Really Perfect Yet Simple Pancakes

1 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade self-rising flour
  (NOTE: if your self-rising flour contains salt,
  omit the salt from this recipe)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (be sure it's fresh!)
1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk
1 tablespoon light oil, like sunflower or canola
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vegan butter (I use Miyoko's or Earth Balance)
   or refined coconut oil, for cooking

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt if using, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dairy-free milk, oil, and vanilla. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Lumps are fine.

Set the mixture aside at room temperature until the batter thickens and becomes a little airy, 5 to 7 minutes. This resting time is essential as it allows the baking powder to do its magic to make fluffy pancakes.

Set a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or griddle (or, if you don't have one, a non-stick skillet) over medium heat and add a smidgen of vegan butter. When the butter is just bubbling, add a small ladle, about 1/3 cup, of batter to the pan, smooth out a bit, and cook gently until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges begin to crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 1 minute more. Repeat with remaining batter, keeping the cooked pancakes warm in the oven. You probably won't need to add additional oil to the pan.

For serving, I like to whip up a fruit topping if there isn't fruit in the pancakes. I throw a cup or so of berries into a little saucepan, add a tablespoon or two of sugar and a few tablespoons of juice, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Delectable. Otherwise, it's all about vegan butter, syrup, and/or confectioner's sugar.