the best pancakes in the whole wide world

February can be a very long and bleak month, but I never minded it too much when I lived in NYC for two reasons: hot chocolate month at City Bakery (more on that in a future post) and pancake month at Clinton Street Baking Co.  Clinton Street makes the best pancakes I’ve ever tasted and lucky for me, they have a cookbook in which they share their magical recipe:

I’ve never not had to wait for a table at Clinton Street, even on a weekday morning after a huge snowstorm, and I think the above images illustrate why.  It seems that the secret to their pancakes is the fluffiness, and this fluffiness is a result of separating the eggs and whipping up the egg whites before mixing.  Genius.

This process takes a little longer than your typical pancake batter but it is well worth it.

After pouring the batter onto the hot griddle you can add blueberries if you like:

Or raspberries:

Or you could add blackberries.  Or chocolate chips.  Or… you get the picture.  Have fun with it!

And then enjoy them without ever having to wait for a table.

“Neil’s Pancakes” from the Clinton Street Baking Company Cookbook by Dede Lahman and Neil Kleinberg

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder, plus 1 teaspoon
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 teaspoons unmelted for the griddle
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Blueberries or raspberries, optional

Measure and sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl: flour, baking powder, sugar, salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the yolks, milk, melted butter, and vanilla until combined.  Whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture.  The result should be slightly lumpy, yet combined to form a batter.

Whip the egg whites in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer until they reach medium peaks (soft in the middle).  Be careful, you don’t want to overwhip the egg whites.

Gently mix half of the whipped whites into the batter with a large rubber spatula.  Then gently fold the remaining half into the batter.  Remember: this batter should be slightly lumpy and have large parts of egg whites not fully incorporated: it should look like whitecaps in the ocean with foam on top.  (The batter will last a few hours in the fridge without deflating too much.)

Heat a griddle to 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease the hot griddle with the remaining butter.  Drop ¼ cup (approximately 4 tablespoons) of pancake batter on the griddle and cook to set.  Add berries if desired.  Never add the fruit to the mix; always add
the fruit to the pancakes once they’re on the griddle.  When you see bubbles start to form on top, lift the pancake halfway up to see if it’s golden brown and crispy on the edges.  If ready, flip the pancake.

When the pancake is golden brown on both sides, remove with a spatula.  Repeat with the remaining batter and filling, cooking several pancakes at a time.

7 thoughts on “the best pancakes in the whole wide world

  1. Whipping the egg whites is an interesting approach and I’ll be trying this one soon. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Aunt Linda and I made these for brk on Memorial weekend…..omg, my NEW favorite pancake recipe! This recipe is definitely the best one I have tried yet. The pancakes were so light, yummy, and melt in the mouth good.

    In fact, my best budd, Mindy, is a pancake fiend. I will be making these for her at our next Sunday brunch!

  3. Made these last Sunday for brunch with mindy…she loved them as did I, again. Just a little extra…for strawberry pancakes, I whipped a bit of ricotta and cream cheese with some vanilla yogurt and used it as topping with more fresh sliced strawberries. Yummers.

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