Add buttermilk and baking soda, don’t overmix your batter, and bake it right away so those bubbles don’t have time to escape.

By Amanda MacMillan
September 26, 2017

We never really need an excuse to whip up our favorite breakfast foods, no matter what time of day it is. But in case you’re looking for a little extra nudge, it’s National Pancake Day!

Whether you’re celebrating tonight for dinner, tomorrow for breakfast, or this weekend with a decadent brunch, this new video from the American Chemical Society will help you pull off the perfect pancake. Hint: It’s all about the buttermilk (an acid) and baking soda (a base), which combine to form carbon dioxide bubbles—i.e. those fluffy air pockets that make pancakes so delicious and fun to eat.

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Don’t care for buttermilk, or don’t have any at home? Add a tablespoon of lemon juice for each cup of regular milk in your recipe, or swap in baking powder (which combines an acid and a base) in place of buttermilk and baking soda.

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The video has a few other helpful tips, too: Don’t overmix your batter—which can lead to chewy, tough dough—and always cook it right away so those bubbles don’t have a chance to escape. To give them a little extra flavor and browning, add a little extra baking soda to the mix, or fold in some melted butter or oil.

And, of course, don’t forget the fresh fruit and some warm, gooey maple syrup. Enjoy!

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