Secrets of Fluffy Pancakes: Buttermilk and an Electric Skillet!
Today is IHOP’s very commendable Free Pancakes for Charity Promotion. When I saw the news, the first thing I thought was, “I wish ALL restaurants were equally devoted to giving back to their communities.” My second thought was, “I’m dying for some pancakes!”
As (bad) luck would have it, we don’t have an IHOP’s in Owensboro, so that means breaking out the electric griddle and making one of my favorite recipes for buttermilk pancakes. The recipe is from my most-used, most-trusted, and most-loved cookbooks ever: Southern Biscuits. The fact is, it’s my go-to cookbook for biscuits, buttermilk pancakes, honey-mustard, and a slew of other outstanding recipes.
The cookbook gives the recipe below using regular milk, but as the authors tell us, you can substitute buttermilk. The buttermilk gives pancakes that special something (in the fluffiness AND flavor) that sets them apart from every other pancake in the world, so don’t even think about making pancakes without buttermilk!
First off, you need the Southern Biscuits recipe for “Homemade Refrigerator Biscuit Mix.” Alternately, you CAN use store-bought biscuit mix. I’ve personally never used the store bought mix, but I see no reason in the world why it wouldn’t be just as wonderful.
Homemade Refrigerator Biscuit Mix
10 cups self-rising flour
3 tsp salt
5 tsp cream of tartar
4 tsp baking powder
2 cups chilled shortening, lard, or butter (roughly cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
Fork-sift or whisk the dry ingredients in a very (very, very) large bowl. Scatter the shortening, lard, or butter over the dry ingredients, then work it in with a pastry cutter (or two knives doing a scissor like dance) until the mixture resembles well-crumbled feta cheese, with no piece larger than a pea.
Shake the bowl occasionally to allow the larger pieces of fat to bounce to the top of the flour – this way you’ll find the fatties that still need mixing in.
Store the mix in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to use.
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
2 cups Homemade Refrigerator Biscuit Mix (above!) or store-bought biscuit mix
Stir the buttermilk and egg together in a bowl, add the biscuit mix, and stir until just combined.
(IF you’re using regular milk – instead of buttermilk, allow the batter to sit for 10 minutes. However, if you’re using buttermilk, it doesn’t need this “rest.” Buttermilk instantly activates the leaveners in the biscuit mix, it doesn’t need time to think about it! So cook pancakes made with buttermilk right away.)
Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.
For a 4″ pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto the hot skillet. Cook until the edges begin to dry and the top begins to show bubbles. Turn and cook 1 to 2 minutes until the underside is golden brown. If the batter stars to thicken as it sits, add a little milk to thin the batter. Serve warm.
I can’t say enough good things about Southern Biscuits. I 100 percent urge you to buy this wonderful (and downright lovely) cookbook today. You can read my Southern Biscuits Review by clicking the link.
Buttermilk is my first secret for making perfect pancakes. The second secret? An Electric Skillet! Browse through the best ones below: