Ahhh... summer vacation!! Eagerly awaited by all in our family and arriving none too soon. For weeks I've dreamed of sleeping until I simply awoke on my own without the help of an alarm clock, throwing our schedules out the window and enjoying leisurely breakfasts with the kids.
Liv's dreams are nearly the same, but but her idea of the ideal leisurely breakfast is not quite the same as mine. While pancakes rate high on both of our lists, our concept of the perfect pancake varies. Mine would be filled with whole grains including wheat germ, flax meal and rolled oats combined with a touch of brown sugar, then topped with nice layer of nuts and bananas - like these. Liv however prefers her pancakes more along the simple line... simple white flour along with a decent amount of sugar combined with the nice tang of buttermilk. Hers would be topped with fresh strawberries and then doused with maple syrup.
In the past I've taken the basic buttermilk pancake recipe and added a touch of wheat germ or flax meal and then reduced the sugar in the recipe to make the pancake a bit healthier, however the first day of summer vacation is a special day deserving of a special treat. With Liv's adorable smile and those long eyelashes batting my direction how could I resist her? "Besides," she asked, "How often does one receive a 101.6% final score in math?"
Knowing right where to turn for the ideal recipe I pulled out a copy I had saved for just such an occasion. In early June, Christiane, The Mom Chef - Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time, posted Buttermilk Pancakes from the Best of Fine Cooking - Breakfast, 2011. Reading that these pancakes were Dudette approved was the only stamp of approval we needed and Liv and I got to pulling ingredients from the pantry.
Basic flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda are mixed with buttermilk and eggs for pancakes that puff up to some of the lightest and fluffiest pancakes we've had in a while - just like the Mom Chef said! Topped with fresh strawberries and maple syrup we had a treat fit for the first day of summer vacation. I think we just might make them tomorrow too...
Printer friendly recipe here
2 Tbs. unsalted butter; more for serving
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
Vegetable oil for the griddle
Pure maple syrup for serving
Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove and set aside to cool briefly.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk gently until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated; stop before the batter is evenly moistened. Add the cooled melted butter and mix just until the batter is evenly moistened (there will be lumps). Let the batter rest while you heat the griddle.
Heat a griddle or a large skillet over medium heat (or set an electric griddle to 375°F) until drops of water briefly dance on the surface before evaporating. Lightly oil the griddle. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle for each pancake, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Let cook undisturbed until bubbles rise to the surface and the edges look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Check the underside of each pancake to make sure it’s nicely browned; then flip. Cook until the second side is nicely browned, about 1 minute more. Transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve fresh strawberries and maple syrup.