My mother-in-law has an admiration for breakfast items. French Toast, Waffles…PANCAKES! She once expressed to me that she would love it to not have all the fuss of dinner and for an evening just have something a bit easier like Pancakes. I understood what she was getting at. Pancakes to her were something simple, comforting, and really enjoyable. Her pancakes were to my marinara sauce or lentil soup. I kept looking at the buttermilk I had left in the refrigerator this week and was thinking of all the things I could do with it when the idea of pancakes came to mind. I instantly thought of my mother-in-law. I asked my husband if he would mind having Buttermilk Pancakes for dinner? (I also tempted him with sunny side up eggs and bacon.) He responded with a quick “Sounds good to me!” A boy after his mother’s heart, she would be so proud.
I wanted to ensure that these pancakes would be light, fluffy, and have a bit of texture to them. I hate when you end up with a lead sinker of a pancake that is dense and soaks up your maple syrup. I also don’t care for it when the pancakes absorb all your maple syrup like a sponge and tastes like nothing else but syrup. I thought back to the ricotta pancakes I make and how fluffy they are. Whipping the egg whites would do the trick. But the texture…the pancakes needed a grain of some kind. Having stone ground cornmeal in the pantry would answer that.
My end result was great. Easy to make, and dinner was whipped up in no time. I know my mother-in-law would have loved them. The bacon and egg make it more complete of a meal and those two things are so easy to cook up you can have dinner, or breakfast if you wish, ready in no time. Breakfast for dinner…dinner for breakfast; maybe that is next?
Buttermilk Pancakes (serves 4 / makes about 18 pancakes)
1 cup of AP Flour
½ cup of Cornmeal (medium, stone ground)
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
½ tsp of salt
2 eggs, separated
2 tbsp of butter, melted (plus more for the pan)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup of Buttermilk
First; in a bowl place your flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk them all together and set it aside. In a medium bowl whisk together your yolks, melted butter, vanilla extract, and buttermilk and set aside.
Next; in the bowl of a standing mixer place your egg whites and whisk on high until they are stiff. Whisk your buttermilk mixture into your bowl of flour. Do not over mix. You are looking for the mixture to be evenly incorporated, but small lumps are okay. (Mixing to get rid of all the lumps can cause your batter to create too much gluten. It will result in a tough pancake.)
Then; fold in your egg whites to your batter. You will see that this will lighten your batter and it will be real fluffy. Be sure that your egg whites are evenly distributed because you do not want to have pockets of stiff egg whites in your pancakes.
Finally; place a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Once heated though melt a tablespoon of butter into your pan and place a small ladle of batter into the pan, slightly flattening it with the ladle. Once tiny bubbles form around the edge of your pancake carefully slide a spatula under it and flip it over quickly to cook on the other side. You can make as many in a pan that you feel comfortable with, just be sure to leave room so you can work around them to flip. When pancakes are done cooking place them on a plate for serving. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.
NOTE: You will need to add more butter to the pan while cooking your pancakes. Just be sure to add a tiny bit at a time.
NOTE: Feel free to add things to your batter if you wish. For example; blueberries, raspberries, nuts, sliced bananas, or chocolate chips…but feel free to use your imagination.