We don’t do it often, but making pancakes from scratch is a wonderful way to start a holiday weekend. It doesn’t take much more time and the quality is much better. So, get out your baking supplies, butter and syrup to make some fluffy pancakes.
Buttermilk is a good ingredient to have around the house. Buttermilk, which is mostly whey, can be used for biscuits, pancakes, cakes or things like banana bread. The reason it works so well is that it has very little fat and, therefore, more acid. The acid reacts better than regular milk when using baking powder and/or baking soda. Also, buttermilk will last longer than regular milk in your refrigerator. But if you’re not making biscuits or pancakes very often, you should buy a half pint carton at the grocery store rather than a quart. That way, if you don’t use it right away, you will not have to throw out a lot of money.
In our recipe, you have the choice to make more acidic milk or use buttermilk. If using buttermilk, you can just measure out three-quarters of a cup to add to your dry ingredients later. Otherwise, you can get a similar tasting liquid by adding a couple tablespoons of white (or distilled) vinegar to the milk and allow it to “sour” for a few minutes. Keep the milk handy in case your batter comes out too thick.
As usual, first you mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Combine one cup of all-purpose flour, two tablespoons of sugar, a teaspoon of baking powder, half a teaspoon of baking soda and the same amount of salt.
In a medium bowl, combine the “sour” milk (or buttermilk) with an egg and two tablespoons of melted butter or oil. Whisk together the wet and dry ingredients just until all ingredients are mixed. A few small lumps are normal, but make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the batter. Be careful not to over-mix, it will make the pancakes tougher and flatter. The batter should still pour, but slowly, like honey.
Heat a griddle pan (that’s best) or a skillet over medium heat. It should be non-stick or well-seasoned. Coat the surface with cooking spray. Pour about a quarter cup of the batter onto the pan and let it cook until the edges are dry and bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake. Flip it with a spatula or turner and cook the other side until slightly browned.
Move the finished pancake to a plate and apply butter and/or syrup. You can also use fresh fruit, whipped cream or applesauce.
Repeat as needed until the batter is used up. Extra pancakes can be put in an air-tight container and used later. (The make good sandwiches!)