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6 Rules for Better Pancakes

We live for Sunday morning--aka pancake day. And rare is the restaurant that turns out better flapjacks than the ones we whip up at home. So skip the brunch madness and up your pancake game with these six simple rules.

1. Make them from scratch When we realized how easy it is, we wondered how Bisquick is still in business. Go ahead--give it a try

2. Or use a commercial mix In a pinch, this buttermilk version from Arrowhead Mills is good--but add your own twist. Use an egg instead of oil and add a dash of baking soda (for extra fluffiness) and salt (for more flavor). For more decadent pancakes, Vosges’s outstanding bacon-chocolate-chip mix does the trick.

3. Use vegetable oil There’s a reason our grandmothers did it. A little hot vegetable oil on the griddle or pan is the key to that fabulous crispy ring around the edges of your pancakes.

4. Cook them to order Don’t try to keep pancakes warm so that everyone can eat at the same time. They’ll get chewy and stale. Pancakes are best straight out of the pan, so cook and serve ’em on demand.

5. Place berries with care When adding extras, don’t mix them into the batter--you’ll end up with a melted, burned mess on one side of your pancake. After you pour the batter onto the griddle and let it cook for a few seconds, then add berries or chocolate chips one by one on top.

6. Flip when it’s time When you see bubbles, it’s not time. When the bubbles pop and then collapse because more batter fills in the holes, it’s not time. When the bubbles pop and leave little holes--as in, your pancake is starting to look like a pockmarked moonscape--it’s time.

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