A great breakfast for a sleepy weekend morning that will always please a crowd: freshly made buttermilk pancakes.
I ate a lot of pancakes growing up, and while I don’t eat quite as many now (my average breakfast has shrunk a bit), they are still a nice occasional treat on the weekend (that and bacon…). Plus, if you’re entertaining and have company, this is a great way to prepare something fast and fresh when you’re still not entirely awake. Nobody will be the wiser as a tall stack of homemade pancakes will impress and hold the crowd over until lunch. Furthermore, you can even cater to each person’s individual tastes with whatever assortment of toppings you have handy, so you should even have your pickier eaters covered (because we all know that nobody would dare to eat a plain pancake!).
I thought that this recipe would be fun to post here in case you might be more accustomed to using a boxed dry mix for preparing your pancakes. This recipe is pretty straightforward and a good reason to try something new if boxed or some other semi-premade package is what you’re used to. I know some of my other recipes can err on the slightly involved side, but this is pretty easy and you might even already have all of the ingredients you need on hand. These taste great and fluff up very nicely.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/8 cup melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cocoa powder (per 3/4 cups of batter)
- toppings (chocolate chunks, M&M’s, peanut butter, banana slices, walnut chunks, macadamia nuts, pineapple, sliced strawberry, blueberries, …you’ve got some options here )
This recipe yields roughly 10 pancakes, and if you’re not sure how many to make, I figure about 2 pancakes per person on average. They freeze well, too, so making a few too many isn’t the end of the world. I usually double the batch.
Combine all of your dry ingredients over a sieve or a strainer and sift them into a bowl. Light and fluffy flour goes a long way towards light and fluffy baking. In a separate bowl, whisk your wet ingredients well. The buttermilk and the butter add some real richness to the batter and the vanilla adds a really attractive aroma.
If you have a griddle, heat it up. I just use a pan, so preheat that to medium heat. Wait until it has actually properly warmed up (splash a little water on–it should boil off fairly quickly), or else your first batch of pancakes will tell a sorry tale. Once things are warmed up, add your wet bowl to the dry bowl and whisk everything together quickly. Things will still be a little lumpy and that’s ok–let it be.
Now, toss a good sized knob of butter into the pan. Many people like to use spray, oil, and little or no butter at all, but cooking pancakes exclusively with butter adds a really nice crispy edge around the circumference of the pancake and just adds a delicious flavor. Not everybody’s diet will agree with me on that one, so follow your personal oil/butter philosophy.
Anyways, once your butter has melted down (or oil has heated up, whatever), pour 1/4 cup sized scoops of batter into the pan, being sure not to crowd (I can fit two at a time).
At this point, if you’re adding any other toppings to your pancakes, throw them in. You don’t want to wait terribly long because once the batter cooks up, the toppings won’t really sink in, so have them ready and sliced and get them in there quick. I usually use whatever fruit I have handy and a mix of nuts and/or chocolate. Some things that have worked well for me before: banana walnut, banana pecan, strawberry, pineapple macadamia (one of my favorites), blueberry, peanut butter, and of course, chocolate chip. How much you toss in each pancake is up to you. Any other favorites out there?
After a minute or two, you should notice that your pancakes will have a good number of air bubbles. At this point, carefully and very swiftly work a soft spatula underneath each pancake and flip it over. Being slow and cautious here will result in a doughy mess.
After another minute or two, your pancakes should be done so get them out of the pan and onto a plate. Ideally, you’ll serve these immediately, but if not, stack them on a plate and keep covered to keep them warm until you do serve.
Keep adding a knob of butter to the pan between each batch of pancakes.
When I had about 3 pancakes worth of batter left, I thought I’d try something new so I whisked in a teaspoon of cocoa powder. If you want a richer, more chocolatey pancake than you get with just chocolate chips, this is definitely the way to do it. You get a nice chocolatey batter, which you should obviously finish off with something sweet, like chocolate chunks or in this case, some M&M’s. Its not like pancakes are a healthy breakfast anyways.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy!