Post by Alison Hein
Traditional buttermilk is liquid that remains after churning butter. (You can read about butter-making in a prior post.) It has a high lactic acid content that makes it tart and thick. When acidic buttermilk is mixed with baking powder it produces carbon dioxide, which facilitates rising and produces a light, airy dough in biscuits, breads and baked goods.
While I often create a “faux” buttermilk using regular milk and a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice, the real deal has a unique character and flavor that produces classic, fluffy pancakes. These griddled delights have a pure, simple taste that doesn’t require a lot of adornment – you can start to nibble on them straight from the pan.
And if you think a quart of buttermilk is more than you want to buy just to make pancakes, try making homemade salad dressing. Ranch dressing is easy and fresh. Use about a cup of buttermilk, a touch of sour cream and mayonnaise, fresh chopped herbs, and a smidgen of garlic and mustard. Shake it all together. Now you’ve got a tastier product than store-bought, and your friends and family will be impressed with your creativity.
But I got sidetracked from our pancakes. Just take my word for it. Buttermilk is the new / old product of the day. Pick some up and start cooking. Start with these Buttermilk Pancakes for a classic, fluffy breakfast in bed.
2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
4 ounces (one half stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus additional for cooking
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Gradually whisk in buttermilk, then the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slowly add melted butter to batter. The batter should be thick, smooth and creamy.
Place a pan or griddle on the stove over medium to medium high heat. Melt a small amount of butter in the pan for the first pancake. Ladle batter into pan and cook until small bubbles appear throughout pancake, about 1 minute. Flip once with spatula and continue cooking until golden brown, another minute or so. Serve hot with real maple syrup.
Makes 8 to 10 4-inch pancakes.