Well, me. I used to hate them. As a kid I was a sugar-monster, so I am guessing that once upon a time I overdosed on pancakes and syrup – probably at a “breakfast for dinner” occasion – and it scarred me for life. As an adult I shunned pancakes – I’d occasionally eat a waffle, but never with syrup – only strawberries or something like that.
So imagine my surprise when I found myself hankering for a pancake one day. Nope, not pregnant. Just… thinking that it sounded good. I dug through my cookbooks and found a recipe in Staff Meals from Chanterelle by David Waltuck.
First, let’s talk about this cookbook. I read cookbooks like novels. If you don’t, that’s fine, I’m just weird like that. But it lets me really familiarize myself with the style of cooking within the book, and the range of recipes. This book is simply awesome. While some recipes are challenging due to the number of steps, everything I’ve made from it has been delicious, satisfying, and worthy of guests. I strongly recommend it to anyone – the range of recipes is great, covering breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails. It’s not my very favorite book, but it’s right up there in the top 5.
Now: Pancakes. The recipe I used was fantastic, but called for an awful lot of butter, and since I don’t really need that much fat in my diet, I experimented with cutting the butter down and replacing it with applesauce. There are no crazy ingredients in this recipe – buttermilk is the only thing you might not have on hand, but it’s easy to source or “fake”. I’ve added blueberries or raspberries to these, with sublime results. My husband and his son prefer theirs with chocolate chips. Either way, here’s my go-to recipe. And listen: do not skimp on the syrup. Don’t use that crappy Aunt Jemima stuff. Buy pure maple syrup – it’s worth every penny. I put mine in a little soy sauce bowl on the side so that I can perfectly regulate the amount I get on every bite.
Half-Inch-High Buttermilk Pancakes
adapted from Staff Meals from Chanterelle by David Waltuck
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg, separated
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup milk (I use skim, works fine)
Canola or other vegetable oil for greasing the griddle
Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
In smaller bowl, whisk together melted butter, applesauce and egg yolk. Add buttermilk, milk and egg white – whisk thoroughly.
Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just enough to combine. The batter should be thick and lumpy.
Heat a griddle or skillet over high heat until very hot. Drizzle a little oil into the pan (you can quickly wipe out any excess with a paper towel, and lower heat to medium. Using a 1/4 cup to measure (or eyeball it if you live on the edge) pour batter onto griddle – don’t crowd the pancakes.
Cook until the pancakes begin to firm up and bubbles appear (they may or may not, check the firmness) – 2-3 minutes. Add your mix-ins before turning the pancakes. You can check the bottom of the pancakes to see if they’re browning, if so, flip ’em. Cook until 2nd side is nicely browned, about 1 minute more. Serve immediately.