As American pancakes vary one part of the country to another, and there are also individual preferences, this may be a bit more controversial than the usual discussion, but I’ll give it a try:
In general, the batter is similar to French crêpe batter, with the following differences:
1. American pancakes use much less egg than French crêpes. Try about half the egg.
2. American pancakes use chemical leavening — try baking powder. If you don’t have baking powder, you can use one part baking soda to about 6 parts (if memory serves me) lemon juice, or some other substitute. Cook the pancakes as soon as possible after adding the chemical.
3. Buttermilk pancakes use buttermilk (or sour cream, yoghurt, etc) instead of regular milk / water. Note that due the extra acidity of these ingredients, you can use relatively more baking soda, as opposed to lemon or baking powder.
4. Additional ingredients: blueberries, etc.
5. Serve with maple syrup, preferably from Vermont or Québec :)
Mix 1 3.4 cup of milk , 2 eggs, a teaspoon of vanilla toghter.In another bowl,mix 2 cups of flour and1/3 cup of sugar and add milk mixture.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking oil. Using 1/4 cup mixture per pancake, cook 2 pancakes for 2 minutes or until bubbles appear on surface. Turn and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining mixture, spraying pan with cooking oil between batches.
U.S. native here...
I love pancakes.
My wife usually uses a pancake mix. One popular, famous old brand is Bisquick. She follows the directions on the package. The mix contains, basically, flour, oil, baking powder and a few other things (e.g. to prevent caking). The directions call for adding milk and eggs.
In my opinion, pancakes are easy to make, and taste very good even when they are not perfect.
I eat pancakes in a stack of three, with butter--well, actually margarine--and maple syrup. I put a pat of butter between each of the pancakes and I pour maple syrup on top.
We make no compromises on the maple syrup--we use real maple syrup, not any kind of "pancake syrup" or imitation maple syrup. Real maple syrup costs perhaps $20 for 500 ml, maybe more. I feel that it's worth it, not only because the taste is better, but because the taste is stronger and I use less.
I feel a little guilty because we typically buy Canadian maple syrup and it would be more patriotic to buy Vermont maple syrup, but where I live Vermont syrup is harder to find, more expensive, and... no better. In my opinion.
There are all kinds of regional and family traditions, but typically in the U.S. pancakes are fairly thick, say 6 mm or so and are thus unlike French crêpe.