Sunday, April 01, 2007

Buttermilk pancakes

While my SO and I often don't have "breakfast foods" for breakfast, there are indeed some days when we crave pancakes for the first meal of the day. We've made Joy of Cooking's standard pancake recipe for years, and have been quite happy with the results. However, just a few days ago we made Joy's buttermilk pancake recipe, and immediately fell in love with the thick, fluffy pancakes that resulted. We liked them so much that we made another batch yesterday morning. Since these will now be our standard pancakes, they're this week's second end-of-the-week recipe blogging post.

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

0. Start heating a nonstick pan (or griddle) over medium heat (see notes) a few minutes before you'll be ready to cook the pancakes.
1. Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) together in a large bowl.
2. Mix the wet ingredients (melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla) together in another bowl.
3. Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients, and whisk until just mixed (the mixture should still be somewhat lumpy).
4. Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into the preheated pan; shake the pan gently to spread the pancake batter out a little, if it's not spreading much. Flip the pancake once a number of bubbles rise to the surface and pop (and/or the bottom of the pancake is getting nicely browned), and continue cooking until the bottom surface is nicely browned.


This recipe makes approximately eight five-inch round pancakes (that are about 1/2" thick); plan on two to three pancakes per person.

These pancakes are very thick, and thus take a while to cook. We've found that, at least in our pans on our stove, if we use medium-high (or higher) heat the pancakes brown excessively before cooking inside. Thus, we use medium heat, on which the pancakes take maybe 2-3 minutes a side to cook. The patience you exhibit while cooking over this lower heat will pay off a hundredfold once you taste the fluffy goodness that you'll create.

Cooking with multiple pans simultaneously (or a large griddle) will help speed cooking drastically; we typically use two pans at once.

Depending on your pan, you may or may not need to use butter or oil when you cook the pancakes. I use nonstick pans, but out of tradition I always start the first pancake frying with a little bit of butter in the pan (but then don't add any more butter for the remaining pancakes). I suspect I could get away without adding any extra butter.

We've modified this recipe slightly from Rombauer et al. (1997) by adding a bit more buttermilk.

Rombauer, I. S., M. R. Becker, and E. Becker. 1997. Joy of Cooking. Scribner, NY.

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