Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Let's Talk Pancakes


First, a disclaimer: I am not the breakfast cook in my house. I have exactly two breakfasts on my weekday rotation (but honestly I have eggs and toast 9 days out of ten) and Adam takes over the kitchen on weekend mornings.

Sounds weird, but lasts longer than buttermilk.

I don't have much of a sweet tooth in the morning, but he has finally won me over with these pancakes. Oh, and the secret to a pancake-ready kitchen is this stuff, dried buttermilk powder. I like the King Arthur brand, but Saco is the kind they sell in my grocery store. No worrying about whether the buttermilk you bought for biscuits two weeks ago is off or if it's supposed to smell like that, hooray!

Mix it up

The reason I like these pancakes is that they (eek!) don't have any sugar in them. Pancakes are really just a vehicle for maple syrup, right? So why must they be crazy sweet themselves? I like that the subtlety of these lets the maple flavor shine. Adam also uses a mix of all purpose and whole wheat flours so there's a hint of nuttiness from the whole wheat.

In the pan

Adam's Pancakes
makes 6-8 pancakes depending on how big you like them

1 cup flour (we use 3/4 cup all purpose and 1/4 cup whole wheat or white whole wheat)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons buttermilk powder
1 egg
1 cup plus two tablespoons water
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
butter for cooking the cakes

Combine the flours, salt, baking soda and buttermilk powder in a bowl. Measure the water into another bowl, then crack the egg into the water and beat it up a little bit so it's all combined. Add the melted butter to the liquid, then add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir just until all the flour is hydrated but no longer. It will be lumpy, but that's ok! If you try to beat out all the lumps you'll develop too much gluten in the flour and your pancakes will be tough.

Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, then add a little bit of butter, about a teaspoon or so, swirl the pan to coat the bottom. When the butter is foamy, add a drop of pancake batter. It should sizzle just the slightest bit. If it doesn't, up the heat a little bit.

Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. Let it cook on the first side until bubbles start to form and pop on the raw side. Carefully flip the pancake and cook the other side until golden brown. Continue with the rest of the batter. The first pancake will be ugly, so you should eat that one and then keep cooking. Keep pancakes warm in a 200 degree oven until you finish cooking, then serve with butter and (real, obvi) maple syrup.


  1. Buttermilk NEVER blinks in this Southern kitchen! Loved your presentation.

  2. I can't bring myself to eat anything sweet in the morning. Then again, breakfast on the weekends happens around noon in our house, so maybe I'll give these a go. :)