I have a confession. I hate syrup. Yes, you read correctly, I can’t stand that sweet, goopy mess. I do, however, love breakfast sweets like pancakes, waffles and french toast. I just prefer mine with butter — and in recent years, powdered sugar. Add some fresh fruit and it’s a meal as close to perfection as it gets.
Having been an avid cook for many years, I was always searching for the perfect pancake recipe. I finally found it many years ago on the Williams-Sonoma website. My torn and tattered print out has been lovingly referred to in the production of dozens and dozens of fluffy buttermilk pancakes. Probably hundreds, but who’s counting? Let’s see, pancakes at least every other weekend, sixteen per batch, times the 7 or 8 years I’ve been making them works out to….okay a lot of them!
Flipping hundreds of pancakes, I’ve also learned the secret to never having “the dreaded first batch that doesn’t come out right, so you end up throwing it away.” Want to know the secret? First of all, I use a cheap square griddle that is exactly like the one we had when I was a kid. It was scratched, warped and blackened, and yet I was so disheartened to learn that my Mom had thrown it away prior to a move. Just knowing I would never inherit this *treasure* sent me off to Bed Bath & Beyond quicker than you can say “20% off one item.” Heating the griddle over medium heat is the first step followed by a very, very light coating of vegetable oil. I use a small piece of paper towel, and lightly rub on the tiniest bit of oil. After every two batches, the oil is re-applied. There you have it….a perfect cooking surface for pancakes.
Buttermilk Pancakes with Strawberries, makes 16
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma
2 cups flour, sifted
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 stick (4 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
Vegetable oil for greasing pan
To serve: butter, powdered sugar, sliced fresh strawberries
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the remaining ingredients through the vanilla and beat on low until you have just removed the lumps — do not overbeat.
After heating and greasing the griddle (see above), pour about 1/3 cup of batter per pancake onto pan (if using a square griddle, this is 4 pancakes at a time). When bubbles form, flip the pancakes. Both sides should be golden brown. Finished pancakes can be kept warm in a lightly heated oven.
Add your own combination of butter, sugar, and strawberries and dig in!