Buttermilk Pancakes

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Buttermilk makes these pancakes especially tangy and fluffy.

Buttermilk Pancakes
Photo:

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Amelia Rampe

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
Servings:
4

Pancakes are one of the most beloved breakfast dishes, perfect for weekend mornings with the whole family, and holiday brunches. Buttermilk gives these pancakes a bit of tang and makes them especially tender, while the acid in buttermilk works with the baking soda to help these pancakes rise and get extra fluffy.

 To make the best pancakes, cook them in butter or oil over medium-low heat, so they don’t brown too quickly; you don’t want pancakes that are burnt on the outside and raw inside. Ladle or spoon 1/3 cup batter into the pan for each pancake, or 1/4 cup batter if you want smaller pancakes. The batter should sizzle when you add it to the pan. You can usually fit three or four pancakes in a large skillet or up to six pancakes if you use a large griddle, but don’t crowd them; they need space to spread out a bit. Wait until you see a few bubbles on top of the pancakes to flip them, and be sure to use a wide spatula so they flip easily.

This basic buttermilk pancake recipe is excellent on its own or can be used as the basis to make more elaborate or personalized pancakes. You can add fruit — start with 1 cup of blueberries or chopped strawberries, bananas, peaches, or pears per batch. You can also add nuts; 1 cup of halved pecans, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts works nicely here. Toast the nuts to bring out their flavor, and let them cool until just warm before stirring them into the batter. And if you like, add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, or a large pinch of nutmeg or cardamom to the batter for a hint of warm spice. Regardless of what you add to this recipe, be careful to not overmix the batter. It’s better to have a few lumps here and there (they disappear when cooked) than to mix the batter so much that it develops gluten and yields tough pancakes.

Making pancakes for a crowd? This recipe is easily doubled or even tripled. If you are making a large batch of pancakes, store the cooked pancakes in a 300°F oven until you are ready to serve. Warm up some maple syrup, or make a fruit syrup to go on top, and relax into your day.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 cups buttermilk

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or neutral oil

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and butter or oil.

  3. Pour egg mixture into flour, stirring to combine. Gently stir egg mixture into flour, mixing just enough to moisten flour; don't worry about having a few lumps.

  4. Allow the batter to rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Heat butter or oil in skillet. When butter foam subsides or oil shimmers, ladle 1/3 cup batter into skillet. Flip pancakes after bubbles rise to surface and pancakes are brown, 2 to 4 minutes.

  5. Flip pancakes and cook until second side is lightly browned. Serve, or hold in a 250°F oven until ready to serve.

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