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Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs into the milk, then stir in the butter or oil and vanilla, if using. Gently stir wet mixture into dry ingredients, mixing only enough to moisten flour (don't worry if there are still a few lumps). If the batter seems too thick, stir in a little more milk.
Grease the griddle or skillet with butter or oil and ladle batter on, making pancakes of any size you like (remember that the batter will spread so it’s best to start smaller than you think you might want—you can always dollop a little more on or make the next one bigger). Flip pancakes when you see bubbles rise to the surface of the batter, about 2 to 4 minutes. Cook until second side is golden and batter is cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Tip: Keep pancakes warm on an oven-proof platter, baking sheet or in a casserole dish tented with foil in a 200ºF oven until ready to serve.