I mentioned last week that one of my favorite cooking accomplishments from 2016 was mastering pancakes. Now making pancakes might not seem difficult, but the first time my husband and I attempted them at home the results were comically terrible. We had used a box mix (it pains me to admit that, but I'll blame it on having limited options at his old bachelor pad) and the texture was tough and unappealing. I'm never a fan of boxed baking mixes because stirring together the dry ingredients is generally the easiest step and the ingredients (including the leavener, which is key here) may be stale.
When we decided to up our pancake game last year, we read that buttermilk is key to achieving peak pancake fluffiness. My husband found this bon appétit recipe from their "BA's Best" collection, which I have always loved cooking from and highly recommend checking out (it's a great cooking goals list in its own right). I recommend bringing your ingredients to room temperature first, or at least pulling them out of the fridge while you make coffee.
Now that we've mastered the basics of pancakes, I'm excited to play around with endless variations (pumpkin! apple! blueberry! chocolate chip!) and add a few fancy favorites to our repertoire.
I love this whisk. It was my grandmother's, and it's a constant reminder to me that with the right care, good quality kitchen tools can last for decades.
Take care not to over mix the batter! It should still be a little lumpy, which will keep the final result light and fluffy.
Onto the griddle they go! Our pancake game got even stronger after Doug received this two-burner cast iron griddle in the secret Santa gift exchange with my siblings.
I use a small, flexible silicone spatula to help get the batter out of the measuring cup. Don't be afraid to use the same spatula to gently shape the pancake as it first hits the griddle. The goal here is make sure they're not too thick in the center.
In my experience, the first pancake is often (always?) a lost cause, whether it's too crisp, not satisfyingly golden brown, or too thick and therefore hard to cook evenly. Just be nice to yourself and consider it a mulligan - it's how you get a feel for the batter on that particular day and the temperature of your griddle or skillet!
I cannot be held responsible for disappearing pancakes!