Over the last few weeks, I have been on a quest. A very long, thoroughly tiring and exceptionally noble quest of mastering the buttermilk pancake. I have made more pancakes than humanly possible for two humans to eat in any amount of time. But you know what? It was worth it. Totally worth it! All those tests have produced a fluffy, soft, flavorful, delectable little circle of cake that has become socially acceptable to eat at breakfast. Eat cake for breakfast! Well, pancakes anyways.
Growing up, my dad was the master of pancakes. Master, master. Every Christmas, we would have a big pancake breakfast with all of our extended family and my dad would whip up pancakes for 40 like it was a walk in the park. Every year, we would have at least 3 options. Buttermilk and sourdough, always. And then one new flavor each year — pumpkin spice, lemon poppy seed, gingerbread, and this list goes on and on. They are truly divine.
And he would lay out this big spread of toppings for people to “build-their-own” pancake. It would include every kind of berry, warmed maple syrup, bourbon maple syrup, homemade whipped cream, chopped pecans, powdered sugar, sliced bananas, and chocolate chips.
Now this kind of spread is not very realistic for the everyday cook, but it fun to think about. For today, I will just pull out the syrup and maybe a dab of butter. We will save the big show for another Christmas.
The trouble is, my dad has such an eye for the pancake batter that it is hard to replicate exactly. He can see the viscosity of the batter and the bubbles on the griddle and know exactly what to change. He adds a little more of this and a dash of that. But for those of us that are less adept at the pancake-making process, we prefer a recipe to follow. I am in that club.
So, after all this laboring and testing, I think I may have found a recipe to guide us all towards the most delightful buttermilk pancakes. I hope these pancakes will be fun for everyday, yet inspires a breakfast buffet for your nearest and dearest in the days to come.Print Recipe
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 3/4 cup full-fat buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla until throughly combined.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Gently incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk the mixture together until uniform, but be careful not to overmix. Gently, gently combine.
- When you quickly lift the whisk out of the bowl, the batter should run from the whisk in a thick, but still liquid stream. It should not be soupy or very thick. If the mixture is too thick (and just drops into the bowl, instead of flow in a stream), add a dash more buttermilk. If they mixture is too soupy (and does not stay in a stream, but rather drizzles), add a few tablespoons of flour.
- Preheat a griddle to 375 degrees or a skillet on a stovetop over medium heat. Very lightly mist with a non-stick spray. Let the griddle or pan warm up until a consistent heat.
- Gently spoon about 1/3 cup of batter onto the pan (If you would like to add chocolate chips, now is the time to do it!). Let sit undisturbed until bubbles come to the surface all over the pancake, and the edges of the pancake begin to solidify. Gently move a spatula under the pancake to make sure it is not sticking. Then, quickly flip the pancake over. Have confidence and move quickly!
- Cook on the other side for about 1-2 minutes, until cooked through. Do not press down on the pancakes with your spatula — let them rise high!
- Remove from the pan, add toppings of choice, and enjoy!