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The best buttermilk pancakes

It’s hard to believe that I’ve spent the last 20-something years making whole-wheat, no-fat pancakes. I won’t tell you that they taste bad, because they taste quite good. Especially with some homemade raspberry preserves. But they’re the kind of things you can just pick up and pop in your mouth; they’re pretty firm, pretty small, and pretty…eh. Let’s put it this way: they’re not in the same ballpark as the buttermilk pancakes I’ll be making from now on. These are totally indulgent, not only calorie-wise, but time-wise as well. They involve three separate bowls, which is a definite downside — but even as I’m such the one-pot cook, these pancakes are worth every last moment in the kitchen or at the gym. And the best part is that they taste no less wonderful when you substitute whole wheat for half the white flour, which is my preference. And about the buttermilk — I admit, it’s not something I keep in my fridge on a regular basis, but after today, I’ll certainly be stocking it more often.

The Best Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe
adapted from Food and Wine Magazine, taken from Beltane Ranch
serves 4-6.
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour — I use half whole wheat
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
maple syrup

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, mix milk, butter and egg yolks.
Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in egg whites gently, and stir just until combined.
Heat a lightly buttered castiron skillet over moderately low heat.
For each pancake, use 1/4-cup batter.
Let cook for about two minutes, or until top begins to set around the edges.
Flip and cook 30 seconds longer, then transfer to a 280-degree oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of these beauties.

Serve with good maple syrup and a big appetite.

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  • MandyK Cooks October 28, 2007,

    With the whipped egg whites, Rivka, these remind me of the Passover pancakes my mother made from a recipe on the matzah meal box. Whipping the egg whites with a hand-cranked beater was so much trouble though, I think we had them only twice.

    I, too, wear my pastry chef’s toque too rarely but nevertheless do keep buttermilk in my fridge. Just a quart suffices to always have my favorite “wet” ingredient on hand. And, fortunately, I’ve discovered that it lasts for months.

    So I always have it for pancakes. I’ll have to try yours now but our household recipe is a bit simpler. We call it “Sam’s Pancakes,” as we first tasted them when we dropped in on my cousin Sam and his wife Laura one sunny Sunday in Springfield, Virginia. But Sam took them from “Cooking Light” magazine.

    That means, yes, they are low-fat. Still delicious, though, and simple and, like yours, toothier when wheat flour is sub’ed for up to half the total. (My kids and husband, however, prefer all white — alas.)

    SAM’S (Low-Fat) PANCAKES
    [makes about 1 doz. CD-sized flapjacks]

    2 c flour
    2 T sugar
    1 tsp baking pdr
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    3/4 tsp salt

    1 c buttermilk
    1 tsp veg. oil
    1 egg, beaten

    [for crepe-style thin, add up to 1/2 c skim milk]

    Whisk or fork together dry ingredients. Add wet. Fry up — in butter if you dare!