This was the very first recipe I photographed for this site.. and it's #11 to be published. Poor pancakes! They are SO good. I was just looking for the right time to post them.. and well, Christmastime seems like the perfect time to indulge in their gloriousness. And if you don't celebrate Christmas, make them anyway! Do you really need an excuse for pancakes?! I. do. not.
The buttermilk in these pancakes makes them extra light and fluffy. Exactly how pancakes should be. If you don't have buttermilk, just do what I do: For every cup you need of buttermilk, you need a Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Put your acid in your measuring cup and fill to a cup with regular milk (or whatever measurement you need). Just let it sit and mingle for 10 minutes or so and it's the perfect substitution. And brown sugar? It's always better. If you can swing it, muscovado would be incredible (and nutritious), but either light or dark brown sugar is divine in breakfast batters.
Buttermilk Brown Sugar Pancakes
I served these alongside some roasted bacon (do you cook yours in the oven? No? You should. Way easy. Way tasty.) and topped with brown sugar strawberries. They aren't exactly in season right now, so substitute another more ripe (and cheaper) fruit if you need to and just put your fruit in a bowl with a teaspoon or a few of brown sugar and let it mascerate until the juice starts to come out of the fruit. Yum!
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour*
3 Tbsp. brown sugar, light or dark (I like dark) (or muscovado sugar)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/2 Tbsp. vinegar/lemon juice, filled up to 1 1/2 cups with regular milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted & cooled + more for skillet
2 Tbsp. neutral oil (canola, safflower, coconut)
1. In a large, deep bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the middle. Add buttermilk (or equivalent), vanilla, melted butter (make sure it's cooled), oil and eggs. Whisk into flour mixture until just combined. Don't overmix, batter can be slightly lumpy.
2. Heat a couple tablespoons of butter in a large skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium heat. Pour 1/4 - 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake (or make silver dollars). When bubbles start to form all around the surface, carefully flip and cook another couple of minutes. It should take 2-3 minutes on each side, but the more pancakes you make, the shorter it will take each time. Add more butter as needed between batches (I like to keep about 1/2 a stick handy and just rub it on as needed).
*Why unbleached? Well, to that I ask you, why was it bleached to begin with?! Yuck. I am now buying exclusively unbleached flour and I really like King Arthur Flour. It's sourced in the USA and readily available in most grocery stores. Win. (No, they didn't pay me to say that. They probably should though. ; ) )