I always seem to have buttermilk in my fridge. Leftover from whoopie pies, I’m sure. But I don’t know, but I swear, I never buy it, and I always have a carton that’s not expired. It must breed in there, like the tiny moths that always get into our panko flakes in the cupboard.
So to use up this mysteriously duplicating buttermilk, I make pancakes. Maybe, someday, a rustic buttermilk cake. But for now, pancakes are just fine. The buttermilk makes these rich but delicate and fluffy, with little pockets that the maple syrup sinks into. I added a teaspoon of vanilla to the recipe, because I just love a hint of vanilla, but it’s optional. The original recipe is pretty darn good as well.
Last time I made these I was pretty sure I used up the last of the leftover buttermilk, but I just looked, and it’s still in there. I guess the fairies who put my socks in my sous-chef’s drawer so I can never find a matching pair give me half-full cartons of buttermilk in return. That’s fair.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Vegetable oil for brushing griddle
Preheat oven to 200°F.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, egg, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth.
Heat a griddle or a large heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot enough to make drops of water scatter over its surface, then brush with oil. Working in batches and using a 1/4-cup measure filled halfway, pour batter onto griddle and cook, turning over once, until golden, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to a heatproof plate and keep warm, covered, in oven if you want to eat weekend breakfast as a family, or pick your favorite family member and serve to him/her immediately.
According to Gourmet, the recipe makes 14 3-inch pancakes, but I’ve never been able to force myself to stick to the size limit. I usually get 6 4-inch pancakes.