‘A happy man has no past, whilst an unhappy man has nothing else.”
This is but one of the few memorable quotes I came across in my latest favourite read– The Narrow Road To the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, which won the Man Booker Prize last year. You know those books which leave you craving for more and more after each chapter, and the flipping action is speedy and excited? Yeah, this is one of them. War and Love are classic, usually overlapping literary themes, and Flanagan expertly weaves the two with arousing and intimate prose. Sometimes, I forget how mind-altering and rejuvenating fiction can be. It awakens, stirs something much deeper in the human soul.
Something else pretty mind-altering are…. These pancakes.
These, dear reader! By far the thickest, fluffiest ones I have ever made, and I sure as hell have made a lot of pancakes. Alright, before I proceed, I do wish to address the fact that I missed last week’s second post. Truth was that an unexpected outing stole the day’s limelight, and I hadn’t the time to do a write-up since then. Hopefully, this lazy-sunday-morning-recipe will make up for that. Goodness I’m excited, because trust me, they’re worth it. Definitely worth skipping a café line for.
Now it’s your turn.
Thick, ridiculous, sweet and slightly spongy. I feel as if a drab ‘fluffy’ will take the fun out of this adjective scrambling, but heck, they are. Unbelievably fluffy, light, soft. A slightly lighter version of the Mickey Dees stuff. You get the jam.
I’ve tried these twice– once with almond butter and maple syrup, the other time as if I were at a traditional American diner, with butter, maple syrup, and a whole lot of family.
Can I have them with anything? So fluffy I could die!! My sisters chimed and beamed and scarfed down two each in less the time it takes for me to politely do a knife-and-fork job with one.
Since these freeze so well, I kept a couple stashed away. When I went to look for them the next morning, they were gone. I don’t blame them.
Honey and buttermilk provide an extra layer of moisture without added weight. The first two I made received a little extra char (as you can see above!!) because I was fiddling with the toppings and wasn’t paying as much attention to the stove, but the dark, crusty edges played a good texture game with the warm, melting butter and maple syrup later on. Mmmmm. Happy mistakes. And look at how thick these guys are. I kid you not, each pancake is at least an inch thick. Tender fluff. Pillow fluff. Press on a hot one and you’ll leave a finger mark that disappears almost immediately.
Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pancakes (serves 4-5, makes around 11-12 medium pancakes)
188g all-purpose flour
3 tbsp white sugar
generous pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg (*one banana)
40 unsalted butter (slightly less than 4 tbsp, *vegan butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract or the insides of half a plump vanilla bean (or a skinny meek one)
240ml whole milk/ buttermilk; use store-bought or make your own by mixing 230ml whole milk with 1 tbsp white vinegar, and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before using (*almond milk or any other plant-based milk)
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt and leavening agents). In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in a microwave and set it aside, letting it cool. In another medium bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla (or insides of a vanilla bean) and melted butter. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and mix briefly with a wooden spoon or a normal dinner spoon. Continue to mix until everything is justt combined, which means there will still be a few lumps, but no more streaks of flour. The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy.
Preheat your pan on medium heat and ready some butter. You know the pan is hot enough when you flick a little water onto its surface and there’s a clear sizzle. At that point, generously butter the pan and ladle tablespoonfuls of batter. I didn’t have to wait for bubbles to pop before flipping; the batter is thicker than usual and there’s no need to wait. Flip the pancakes when you notice the edges stiffening a little, or when you can slide your spatula whole underneath the bottom of the pancake. It will rise a little upon flipping, as if that action gives it life, and hence, breath. The surface should have a brown mosaic thanks to the hot butter. Once the second side is done (will take no more than 20 seconds), let cool on a paper towel. As mentioned above, these freeze wonderfully, so you can make a whole batch, have a small stack and stash the rest in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Easy!
Serve with butter and maple syrup, or whatever you want. I particularly like them with banana, its moist sweetness adjoining arms with the maple. What a Sunday.