You'd Butter Believe It - It's Buttermilk Pancakes
I wanted to make cranberry oat scones and that required buttermilk. However, the bigger sized carton of buttermilk was better value, so I bought it - who can resist a good deal? But now I had an almost full carton of buttermilk sitting in my fridge and after my experience with the Food Waste Challenge I did not want to throw it away. What can I make with buttermilk? Of course, buttermilk pancakes!
Next, I needed to find a great recipe. One quick Internet search and I found a recipe in the New York Times. The recipe has 1,271 5-star reviews so it must be good - right?
What you need
Here are the basic ingredients. Most of them you should have on hand.
If you don't have buttermilk then check out the Anything else I should know? section below for suggested alternatives.
- 2 cups / 250 g all-purpose / plain flour
- 3 tablespoons / 37 g sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 2 ½ cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons / 42 g melted, unsalted butter
- Cooking oil for the pan
Optional: 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (does give the pancakes a really nice flavor).
What to do
Making the Pancake Batter
- Melt the butter and let it cool slightly.
- Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk into the well, then the eggs, vanilla extract (if using) and lastly the melted butter.
- Gently whisk the dry ingredients into the buttermilk, eggs and butter. Do not overmix, you do not want to activate the gluten in the flour as this will make the pancakes too tough. A few lumps are OK.
- Let the mix stand for about 5-10 minutes so the flour can absorb more of the liquid. This will also help disperse any lumps.
Cooking the Pancakes
- Heat a large, non-stick pan or griddle over a medium-low heat and then add some oil. Each pan is different but mine took about 4-5 minutes to heat.
- Then ladle about 1/3 cup of batter into the pan. If your pan is big enough you can add more, but don't forget to leave room for them to expand. My pan was big enough to cook 3 at a time.
- When bubbles start to form in the pancake it's time to flip it. Depending on how hot your pan is, this will be after about 2-4 minutes.
- Cook the pancake on the other side until it is golden brown.
- Remove from the pan and either serve immediately or place on a wire rack inside a baking sheet in a warm oven.
- Then enjoy the light, fluffy deliciousness!
How much time?
About 30 minutes in total:
- Making the batter took me about 5 minutes.
- About 8 minutes to rest the batter and heat the pan.
- Cooking the pancakes took 15 minutes. Be careful, once the pan is nicely warmed up, they do cook fast!
Since the batter was made in one bowl, clean-up was also easy.
To make this recipe cost me $2.59. If I make pancakes using a box mix and adding milk, eggs and sugar, then the equivalent cost is $1.59.
Making this recipe with clabbered milk reduces the cost to $2.05 (see the Anything else I should know? section below for more details on clabbered milk).
Is it worth it?
Since these pancakes were so easy to make and incredibly delicious I really wanted to award them a 5-pig rating. In my experience it is just as quick to make up this recipe as it is to make pancakes using a pancake mix, and this recipe it much tastier!
However, they are more expensive to make than the pancake mix in a box, so they lose a pig.
If you try this recipe and disagree with the rating, let me know in the comments section below. Your feedback could prompt a re-evaluation!
Anything else I should know?
How do I make sure the pancakes are light and fluffy?
To ensure you get the lightest, fluffiest pancakes here are some tips:
- Make sure your baking powder and baking soda is not too old. Not sure? Then you can test them to find out.
- It's good to have your eggs and buttermilk at room temperature. Want to know why it's good to have them at room temperature?
- According to the recipe you can refrigerate it for up to an hour, but I wouldn't recommend it. These pancakes are light and fluffy because of the reactions between the buttermilk and the baking soda. If you leave the mixture for too long then these ingredients will no longer be reacting and producing the carbon dioxide bubbles that you want.
- However, while you don't want the mixture to sit too long, you do need to leave it to stand for up to 10 minutes. This allows the flour to absorb some of the liquid and the buttermilk, baking powder and baking soda can start to work their magic!
Recipe sounds delicious by I don't have any buttermilk!
If you don't have buttermilk then you can make clabbered milk. What is clabbered milk? It's just a fancy name for soured milk! To make it you can use one of the following methods:
- Lemon juice:
- Add 2 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice to just over 2 ¼ cups of milk
- This can make the batter taste a little lemony.
- Add 2 ½ tablespoons of vinegar to just over 2 ¼ cups of milk
- May give the pancakes a vinegary aftertaste.
- Cream of Tartar:
- Add 3 ½ teaspoons of cream of tartar to the dry ingredients and mix.
- Then add 2 ½ cups of milk in place of the buttermilk.
- Cook's Illustrated thinks that cream of tartar works great with no aftertaste.
What do I do with leftovers?
If you have any leftovers, they can be frozen for up to 1 month. Once cool, you can either:
- Wrap them in wax paper, making sure there is wax paper between each pancake and the put them stacked in an airtight container or freezer bag; or
- Place them on a baking tray, making sure they don't touch and then freeze them for about 15 - 30 minutes. Once frozen you can put them into an airtight container or freezer bag. If you need to freeze more than one layer, just put a layer of parchment paper between them.
The pancakes can also be refrigerated in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
To reheat frozen pancakes:
- Microwave for about 20 seconds for one pancake. Add 10 seconds for each additional pancake. Although I wouldn't recommend reheating more than 5-6 at one time!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 177°C. Bake pancakes on a baking sheet for about 7-8 minutes
Refrigerated pancakes can be reheated the same way, just reduce the cooking time by about half.
We were "old school" and had our pancakes with maple syrup, but it's very easy to add some blueberries to the pancake batter after you've added it to the pan.
What do you think is easier or better? Make pancakes from scratch or use a mixture from a box? What other yummy fillings do you prefer?