National Pancake Day is Tuesday, and IHOP is celebrating, offering guests a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes.
In return, guests are asked to make a donation to Shriners Hospitals for Children, with funds collected in Killeen and Harker Heights restaurants staying in the Central Texas area.
Buttermilk pancakes have long been a favorite of mine because they can incorporate so many flavors.
You take the basic recipe and add in your favorite things. I love adding about a cup of fresh blueberries or blackberries to the batter when they’re in season, or 1 cup of chocolate chips and a tablespoon of cinnamon when I want something extra sweet.
Sometimes, I’ll top a stack with baked apples for a warm, comforting meal.
Growing up, I used Bisquick to make pancakes, adding milk and an egg to the mix.
These days, I make them from scratch with whole-wheat flour for added health benefits.
Make a batch at home, and customize it to fit your favorite flavors or head to IHOP on Tuesday for a stack.
You can’t go wrong either way.
WHOLE-GRAIN BUTTERMILK PANCAKES
1½ cups white whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1½ cups buttermilk (see tip)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sugar or Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk egg, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and whisk just until combined.
Resist overmixing — it will make the pancakes tough.
Let the batter sit, without stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes. As the batter rests, the baking powder forms bubbles that create fluffy pancakes and the gluten in the flour relaxes to make them more tender.
Coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray; heat over medium heat.
Without stirring the batter, measure out pancakes using about ¼ cup batter per pancake and pour into the pan (or onto the griddle).
Cook until the edges are dry and you see bubbles on the surface, 2 to 4 minutes.
Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 2 to 4 minutes more.
Repeat with the remaining batter, coating the pan with cooking spray and reducing the heat as needed.
Makes: About 12 pancakes or six servings.
TIP: No buttermilk? You can make “sour milk” as a substitute: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup nonfat milk; let stand for about 10 minutes before using.
M. Clare Haefner enjoys cooking for family and friends. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7551.