Last Friday I received an e-mail that read: “THE SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME.” [Pause.] Could there be something truly sinister lurking about this yearly occurrence? Something worthy of all caps font?
Something so shocking that it could lure me into losing time by clicking on a link about losing time? Are we (and I use the collective “we” loosely here) really trying to drum up commotion over time? One hour, to be exact.
I never did get jazzed up enough to actually click on the link. Sorry. Consider me a Daylight Saving deadbeat. I guess we'll never know the shocking truth. What I do know is that what we’ve lost in time we can potentially gain in pancakes.
Pancakes, now pancakes incite passion. I’ve been looking for the perfect recipe. And I think it’s safe to say I’ve found my syrup mate. In fact, I’ve been holding out on you. At least one—if not two—rounds of saving daylight have gone by without me sharing the recipe. This was not intentional, I assure you.
They were just hard to photograph. I would stand in my kitchen flipping pancakes, eating them hot and crispy straight from the pan, and labeling the glass jar of forks on my countertop as situationally obsolete. By the time I’d sit down to eat breakfast, I’d have a belly full. Eating a composed stack seemed a tad aggressive. So it took some restraint to get this shot. I hope you can appreciate that.
Because these pancakes are a special breed. Though they have a healthy dose of whole grain in them, they refuse to come off as heavy. And, yes, it’s absolutely worth the extra step of whipping the egg whites separately. Take the time. I know we’ve recently lost an hour, but it’s important. It’s equally important that the butter and sugar make their way into the batter. I know what you’re thinking, but just do it. All of it. These things make the pancakes light and buttery and slightly sweet. No accompaniments necessary. Though, a drizzle of grade B maple syrup and a healthy pat of butter is unabashedly appropriate. So butter away. Gild with syrup.
Now, depending on you and your breakfast routine, what happens next may vary. Normally, I try to use breakfast time to compose myself before the-madness-that-is-life begins. But there is really no other way to say this. THESE PANCAKES ARE SO DELICIOUS THAT YOU MAY FALL OFF YOUR CHAIR IN SHOCK. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
Buckwheat Buttermilk Pancakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1½ cups buttermilk
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (plus a few tablespoons more for the pan or griddle)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Sift the flours and baking powder into a large mixing bowl; mix in the sugar and salt and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. Whisk the wet liquid into the flour mixture until well combined. Whip the egg whites in another medium bowl until soft peaks form (when the peaks are just starting to hold and firm up). This can be done in a mixer, though I tend to whip them by hand to because it’s less mess to clean up; it only takes a minute or two with a whisk.
Mix ½ of the whipped egg whites into the pancake batter by gently folding them in with a rubber spatula and then do the same with the remaining whites. (You will have little pockets of egg whites that do not get fully incorporated and that’s okay, you don’t want to overmix here.)
Heat a pan or griddle on medium heat and grease well with butter. Pour a scant ¼ cup batter for each pancake into the pan or griddle, allowing for enough room to flip them. They are ready to turn when they start to bubble and appear golden brown when you gently lift their bottoms up. When the pancakes are cooked through on the other side, remove them and repeat until all batter has been used.
Yields about 15 pancakes
-The Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant is a brunch spot in NYC. They've created quite a following for their pancakes. They also have a cookbook. It made The New York Time's Year's Best Cookbooks in 2010. No biggie.
-The original recipe doesn't include buckwheat. But I've been on a bit of a buckwheat kick, so half of the all purpose allotment went to my new favorite flour. (They are also extremely good with just all purpose flour.) I also halved the recipe and made smaller pancakes; they're a bit bigger than silver dollar size, but not by much.
-I also cut the butter in half. They were so buttery the first time I made them that I had a hard time justifying additional butter. I like to use a decent amount of butter when griddling. And then I also like to add more butter with the syrup. So I figured enough was enough was enough. The original also calls for milk instead of buttermilk.
-Once again, friends, this is a perfect food to freeze.