With Shrove Tuesday finally here, it’s time to perfect our pancake flipping skills and fine-tune our toppings – and though the lure of convenient ready-made pancake mix is tempting, home-made is the way to go for the perfect light, buttery pancake. This is especially the case when attempting a stack of all-American buttermilk pancakes.
How do they get their distinctive rise? It’s all in the batter. Swapping regular milk for buttermilk and adding a raising agent (usually baking powder) to the mix will elevate your pancake – quite literally – from a French-style crepe to a 3D tower of temptation. The use of buttermilk isn’t just for flavour, lending the pancakes a pleasing subtle tang; the acid in the buttermilk also gives the raising agent a kick-start, creating a more airy pancake with a tender crumb.
When it comes to cooking, you want to wait until you see small bubbles begin to form on the surface of the pancake before attempting to flip. Sadly the age-old proverb remains that the first will be a flop (the frying pan won’t be hot enough, it never is); give it to the dog and press on.
And as for toppings? Go wild with butter, maple syrup, squirty cream and chocolate sauce. Oh, and some fruit, if you must. Below are a few ideas to get your juices running.
Buttermilk pancakes with maple-ginger butter and blackberries in bourbon syrup