Monday, June 14, 2010

Best Buttermilk Pancakes

Saturday mornings were "pancake and eggs" day growing up at my house in upstate, NY. With no rush to get six kids out the door for seminary or school my mom would wake early and make a giant breakfast. Sometimes we'd make breakfast for dinner, a tradition I still do at my own house, and we all loved it. Sometimes waffles were on the menu, sometimes jiffy mix muffins, and sometimes my dad even made a pancake or two. Dad made giant pancakes we called flapjacks. One flapjack would fill up a 10 inch cast iron pan!

As much as I loved pancakes, my one and only complaint was how they stayed with you all day! Even after only two pancakes I was full and done until at least dinner. If only I could find a sumptuous pancake with out the "stick to your ribs" feeling. Welcome Best Buttermilk Pancakes!

No only do these pancakes cook up fluffy, golden and super tasty they are surprisingly not leaden weights in your stomach! I say surprisingly because with the addition of buttermilk and sour cream I thought these would be super rich and heavy. No so! Here's how you make 'em!
Whisk flour,sugar,salt,baking powder and baking soda together in a medium bowl. This is the first step to light pancakes as it evenly distributes your leavening agents throughout the flour.

In a second bowl whisk together buttermilk,eggs,sour cream and melted butter. A word about buttermilk... Yes, you can sour milk by adding on tsp of vinegar or lemon juice for every cup of milk, however, I find the flavor and fluffiness to be wayyyy below that of using buttermilk. No substitutions, please!

Next, dig a well in the center of your dry ingredients and slowly add the wet. Then gently combine. Here is where a lot of pancake makers make lead weights instead. Don't over mix the mix. Mix until the wet combines with the dry and then walk away! It will still have flour lumps and in pancake land, that's OK! Look at my mix below.

See! Lumpy and OK! Keep saying "Over mixing, heavy pancake" over and over if you need too. Allow the batter to sit for 10 minutes. This is a good time to get your griddle or pan ready. BTW, don't be alarmed when you return to the mix. It will look a bit bigger and fluffier after it's brief proofing.

Next, get you griddle or pan ready. After years of saying I didn't need one I finally broke down and got a griddle and discovered that I did, in fact need one. It makes pancakes,grilled chesses sandwiches and life in general so much easier. But if you don't have one get out a fry pan of choice and put it on med heat or set your griddle to 350. Pan or griddle is ready if you drop a few drops of cold water on the surface of the pan and it sizzles. No sizzling, not hot enough, instant evaporation too hot! Place a teaspoon of oil on the surface and wipe down with a paper towel. Please, don't burn yourself.

Cook pancakes until bubbles just start to break over the surface then flip. Once this batch is done you can move them into a warm oven and cover with foil. I find just lightly wrapping in foil minus oven retains the heat just as well

                                                             Next, feed to hungry people

                                                          And watch them disappear!

Best Buttermilk Pancakes 
makes 16 4 inch pancakes.

You will need: mixing bowls, foil,oven heated to 200 (optional if you want to keep them warm in the oven), whisk, spatula

2 C all purpose flour
2 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 C Buttermilk
1/4 C sour cream
2 larges eggs
3 TBSP unsalted butter, melted cooled slightly
1-2 tsp veg oil

Do This:

Whisk, flour,salt,baking soda, and baking powder in med. mixing bowl. In second bowl whisk, buttermilk,eggs, sour cream and butter.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly add the wet ingredients. Gently mix until just combined. There will be flour lumps. That's OK. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat griddle to 350 or fry pan on med heat. Drop small amount of water on heated pan or griddle. If water sizzles and "dance" on pan surface it's hot enough. Put tsp amount of oil on the pan and wipe over with paper towel. Do this with each batch.  Using a 1/4 cup measure pour batter onto griddle. Cook until bubbles begin to break on the surface, about 1-2 minutes. Flip pancake and cook until bottom is golden brown about 1-2 min. longer.  Wrap in foil and place in heated oven to keep warm. Serve ASAP.


  1. I just made these yesterday for Joel's visiting family!! I love this recipe...and I doubled it for the masses. I love your write up and pictures but am disappointed you didn't bring me any!

  2. I agree--buttermilk vs sour milk--buttermilk is a must!! Real buttermilk pancakes just about melt in your mouth. Yum, I look forward to trying this recipe, I've not tried one with sour cream added too.

  3. I made a chili cinnamon chocolate sauce for our pancakes that was really fun!!

  4. mmmmm...eight months later these still look amazing!