Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes

My kids love pancakes. They request them at least twice a week, doesn’t matter which meal. I’m looking for pancakes that are quick, easy, and taste great. This recipe moved to the top of the pile with a clever little trick about the eggs. Yes, you separate them. No, you don’t whip the whites. Don’t feel bad if you read through the recipe a few times to make sure you didn’t miss the directions. I read it three times before I reluctantly dumped in the whites. As usual, my comments are in italics.

Lofty pancakes. Kids LOVED. They ate the leftovers for lunch, and asked for more at dinner.

Lofty pancakes. Kids LOVED. They ate the leftovers for lunch, and asked for more at dinner.

Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes. 
Taken from the Kitchn Cookbook by Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand
Makes 18-24 3 inch pancakes

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as canola or peanut oil

Heat the oven to 225 and prepare a large baking sheet buy setting a steel cooling rack inside. Place the baking sheet in the oven. (I skipped this step. In our house, the pancakes go straight from the pan to the plate. Pancakes are serious business.)

Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, and milk. Add the melted butter and whisk until well combined.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until barely combine. Add the egg whites (unbeaten! really!) and stir until a thick batter is formed. Set aside for 5 minutes. (Use this time to refresh your coffee, find the syrup, and wash the berries if it’s a special occasion.)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, coat the skillet with 1/2 teaspoon of oil. After about 30 seconds, when the oil shimmers but is not smoking, lower the heat to medium low, and using a 1/4 cup measure, drop the pancake batter into the skillet. The batter will spread into a pancake about 3 inches wide. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes. (If the pancake scorches or the oil smokes, lower the heat.) I use a rubber basting brush to “paint” oil on the pan (less oil but same effect) and I don’t time my pancakes – I watch for some bubbles on top and then I check the bottom before I flip. I may be compromising perfection, but 5 minutes a pancake is too long for us. We move those little guys along.

When the bubbles that form on the edges of the pancakes look dry and airy, use a thin spatula to gently lift one side of the pancake and peek underneath. If the pancake is golden brown, flip it and cook on the other side for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown.

Remove the pancakes from the skillet and transfer them onto the baking sheet in the oven. Scrape any stray crumbs or scraps out of the skillet, add a little more oil, and cook the remaining batter in batches. Serve as soon as possible, with butter and warm maple syrup. (I followed “serve as soon as possible” to the letter and skipped the warming in the oven and cleaning the skillet. I’m not looking for perfection; I’m looking for fast pancakes that actually taste good. This is it!)

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