My husband hasn’t ever actually confessed to this, but I know that his favorite meal is breakfast. I have known him for 25 years and there are clues. First, he always eats breakfast—and with gusto—oatmeal, berries with yogurt and granola, toast with butter and jam—some combination of these every single workday. If, some morning, we discuss going out for lunch, he will often suggest that we go for brunch instead, and when we get there, I’m ordering the salmon salad, he the scrambled eggs, sausage and grits. I could serve breakfast food for dinner and get no complaints (what’s not to like?) And I always get a delighted smile on a day when I start measuring flour into a small bowl on a Sunday morning—because that usually means that I’m making pancakes. Specifically these pancakes which are his (and my) favorite. Nothing fancy here, just light, lovely, perfect buttermilk pancakes.
The recipe is adapted from Marion Cunningham’s Breakfast Book and as you can see from the photo below, I have used it so often over the years that the binding is broken and the book falls to this page every time it is opened (although I don’t need to open it anymore because I know this one by heart.) The book is filled with lovely things to eat in the morning—or, for that matter, anytime of day.
Makes about 10 pancakes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg at room temperature
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled a bit
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside. In a larger bowl, combine the buttermilk, the egg and the butter and whisk until smooth. (Note: the reason the butter needs to be cooled is so that it won’t curdle buttermilk and cook the egg—I learned that the hard way.) Stir in the dry ingredients, but just until combined, lumps are fine and you don’t want to overwork this batter.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Grease it lightly. Spoon the batter into the pan (I can fit three pancakes in my large skillet) but don’t overcrowd. Cook until bubbles start to appear on the top, check the bottom by raising it just a bit with the spatula, and wait for it to be a lovely golden brown. Then flip the pancake and cook the other side for just a minute until it is also lightly browned. Transfer to a platter and keep cooking until all of the pancakes are done. If your pan has dried out, lightly grease it again between batches. Serve immediately with maple syrup (which I heat in a small pitcher with 1 tablespoon of butter added—great flavor and then you don’t have to butter your pancakes.)
Note: This recipe doubles easily (the ingredients shown are for a double recipe) and if you have pancake lovers in your house, you should—these disappear quickly. If you don’t need quite all of the batter, you can store any remaining in the refrigerator and use it later. It’s great to be able to make a pancake or two to order on a busy school morning or workday.