Buttermilk Pancakes

My hands down favorite breakfast is pancakes. They are easy, fast, and seriously delicious. But here’s the thing, not all pancakes are alike. The ones you see all the time are the monster IHOP style ones that take up an entire plate and weigh a pound each.

Well, I’m here to say mine are far superior to those! When I say mine, I really mean the ones that have been made by generations of women in my mom’s family (and maybe a few men too in the more recent generations).

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I have so many great pancake based memories. There were the times when my parents left town and we threw chocolate chips in them, or the times we made them when the whole family was piled into our small beach house for Thanksgiving. Or in more recent years, the times when I’ve become obsessed with adding bananas (something I’m sure the 5 year old Amelia would have been horrified by).

Now that’s enough talk about how awesome these pancakes are. Let’s get to the important part: the recipe and ingredients!

Ingredients (this makes enough for two people to have big servings)
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup of flour
1 cup of buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
3 teaspoons of butter, melted
Bananas, chocolate chips, or whatever else you want to throw in

Note: If you’re like me, you generally don’t keep buttermilk around. So this may be the only thing standing between you and a midnight snack of pancakes when you can’t run out to the store. This has happened to me so many times that I have experimented with several substitutions. Both milk and almond milk will work, but the consistency is definitely not as good. And you may need to add extra flour. There are also recipes for turning milk into buttermilk, which work, but are never quite as good. One thing I have learned recently is that you can freeze buttermilk. So now, when I buy a bottle, I pour 1 cup each into several different ziplock bags and then freeze them. This way I’m always ready to make pancakes!

1. To get started, mix the egg yolks, buttermilk, baking soda, salt, sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl. Then add the flour.  Mix until all is thoroughly incorporated.

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2. Now, here comes the secret to the amazing Henderson family pancakes. Well I guess it’s no longer a secret, but here’s what makes our pancakes amazing: place your two egg whites in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat at a high speed until they form peaks. This will take several minutes. You’ll know they are done when you can lift the whisk out and the whites are standing up on their own in peaks.

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3. Now, using a spatula, fold the egg whites into the bowl with your other ingredients. I say fold because you don’t want to just use a spoon to mix everything up. You want to move the spatula in circles starting on top and then going underneath (not left to right). This will help mix the egg whites without actually breaking them all up, which you don’t want to do!

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The egg whites will not perfectly mix, but once they are mostly incorporated, you are ready to start cooking.

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4. If you’re one of those lucky people who has a griddle built into your stove, then go ahead and do that. But if you’re like me, and stuck with a 4 burner stove, take out a large frying pan and set it on your largest burner. Heat it to a medium heat and spray it with cooking spray. Once the pan is hot, you can spoon the pancake mix onto the pan. If you’re not sure if it’s hot enough, put a drop of pancake mix on and make sure it cooks.

5. If you want to add bananas or chocolate chips, place them on each pancake right after you spoon the batter into the pan. You’ll want to wait to flip the pancakes until you start to see bubbles around the edge of each pancake. Then repeat until all the batter is gone!

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And that’s it folks. Enjoy!

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