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Best Buttermilk Pancakes

Yes, these are the best I’ve ever had — and the simplest. Rosie agrees! (See her variation notes below.) I developed the recipe for a client years ago and did lots of research to arrive at the ideal balance of ingredients for thick, nice-rising pancakes. Yet, it’s the crunchy cornmeal that makes these pancakes especially appealing to me. Cornmeal is one of my kitchen staples. As is buttermilk; I’m an avid user (and share a substitute option). Buttermilk is a versatile ingredient, especially for baking, as in my favorite Corn Muffins. If you’re a pancake person like me, please tell me what you think. Kudos, or not, all comments are welcome. And… scroll down to check out a few photos below the recipe.

Print This Recipe
Cornmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

Makes 8, 4” pancakes (or doubled, about 16 pancakes*)

1        cup all-purpose flour (spoon into measuring cup and level top)
2        Tbsp. medium-grind cornmeal, like Bob’s RedMill*
1        tsp. sugar (optional)
1/2     tsp. baking soda
1/4     tsp. baking powder
1/4     tsp. salt*
1        cup buttermilk* (low fat or not)
1        egg
2        Tbsp. butter, melted

Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Warm up buttermilk, just a bit, in microwave oven. Whisk in egg. Add to dry ingredients along with melted butter. Stir gently just until combined; batter should be lumpy. Let rest 5-10 minutes.

To make pancakes, pour desired amount of batter onto a preheated, non-stick skillet or lightly greased skillet. Cook on medium heat until bottom side is brown, turn; cook until center springs back when lightly touched. 

Kitchen Notes
This recipe doubles nicely. Use 1-2/3 cup buttermilk to start; add more if batter is too thick and not pourable. 

Rosie’s Whole Wheat Banana-Walnut Pancakes:  Use 1 cup whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Add 1 banana, sliced, and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Buttermilk substitution: If you don’t have buttermilk, pour 1 tablespoon white vinegar or cider vinegar into a 1-cup liquid measuring cup. Fill to the 1-cup level with whole or 2% milk. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes for milk to clabber. Stir, then whisk in egg before adding to dry ingredients.

*Alber’s cornmeal is a typical supermarket brand. It’s a bit less coarse, so if you like a little crunch, replace a couple tablespoons of flour with extra cornmeal.

Use double-acting baking powder. It’s the most common, and actually may be the only baking powder available for everyday consumer use (Argo brand, Rumford etc).

Salt is iodized “table salt” in all my recipes. Table salt has more sodium than kosher salt: 590mg per 1/4 tsp vs 280mg sodium per 1/4 tsp for kosher salt.

dry ingredients are whisked together

lumpy batter is best; don’t over mix

my favorite non-stick pancake pan
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