A store-bought pancake mix is a great thing to keep stocked in the pantry. These convenient packages are great for serving a crowd, or for an easy and wholesome breakfast that's ready in a pinch. While you could make those pancakes exactly according to the box, what's the fun in following all the rules? When it comes to cooking, there are always a few you should break, and following the directions to a T is a great rule to throw out in this scenario.
Elevating store-bought pancake mixes is often really easy to do, and the experiment itself is just fun. One of these simple hacks is really so powerful that it'll make you mistake a store-bought mix for a warm and fluffy batch of homemade pancakes. Have you ever tried sifting your store-bought pancake mix before making the batter? This action is small but mighty as it leads to a much fluffier batch of pancakes. It's why sifting is such a common step in many other baking recipes, and it's also a great reason to add sifting to the directions list for your box of pancake mix.
Why Sifting Makes For Fluffier Pancakes
Avid bakers are probably already very familiar with the concept of sifting. For all the novices out there, here's why it matters.
Many baking recipes claim that sifting is an essential part of the baking process as it removes any clumps from the dry ingredients. This action also introduces air into the dry ingredients which makes for a much lighter and fluffier end product. Unless you're someone who frequently cooks up a stack of flapjacks, many boxed pancake mixes sit around in a pantry for a long time, so these mixes in particular would benefit from the few extra minutes it takes to sift. Plus, it's just easy. All that's needed is a fine-mesh strainer and a bowl. For those who don't have a sifter, you can also use a whisk or a fork to break up any clumps in a pancake mix. This technique is typically not as effective, but it does introduce some air into the mix which is better than doing nothing at all.
One of the big problems home cooks face with pre-boxed pancake mix is that the end result is too heavy. Sifting the mixture before making the pancake batter should stop that problem from occurring.
Other Ways To Level Up Boxed Pancakes
While sifting is a great way to make flapjacks fluffier, it isn't the only way to elevate a boxed mix. One common way to make boxed pancake mix taste better is by cracking an egg into the mix. Most pre-made pancake mixes call for just one or two simple additions like water or milk, but adding an egg can really make boxed pancakes taste homemade. That's because eggs make for an extra rich taste thanks to the yolk's high fat content.
For those who are fans of especially unexpected ingredients, malted milk powder is one powdered ingredient you can add to pancakes to give them a sweeter taste. This fine powder also lends a naturally nutty flavor too.
One of the more common ingredients to consider for boxed pancakes is fresh fruit such as raspberries or bananas. Use the fruit of your choice as a bright topping, or drop some blueberries into the batter to reap the benefit of those naturally sweet additions. You can also try subbing out the milk or water in a recipe for buttermilk. Thanks to its acidity levels, buttermilk helps pancakes rise which also can make for an extra fluffy breakfast item. Then there's the simple addition of flavor extracts like vanilla, almond, or even lemon -- they all bring a flavor boost to boxed pancake mix. Combined with a simple sift, these flapjack-elevating hacks can be the difference between an ordinary breakfast and a recipe that you want to repeat for years to come.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.