Lou's vault, but among the best pancakes I had known. There were different, maybe even very different and just as good, but better? The Haven pancake was better. And that wasn't just my opinion, my daughter Jane tasted it, looked me in the eyes and said, "it's even better than yours."

What made it better was an extra touch of elasticity. So, this morning, I decided to try using bread flour instead of all purpose flour. Nope. Maybe a slight difference, but not what I'm looking for. The quest will go on. As it should.

Pursuing perfection in a pancake or in higher forms of art (donuts?) is a worthy pursuit for the soul. But, to bring this back to the purpose of this website, it is a bad idea in inventing and commerce. Because perfection can never be achieved, an inventor who pursues it will eventually go bankrupt. Go for great, seek to be excellent and when you get to that point, if you're in it for the money, stop and move on to the next thing.

Here's the basic recipe for what my kids call

"Daddy's Pancakes"

1 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp powdered sugar
1 egg
1 cup (+ a bit) buttermilk
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla


Do you have a "perfect" pancake recipe you'd like to share? Send it to and I'll post it here. Tell me if you'd like your name mentioned (or not).


From Mark Allinson:

#1) Use "Heavy Whipping Cream" in place of the cup of buttermilk.

#2) Use 2-4 tablespoons or Coconut oil in place of the Canola oil-
( Coconut oil is solid yet soft at room temperature so you will need to melt it before adding it to the pancake Miix or ingredients.

I first experimented with using the Heavy Whiping Cream In my protein shakes and which soon evolved into my "High Protein-Weight Gain-Ice Creamed-Pudding"

Which consists of :
  • 30grams of Why protein (Vanilla, Chocolate or Banana or any flavor)
  • 6 tablespoons ( about 1/3 cup) of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1+ tablespoons of Coconut oil
  • 2+ tablespoons or Peanut Butter

I developed the above weight gainer because of the low quality of ingredients ( maltodextrin, soy product, high sugar content, etc... that are contained in the majority of Weight Gainers which have always been very popular since the 1980's.

At a whopping 800 calories with over 30 grams of protein this could be a great product for People wanting to gain weight , fitness enthusiasts including Body Builders who are in a "Bulk Phase" , people recovering in hospitals who can't eat solid food., people who have digestive problems ,
With solid food, post dental surgery and most of for people who want a healthy delicious ( in my humble opinion) snack food.

People who are on the Atkin's diet as well as low carb diets may also benefit because my product is low carb with only 5-6 grams of carbohydrates.

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