Day 25: Buttermilk Pancakes

Day 25: Buttermilk Pancakes

inspired by Where The Pancakes Are

I’ve never been fussed about making pancakes. Seriously I don’t even bother with Pancake Day. Pancakes are something I eat out, not make at home. Until lockdown that is. Now it’s become a weekly treat. I’ve already made ricotta hotcakes and courgette pancakes. I think it’s time for something a bit more classic.

It’s no coincidence that my new obsession with pancakes has developed around the same time that I have taken up running. Yes back to those lockdown cliche activities….

I decided exercise was necessary. I can’t spend all my time eating and writing (hardly an active pastime) or I’ll be the size of a house by the time social distancing is over.

Usually I do a few aerobics videos at home – but there is no way I’m attempting those with Aidan in the house. He would laugh at me. Quite rightly as I look ridiculous doing them.

So out of the house I go for laps of the (quite small) local park instead. Along with, it seems, everyone else in South East London.

I imagine people that are naturally sporty would get motivated by how many laps they could do. Or by timing their laps. You know all that pushing harder and going further stuff. They might even have a spreadsheet of their improving performance.

That doesn’t motivate me. Not at all.

But you know what does? Food.

So I told myself that if I manage six laps of the park (rather than my usual five) I can have pancakes. Suddenly my legs seem a little less tired.

As I’m running (OK there might be the odd bit of walking mixed in, partly to catch my breath and partly to try and keep a decent distance between me and everyone else also running) I think about pancakes. Classic American style pancakes. With maple syrup. And butter. Lots of butter.

I’ve been preparing for this. There’s buttermilk in the fridge. I’ve got eggs and flour ready. Nothing is standing in my way of fluffy pancakes smothered in melted buttery goodness. Except the three more laps. Come on Libby.

Finally back home and ready for pancakes! On second thoughts perhaps a shower first would be a good idea.

Oh and finishing last nights washing up. Great.

And the weekly Oddbox has arrived. Oh god how is this all going to fit in the veg drawer??

OK now, finally, pancakes!

This post has to be inspired by Where The Pancakes Are which, as their name suggests, is a cafe in Southwark that is all about pancakes! I may not have any buckwheat flour but I can get my hands on buttermilk. So I’m having a go at recreating their classic pancakes – with butter and maple syrup. Yum!

I find a pancake recipe on the Bigger Bolder Baking blog written by Gemma Stafford. Apparently she will teach me how to make the perfect buttermilk pancakes.

The recipe says it makes 8 servings. OK I’m guessing that means 8 pancakes. I’ll halve the recipe and make four. That seems like a good amount.

The recipe is all in cups. That’s OK I’ve got a set somewhere. I’ll never really understand why American recipes need to use cups. Is it easier? I just seem to make a mess whenever I try and fill a cup with flour? What’s wrong with scales?

A cup of buttermilk also turns out to be nearly a whole pot of buttermilk! Now I’m not so sure four pancakes is the right amount for one person… too late now.

All the ingredients get mixed together (and spilt on the side…. precious flour wasted!). And the mixing is, according to Gemma, where the art of pancake making is. Helpfully she has a video showing how she mixes the batter. I’m glad I watched it otherwise I would have definitely been tempted to mix more. But I resist the temptation to get rid of the lumps. I’m trusting you Gemma…

it’s all about the mixing… or the lack of mixing!

Now the batter needs to rest in the fridge for 10 minutes. This is not what a woman who has run six laps, washed up and wrestled an exceptionally large cabbage into her fridge needs to hear. This woman is hungry!

But I’ll be patient. OK I’ll have a biscuit to keep me going. I’ve been running, it’s allowed.

Once the 10 minutes are up I take a quarter of the mix and dollop it into a hot pan. Then another. I can only fit two pancakes in. They are quite large….

Flipping pancakes is not something I am good at. However three of four get flipped unscathed. Even the one that ends up on the side of the pan gets slid back into place and produces a perfectly good pancake in the end.

So here I am. With a massive stack of four huge pancakes. Perhaps, with hindsight, maybe two would have been enough. But I did run six laps.

On goes the butter and maple syrup and I dig in.

Oh wow! They are great! This makes the running totally worth it!

In the end I manage to eat three. I’m stuffed. I need to lie down. This new exercise regime is exhausting.

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