What ingredient keeps pancakes from falling apart?

Answered by John Hunt

The ingredient that helps keep pancakes from falling apart is the egg. Eggs play a crucial role in binding the ingredients together and providing structure to the pancake batter. The proteins in the egg coagulate when cooked, forming a solid network that holds the pancake batter together.

When making pancakes, it is important to separate the egg yolk from the egg white. The egg white should be whipped to soft peaks before being incorporated into the batter. This helps to add air and lightness to the pancakes, resulting in a fluffy texture.

To start, crack the egg and carefully separate the yolk from the white. Place the egg white in a clean, dry bowl and the yolk in a separate bowl. Using a whisk or an electric mixer, beat the egg white until soft peaks form. This means that when you lift the whisk or beaters, the egg white should hold its shape but the peaks should gently fold over.

In another bowl, combine the egg yolk with the milk or buttermilk. Mixing the yolk with the liquid helps to distribute it evenly throughout the batter. If you prefer a tangy flavor, buttermilk is a great option. However, keep in mind that using buttermilk may result in slightly denser pancakes compared to using regular milk.

Once the yolk and liquid are well mixed, gradually stir in the flour. It is important to avoid overmixing at this stage as it can lead to tough pancakes. Gently fold in the whipped egg white, being careful not to deflate it too much. The fluffy beaten egg white will help create a light and airy texture in the pancakes.

If you are using buttermilk instead of milk, you may also want to add a small amount of baking soda to the dry ingredients. Baking soda helps to neutralize the acidity in the buttermilk, resulting in a better rise and a lighter texture.

When cooking the pancakes, use a non-stick pan or griddle and preheat it over medium heat. Spoon the batter onto the pan, spreading it slightly with the back of the spoon. Cook until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake, then flip and cook the other side until golden brown.

By incorporating the whipped egg white and using the right combination of ingredients, you can ensure that your pancakes have a tender and fluffy texture, and they won’t fall apart when cooked. Enjoy your delicious homemade pancakes!