You can make a pretty strong case for pancakes being the ultimate breakfast food. They taste like a treat for a special occasion, yet they're not bad for you (presuming you don't share my whipped cream and maple syrup habits). They can be customized and accessorized, and they cook up in just a few minutes.
So it's not surprising then that pancake mix is a staple in many kitchens. Pancakes are already one of the easiest breakfast foods to prepare, but a mix makes them that much more quick and simple.
I'm generally torn on mixes. On the one hand, I vastly prefer the taste of homemade foods. On the other hand, I'm also a big fan of speed and efficiency, especially in the mornings. The solution? Homemade mixes. Homemade pancake mix is a breeze to whip up, it can last on your shelf as long as any store-bought option, and it will save you money.
If you have a favorite pancake recipe, then use it: just mix all of the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. If you don't have a go-to recipe, I'm fond of the simple, standard one:
- 4 c. flour (I like half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
- 3 Tbsp. baking powder
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
Ziplock bags or mason jars are the perfect containers for pancake mix because they're airtight and easy to pour into a measuring cup. Make sure to label your container so that someone doesn't mistake it for a bag of flour!
You can store this sealed mixture in a cool, dry place for about 6-12 months. If you chose to add whole wheat flour, make it 1-3 months. Adding it to your fridge or freezer will prolong its shelf life.
When it comes time to use your pancake mix, you'll need to add your wet ingredients. Thankfully, the ratio is incredibly easy to remember, then you're ready to cook and eat! For every cup of pancake mix, just add:
- 1 c. milk or buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp. melted butter
You can make the argument that making your own pancake mix defeats the purpose. You buy the mix so you won't have to do as much cooking. But the homemade mix takes only a few minutes to make, and you can make a large amount at a time, so it will last for countless breakfasts.
Also, homemade mix is quite a bit cheaper than the store-bought variety, which can be deceptively expensive, especially when you weigh it against buying ingredients like flour and baking powder, which you'll use for other dishes.
The homemade variety is also better for you; unless you're buying the really expensive mixes, you're likely to find ingredients like "defatted soy flour," and way too much sugar in a mix from the store.
The recipe provided here is very basic, and like all pancake recipes, can be played with. If you're gluten-intolerant, you can use gluten-free flour. If you want bananas, or chocolate chips? Just throw them in. Or, if you're more of a waffle person, just put the pancake mix in the waffle iron.
Above all, make a big batch of pancake mix and keep it on your shelf at all times. You never know when you'll wake up on a grey Saturday morning and want nothing more than an instant batch of homemade hot cakes.