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Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes
Production of buttermilk is a little different than it was 50 years ago. In days gone by, buttermilk was the liquid that remained after cream was churned into butter. Today, commercial buttermilk is made by combining low-fat or nonfat milk with a natural bacteria that converts the milk sugars into acids, producing a thick, soured milk. In baked goods as well as pancakes, buttermilk acts as a leavening agent when combined with baking soda. This creates gas bubbles, resulting in light, fluffy pancakes with a rich flavor.

Pancakes are always a treat for breakfast, and they're even more fun to eat when cooked in whimsically shaped molds. For instructions on using pancake molds, please click on the tip at left.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray
  • Maple syrup for serving

Directions:

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until frothy. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla. Stir just until the batter is smooth and no lumps of flour remain; do not overbeat.

Heat a griddle over medium-high heat until a few drops of water flicked onto the surface skitter across it. Lightly grease the griddle and the inside surface of the pancake molds with vegetable oil, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set the molds on the griddle and heat until hot.

Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into each mold. Cook until bubbles form on top and the batter is set, about 2 minutes. Remove the molds and, using a spatula, flip the pancakes. Cook until golden brown on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Keep warm until all the pancakes are cooked.

Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the griddle as needed. Serve with maple syrup.
Makes 12 pancakes; serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.