Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes
Makes 18 to 20 3-inch pancakes. Serves 4 to 6
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Canola or peanut oil for frying
Heat the oven to 225°F and prepare a large baking sheet by setting a cooling rack inside. Place both in the oven.
Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk the egg yolks, buttermilk, and milk. Add the melted, cooled butter and whisk until well combined.
Pour the yolk and milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until barely combined. Add the egg whites and stir just until a thick batter is formed. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, film with 1/2 teaspoon of neutral oil such as canola or peanut oil. After about 30 seconds, when the oil shimmers but is not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and use a soup spoon to drop in heaping spoonfuls of pancake batter.
The batter will spread into a pancake about 3 inches wide. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes. (If the pancake scorches or the oil smokes, lower the heat.) When the bubbles that form on the edges of the pancakes look dry and airy, use a thin spatula to gently lift one side and peek underneath. If the pancake is golden brown, flip and cook on the other side for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown.
Remove from the skillet to the baking sheet in the oven. Scrape any stray crumbs or scraps out of the skillet, add a little more oil, and continue to cook the remaining batter.
Serve as soon as possible, with butter and warm maple syrup.
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use plain yogurt instead. Just use about 2/3 cup and thin it with some milk until it reaches the 1 cup mark. You can also quickly make a buttermilk substitute by mixing 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar with 2 cups of milk.