August 5, 2011

Super soft buttermilk pancakes

I have a confession to make.  When I make pancakes, I always use a box mix.  The kind where you just add water.  What can I's convenient and tastes fairly good (it's really about the maple syrup anyway, right?).  For a long time, I used a mix from William Sonoma that produced these nice crepe-like pancakes that we love but the downside is it's pricey and there's the obvious negatives with any packaged mix.  So the other day, I had some extra buttermilk in the fridge after making our favorite chocolate cake.  Do you ever wonder why buttermilk only comes in 1-quart containers when you usually only need about a cup?  I'm always looking for ways to use some of it up when I have it around and this time I thought I'd try making some buttermilk pancakes.
I think I might be just a little bit addicted to these pancakes.  They are oh so incredibly soft and tender.  It's definitely not all about the maple syrup after all though a little bit on top is very nice indeed.  These pancakes have quite a bit of tang because of the buttermilk so you have to like that and I find myself liking it more and more.  The texture is really lovely...super soft and just melts in your mouth.
The recipe for these buttermilk pancakes comes from Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook and I found the recipe online.  Just a totally irrelevant  side note, my husband and I saw her once when we had lunch at the Japanese restaurant, Nobu, in New York City.  She is gorgeous!

There's nothing too unusual about this actual pancake batter.  The unusual part is the recommendation to prepare the pancake mix the night before and then thin it out with a bit of milk when you're ready to cook them.  The pancakes are supposed to taste best after resting in the fridge overnight.  I'm imagining the buttermilk working its tenderizing magic in the refrigerator overnight while I'm sleeping.  But since we don't live in an ideal world, I'm sure it's perfectly acceptable to whip the batter up and cook the pancakes without refrigerating if you are short on time. 

To make the batter for the pancakes, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt are combined in a bowl.  Separately, whisk eggs, melted butter, and the buttermilk together.  Then, whisk the wet ingredients into the dry.  As with all pancake mixes, do not overmix.  Having some small lumps in the batter is actually a good thing for pancakes.   Cover the batter with plastic wrap and refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, I'm ready for the taste test!  Heat your griddle with a little bit of butter.  Take some whole milk and add it to the batter to thin it out to the consistency you like.  I made half the recipe (enough to serve about 3) and used a little less than 1/4 cup of milk.  Cook the pancakes over medium heat, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Serve with some maple syrup and dig in.
These pancakes made a very nice Sunday morning breakfast.  I thought our little guy might not like the tangy flavor of these pancakes but he cleaned his plate.  I've made these twice already and I'm sure I'll be making them again soon.


"Bruce Paltrow's World-Famous Pancakes" or Super Soft Buttermilk Pancakes
Recipe can be found here; originally from Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook

- Should serve 6 but they're so tasty, I say 4-5 (makes roughly 15 pancakes, depending on size/consistency)-

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs (organic, if possible)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (plus more for greasing pan, if desired)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
About 1/2 cup whole milk
Maple syrup, for serving

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.

Whisk eggs, the 3 tablespoons melted butter, and buttermilk in another bowl or measuring cup.  Whisk wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.  Small lumps remaining in the batter are fine.  Cover the batter and let rest overnight in the refrigerator.

The next morning, heat a griddle or nonstick skillet with about 1/2 teaspoon of unsalted butter or spray with an even coating of cooking spray.  Remove batter from the refrigerator and whisk in milk until it reaches desired consistency.  Ladle batter onto the hot griddle and cook each side for about 2-3 minutes, flipping over when bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes.  Repeat, and cook remaining in batches until done. 

Serve immediately with maple syrup (warmed would be ideal but room temperature is good enough).

* If you don't have buttermilk around or don't like the tang from the buttermilk, try some classic fluffy pancakes instead.

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