Breakfast is a notoriously difficult meal to serve with a flourish.
Clement Freud

I have had a few memorable breakfasts. Some fancy, some plain. A morning sitting in my parents kitchen eating Lucky Charms cereal with my brother and sister my first weekend home from college. Drinking fresh squeezed blood orange juice in Sorrento Italy with the dawning realization that what I thought was food poisoning might possibly be morning sickness. Watching my Grandmother Leatha making breakfast on our weekend trips to Othello Washington. 

On weekend mornings when I ask my daughters what they want for breakfast there are usually several responses, coffeecake, scones, cheese omelette's, but then every so often my youngest will say, "Mama, please make your pancakes". 

She loves them I think mostly because they evoke a memory from childhood. We used to make them in the sunny kitchen of this old Victorian house we owned. There would be crayons scattered around and our dog Sally would try to steal a few bites when we weren't looking. These were the mornings before the girls started school and we could be leisurely about starting the day. They have now become what we make for breakfast when the girls have friends for sleepovers, they are what we make when they return home after a week at camp, before final exams, and when life seems a little cold or unfair.

I love these old fashioned buttermilk pancakes. They are fluffy and pudding like when fresh off the griddle. They certainly aren't fancy, we like them with butter and maple syrup, but they are a great canvas for additions like blueberries or bananas, or fruit syrups.

Buttermilk Pancakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk, see note
1/3 cup melted butter
2 eggs
Butter and Maple Syrup for serving

In a medium size mixing bowl whisk until well combined the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl mix together the buttermilk, melted butter and eggs. Add the flour mixture all at once and whisk until combined. There may be a few lumps. Set the batter aside for 10 minutes. This lets the gluten relax, so you'll have a more tender and airy pancake, and the leavening agents do their thing.  (If pressed for time you can use it right away)
Preheat an electric griddle or heat a non-stick pan over medium high heat. When a small drop of water sizzles and skips across the cooking surface the pan is ready. Spray lightly with cooking spray. 
For each pancake place a scant 1/2 cup of batter onto the griddle surface or non-stick pan. When bubbles appear across the surface of the pancake and the batter begins to look slightly dry, flip the pancake and cook for a few moments longer on the second side. If the pancakes appear to be browning too quickly turn down the heat.
Serve immediately.
Cooks note: In most recipes you can substitute milk and lemon juice (1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice, let sit for 5 minutes) for buttermilk, but not in this recipe. I have never had good results with it.


  1. Yes! Can we come over for pancakes in Tunis? We'll bring the blood orange juice. I have a memory of making pancakes in that same kitchen for Gabe and me one morning while we were waiting for our overdue Anton to join us. Thanks Shelly.

  2. Yes, Yes I'll make you pancakes in Tunis! It'll be great fun!