Food - Drink
The Ingredient Ina Garten Uses To Make Pancakes More Tender
Many home cooks are afraid of lumps in their pancake batter, but over-mixing actually leads to dense, rubbery flapjacks. Carefully mixing your batter and leaving a few lumps is one step towards a successful stack, but celeb chef Ina Garten also adds a secret ingredient for extra insurance, leading to fluffy and tender pancakes.
In a YouTube episode of "Barefoot Contessa," Garten prepares pancakes with ricotta, lemon, and fresh figs. When mixing the dry ingredients for the batter, Garten adds ¼ cup of cornstarch per 1 ¼ cups of flour, and the extra starch makes the final pancakes much softer, in the same way that cornstarch improves cakes and cookies.
Bob's Red Mill explains that when the starch molecules come in contact with liquid, they expand up to 10 times larger than their original size and absorb the liquid well, which adds moisture and thickening power to foods. The fine cornstarch in Garten's pancake batter balances out the coarser grainy wheat flour, creating a fluffier result.