Best Pancakes ever: Buttermilk PanCAKES
Pancakes make me think of lazy weekend mornings. My beautiful mother making us pancakes on Sundays we weren’t attempting to go to church. My best friend Fiona wearing her fuzzy and huge robe as she mixed pancakes for her oldest son when he just an only child (and I still spent the night on their couch after one too many cocktails). Now it’s usually my friend Lauren at our semi weekly breakfasts at a local greasy spoon. She always orders something, something AND ONE PANCAKE. Of which, I steal a bite of. If you eat with me you better share, because my voracious curiosity about all things definitely extends to my appetite. Probably why I’m a size 14 and not a 4. But hey, just more of me to love. Also, I’ve decided that not-food-sharing is definitely a dating Julianne deal breaker. If you’re stingy with your fries, it doesn’t bode well for being a life partner.
So pancakes are the ultimate weekend luxury. Most weekdays I have a kale and blueberry smoothie. It’s a brooding brownish color, and it tastes like liquefied grass with a hint of blueberry. It’s fast and it’s healthy and it doesn’t make me want to immediately take a nap. All good things considering it’s rare I’m on time to work. Yes, with a little effort I can make scrambled eggs or toast on a weekday. But it’s rare that I have a meal on a plate with a fork and knife between Monday and Friday.
I’m still adjusting to the novelty weekends at home after 13 years of being in the Navy. There were always deployments, duty weekends, and a magnitude of travel and jet lag to contend with. I now have a regular schedule and I prefer to get rested rather than staying out all night. All these things have brought me very peaceful weekend mornings. Coffee, writing, and usually something doughy, sweet, and delicious. Milling about in bed and reading one of the six books I have on my nightstand at any one time, it’s seriously the bestest time of the week.
Why did I spell my recipe in such an obnoxious manner? Because I love cake, I’m good at baking cake, and I’ve had enough shitty pancakes to almost put me off them forever.
So, my Buttermilk PanCAKE recipe is above all, a cake recipe.
I go through phases of cooking, I get obsessed with a certain food item or ingredient, and this week it’s pancakes.
First it started with all the pancake art videos on youtube. I only like food art if it’s something I’d actually eat. Pancakes that look like Garfield? Yes. Radish rose? No.
Second, I had a half-gallon of buttermilk (minus one cup for Chicken & Dumplings) to use up. Other than pancakes and fried chicken, there’s not a whole lot of uses for buttermilk that I’ve found.
So, after my first sad attempt at pancake art, I decided to stick to what I know: cooking delicious food.
The difference between my recipe and all others:
- use CAKE flour. It’ll make your pancakes light, fluffy and tender.
- use BUTTER. And if you can, European butter, with it’s higher butterfat content and yellow appearance make your pancakes little fluffy clouds of heaven
- DO NOT OVERMIX. If you’re trying to have a tender and fluffy pancake you don’t want gluten to form. You may not know what gluten is, but trust me. Just don’t.
- get the griddle temperature right, but just remember. You can always cook it more, but you can’t cook it less. So if you’re worried about burning your pancakes, just keep the stove on the cooler side.
This was a bit of a rambling post, but hey! It’s the weekend, and I’m just trying to relax.