The Pancake Challenge Part Four

Contributed By Marissa Bognanno, Professional Chef  and Author of The Boot Blog

You guys. It’s a whole new ball game now. You know why? Because buttermilk changes everything. Who knew that a little curdled milk could make a pancake taste so good? Granted, these cakes were on the flat side, but the flavor was smooth and buttery and had me going back for more (A.K.A stealing from Manu’s plate). Do you remember the opening scene of Charlotte’s Web, the cartoon movie? When the family is eating pancakes and they’re talking about giving Wilbur a “buttermilk bath”? Well, they keep saying “buddahmilk, buddahmilk, buddahmilk” and when I was little I imagined vats of milk and butter swirling around with the pig in there, all happy and soaking up the creaminess. (That has nothing to do with the pancakes, I just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page regarding the beauty of buttermilk.)

Pancake recipe: adapted from 101 Cookbooks with my own little twist.
Taste: Buttery, sweet and smooth.
Texture: Very elastic and chewy.
Esthetics: Flat, not the prettiest looking.
Manageability: Easy to put together, but since the batter is loose, they can burn easily.

[Manu, in his pjs, helping with the photo shoot!]

Buttermilk Pancakes with Jam Syrup
recipe adapted from here
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar (less if desired)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (to make your own, add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup milk and let sit 10 minutes)
1 egg
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 ample tablespoons fruit jam
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, egg and melted butter and add that slowly to the flour mixture. Don’t overmix, or else the pancakes will become dense. It will be lumpy, don’t worry. Ladle the batter onto the hot buttered skillet in 1/4-cup increments. Wait for the bubbles to appear before flipping. If pancakes start to stick, add a bit more butter to the skillet. To make the jam syrup, add the fruit jam to the hot skillet when the pancakes are done cooking along with 1/4 cup of water. Whisk and let it reduce, it will take a few minutes.

This challenge has been so fun and I'd like to think that I'm becoming somewhat of a pancake connoisseur. :) The other great thing about it is that I'm really starting to understand the chemistry behind baking - something that I've never been able to get the hang of! So let me ask you, if you could do a recipe challenge, testing out all different methods to making one dish, what would it be?

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