A lot of people would absolutely love to have pancakes for breakfast. Who can blame them? But they fear that those fluffy delicacies are not for them since they don’t have the time in the morning. Even if it ever was, that is no longer a problem.
There are many different recipes for making pancake batter. And depending on what suits your mood, you can make a couple of little changes and get them flat or fluffy. Your choice.
This post will take you through some of the most common choices and tell you what to do so that you don’t have to sweat it out in the morning while frantically looking at the clock every few minutes. But before that, a quick recap of where pancakes come from.
Pancakes: A Brief History
There are hundreds of delicacies made with flour as the main ingredient. Pancakes are one of the more popular ones. In fact, a lot of them are similar to pancakes in their structure but have different names.
In their current form, pancakes have been around for over 30,000 years. Flour was created from grains using the tools that are available all the way back to the Stone Age. We have had proof of this since the stomach contents of the remains of Otzi the Iceman, who lived 5,000 years ago, were examined.
And well, water was always around. So, the batter was not hard to make. Pancakes played an important role in the diet of our predecessors. And when combined with spices, fruits, and sauces, we get the well-formed circular doughy delicacies we enjoy at the table today.
Ancient Rome was also known to have produced pancakes. They utilized wheat flour, milk that had curdled, honey, and oil. Because poets like Magnes and Cratinus referenced them in their works, we are aware of this. They were also a favorite during the Renaissance, when the batter included spices, apples, and sherry.
Back then, they went by numerous names, including johnnycakes, buckwheat cakes, hoecakes, and others. However, the term “pancake” dates back to the 15th century. It was standardized in the US in the 19th century. The White House’s pancakes are renowned for being delicious, and Thomas Jefferson is rumored to have sent the recipe back home.
Can Pancake Batter Be Kept in the Fridge Overnight?
There are a lot of ways to make good pancakes. Most of the time, we put a lot of thought into the ingredients to make the end result unique and to suit our preferences. But how you store the batter and the ingredients is what defines how well the pancakes turn out to be. So, let’s look at how to store the main ingredient: the batter.
First, you must check your recipe to see whether the batter can be stored overnight. This is all the more important if you are dealing with fluffy American pancakes. And if the answer is yes, you must get some airtight, food-grade jars to do the same.
Pancakes Made with Baking Powder
Pancakes that are made with baking powder are quite easy to deal with when it comes to storing them in the refrigerator overnight. That is because the baking powder has this incredible quality of getting activated as soon as it comes into contact with the other wet ingredients. And the same happens for a second time when it meets heat. So, it is sort of a double agent of the good kind.
Now, if you are making the pancakes right away, you will notice that they might not be as fluffy as you’d like. In that case, you might need to add a touch of baking soda after keeping the batter in the fridge overnight.
But be sure you don’t add more than 25 to 50 percent of the original recommendation. This gives them a little bit of height and makes them look fluffy and not the flat sad circles on the pan.
Pancakes Made with Baking Soda
If your pancake recipe already includes baking soda, it is because this is known to be a leavening agent. Its whole purpose is to make the pancake light and fluffy by making the batter rise.
The problem with baking soda is that it will get to work the moment you add it to the batter. So, you should not add it to the mix before you put the batter in the fridge. You want to make sure that the baking soda is added in the morning before you are ready to make your pancakes.
Pancakes Made with Egg Whites
Then there are pancake recipes that need egg whites whipped into them. These are also added as a leavening agent and they are a substitute for baking soda. Now, the logic here is the same as it is with baking soda.
The purpose of egg whites is to make sure that the pancakes are fluffy. So, you cannot add them to the batter the night before. So, make the batter without them and refrigerate them overnight. Then, in the morning, you must whip the egg whites and add them to the batter.
This will lead to the pancakes being delicious as well as fluffy.
Pancakes Made with Buttermilk
Now, if you are making your pancakes with buttermilk, making a batter and storing it overnight can be a little difficult. But not so tough that you should drop the idea. So, stay with us.
The thing about using buttermilk is that if it sits for too long, it will deflate. But the solution is also quite simple. All you need to do is first collect the dry ingredients of the recipe and mix them away before you are ready to make the pancakes. You must add all the wet ingredients to the batter right before getting started with the cooking.
If you didn’t know it already, the dry ingredients don’t need to be stored in the fridge. So, you just need to mix the wet ingredients in a bowl or an airtight container and store them overnight. When you take it out of the fridge in the morning, you must mix them once more before adding the dry ingredients and being ready to go.
Now, it does not save you a whole lot of time when you are in a hurry. That is why pancakes with buttermilk are not preferred by many. But if you had your heart set on the white liquid, this is how you make it happen.
Honestly, this is not so much more difficult than the other procedures. And the waiting time can be offset by warming up the pan. But if you are really pressed for time and want to mix everything beforehand, you must look into recipes of pancakes that use yeast. That’s the next one on our list.
Pancakes Made with Yeast
For those of you who are almost always in a rush, pancakes might have seemed like an elusive dream if you didn’t know about this neat little trick. Lucky for you, that will no longer be the case.
Using yeast to make pancakes is a great idea because it makes it really easy to make the pancake batter the night before. You don’t need to add anything in the morning for a nice and fluffy American-style pancake.
The yeast also does not deactivate itself even when you put it in the fridge. So, you don’t have to worry about getting flat pancakes. The same logic applies to making waffles too, with a sourdough starter, in case you were interested. The sourdough, however, will take its own sweet time before you are ready to bake. But that’s a different story.
When your pancakes have yeast in them, the only thing you need to remember is to take out the batter from the refrigerator about 60 minutes before you are ready to cook. This is important because the batter needs to be of room temperature.
Thin Pancake Batter and Crepes
Not everyone wants fluffy pancakes. If you are one of those, there is a different routine to making the pancake batter. This one’s for thin pancakes and can be used even for crepes. Kind of a two-in-one, if you will. And you can make the batter the previous night or before that because time-wise, this method is actually great.
If this is not your first time mixing pancake batter, you might have noticed that when you combine the wet and dry ingredients, bubbles will form in the batter when it aerates.
These bubbles are usually what make the pancake fluffy. But if you are going for thin pancakes or crepes, you don’t want that. So, you must wait till all the bubbles collapse.
Then you are perfectly placed to roll up the batter. You can add toppings like whipped cream or add-ons like jam and peanut butter to add flavor to your pancakes or crepes. And if you add them beforehand and leave the batter in the fridge overnight, the overall taste will be infinitely better.
Remember that these pancakes should not have ingredients like baking soda or buttermilk, which will make them fluffy. So, the batter should really only have the basics in terms of ingredients. But even if you do have them, you can add them beforehand and refrigerate the batter.
This will deflate the batter and give you flat pancakes with the flavors of your choice. The batter will also take this time to get rid of as many bubbles as possible. This is the easiest way to get flat pancakes and you won’t have to do any more prep work in the morning.
How to Cover Pancake Batter?
If you want to make the batter beforehand and store it in the fridge overnight, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, is the amount of air the batter is exposed to. There should be none. So, this is how you do it.
- Pour the batter into an airtight container that has a good seal. Any good Tupperware container is a good choice.
- Cover the surface of the batter with plastic wrap before you put the container’s lid on. This will keep any air from getting in.
Another way of getting the same result is:
- Pour your pancake batter into a Ziploc bag that is meant for liquids.
- Try and get all the air out of the bag before you seal it tight.
- When you want to use the batter, cut a corner and squeeze the batter out just the way you would use any piping bag.
There are also some pancake batter dispensers online, which will do the trick. This way, you can make a whole chunk of batter and use it every day for at least a week. This is true even for pancakes that include milk as an important ingredient.
But you must not store that batter for over a week because the milk will turn on you. If you want to use the batter for longer than that, you must try and make the batter with yeast instead of eggs or baking soda.
When you make large quantities, see if you have an empty ketchup bottle or any other squeeze bottle. This will make sealing and using the batter over and over again quite easy. You will also find it easy to pour the batter on the pan directly without making a mess.
Beginners will appreciate this tip. You don’t have to worry about the flavor and there will be no prep work in the morning for those who don’t want a rise for their quick fix breakfast pancakes.
Now you know that no matter what kind of ingredients you are using to make your pancakes, there is a way to prepare the batter way ahead of your cooking time. Whether you want fluffy pancakes or flat ones, you work it out such that your morning schedule does not get crowded and you still get these delicacies every morning if you choose to.
Further Reading: Vegetable Cooking Times: How Long To Cook Fresh/Frozen Vegetables