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Buttermilk Pancakes with Berries

If you like pancakes, you’ll adore these. Tender and truly ethereal, I can’t count how many times I’ve made them and each time I hear the same words from those at the table: “These are the best pancakes I’ve ever had.” And feel free to use this same size batter to make three crisp standard-size waffles, using a half cup of batter for each. This could vary, though, depending on your particular appliance.

I’ve written this recipe requiring the use of buttermilk, since, hands-down, buttermilk makes the best-tasting pancakes with the lightest, most tender texture. If you don’t always have liquid buttermilk in the house, I suggest keeping a supply of dry buttermilk in your pantry, so you can just reconstitute it. This recipe doubles perfectly.

Any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Kitchen Management for more information.

Special Equipment

  • Triple-mesh wire sieve
  • Batter whisk or a wide blending fork
  • Electric griddle (optional but helpful for maintaining correct temperature for cooking pancakes)

For the pancakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk Pancake Mix, or see the end of this recipe
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 2 tablespoons flavorless vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, cooled to just warm
  • 1/2 rounded cup plump ripe blueberries (optional)

1. To assemble the batter: Place 1 1/2 cups of the prepared pancake mix into a bowl. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, vegetable oil, water and melted butter. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the pancake mix, using a batter whisk or a wide blending fork, until thoroughly mixed, being careful not to overwork the batter. 2. To cook your pancakes:heat a nonstick griddle or a large nonstick skillet and, when hot, brush the surface lightly with vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, pour or ladle several 1/4 cup portions of batter onto the hot surface, leaving 1-inch of space between them and, if desired, scatter several of fresh blueberries on top and cook over medium-high heat, until bubbles appear on the surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a thin wide spatula, flip each pancake over and cook on the other side, until golden, about 1 minute. Remove the pancakes to a warmed platter and repeat with the remaining batter. Serve pancakes immediately after the cooking, in individual stacks, with softened butter and warmed pure maple syrup.

If you don’t have the pre-assembled pancake mix:

Per each batch of pancakes, whisk together 1 1/2 cups plain cake flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/3 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar. Sift this into another bowl and continue with the recipe above.

Timing is Everything: For pancakes on busy weekday mornings, do this:

The night before: Combine all of the wet ingredients except the melted butter and refrigerate the mixture, well covered. Measure your dry mix and place it in a covered bowl on your counter. Put your griddle on a turned off burner and put a small covered bowl containing a little vegetable oil next to the stove, with a pastry brush.

In the morning: Remove the wet ingredients from the refrigerator. Melt the butter and, when just warm, add it to the buttermilk mixture. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, using a batter whisk (be gentle, but no dry pockets should remain). Leave the bowl of batter covered, at room temperature, until you’re ready to cook. When ready, ladle the batter onto a hot, greased griddle, as directed.


At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

For the mix :

  • 14 cups plain (not self-rising) cake flour
  • 6 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

For a single batch of pancakes (can be doubled):

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 2 tablespoons flavorless vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, cooled to just warm
  • 1/2 rounded cup plump ripe blueberries (optional)
  • Maple syrup or powdered sugar, as an accompaniment
  • Assorted fresh berries (optional)

From the supermarket shelf:

  • Plain, unleavened cake flour (If making the mix, you’ll need two boxes.)
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Fine table salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Powdered sugar (only if not using maple syrup)
  • Flavorless vegetable oil
  • Maple syrup (optional)

From the refrigerated section:

  • Extra-large eggs

From the dairy case :

  • Buttermilk
  • Unsalted butter

From the produce aisle :

  • Assorted ripe berries (optional)
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